Five Words Worth Remembering at New Year’s – Sin.

To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name. Acts 10:43

As a former little league baseball coach, I taught the young players the importance of repetition.

We would go through certain motions over and over again – like swinging a bat a certain way or throwing a ball a certain way – in order to create what is known as “muscle memory.”

Baseball players tend to take this kind of repetition to extremes – something known as “respecting the streak”. Like not changing your socks if you are in a hitting streak or having the same breakfast every day while in a winning streak.

The concept of “muscle memory” is not exclusive to baseball and is certainly nothing new.

A similar concept is that of a habit. I’ve read that it takes somewhere between six and ten weeks to form or break a habit. Usually the longer you have a habit, the longer it takes to break it.

I think sin works in similar ways. Sin is something we are all born with. This is called original sin.

But actual sin is something we do ourselves and many times is a conscious decision we make. In this sense, it can be like a habit. The more we choose to sin in a particular way, the harder it is going to be to stop ourselves from doing that particular sin.

Not that we can do anything ourselves to overcome sin! We need help outside of us and that help comes in our Savior, Jesus Christ, who undoes sin in our lives!

The fourth word worth remembering in this New Year was “undoes” which indicates that our Savior is in an ongoing state of undoing sin.

The reason it is ongoing is because our sin is ongoing. You and I sin every day.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I get pretty fed up with sinning every day. I don’t want to sin every day and I try my best to overcome this urge to sin.

But every day I find myself succumbing to temptation. I’ll stub my toe walking by the couch and let loose with a curse word.

I’ll get cut off in traffic and say a not-nice thing about the driver and, perhaps, his parentage.

No matter what the sin is, it is there. It is ongoing in my life. And I am so thankful that our Savior undoes my sin!

I am in constant need of Christ’s forgiveness earned for us all on the cross. I sin daily so I need to be forgiven daily.

This is why I teach – and try to live – how Martin Luther taught: “that the Old Adam in us should by daily contrition and repentance be drowned and die with all sins and evil desires, and that a new man should daily emerge and arise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever” (emphasis added).

sin-washed-awayThrough the Means of Grace – God’s Holy Word and Sacraments – the Old Adam in me and all my sins are daily drowned and forgiven.

This is especially helpful to remember as a New Year begins. We are given an opportunity for a fresh start. So many people are trying to make a fresh start with resolutions and the like. We are not alone in this!

So, the five words worth remembering at the beginning of this New Year form a phrase that we can put into our hearts all the year through and share with others:


And that spells “Jesus” – the wondrous name of love!

©2017 True Men Ministries


Read past devotions at the True Man Blog here.

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