Jesus was born not only to make possible forgiveness of the past, but to help us conquer the strongholds of sin, the entrenched habits that are so difficult to dislodge from our lives. He is our merciful High Priest in heaven (Hebrews 2:17-18; Hebrews 8:1-2; Hebrews 9:11-14; Hebrews 10:19-23), interceding with the Father on our behalf (Romans 8:34).
As John explained, "If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9, NRSV).
Jesus Christ is ever ready to help us gain the victory over sin: "And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" (1 John 5:4-5).
The apostle John, while acknowledging our human weaknesses, encourages us not to give in to sin. "I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world" (1 John 2:1-2, NRSV).
This gives us every reason for encouragement in our daily struggle against sin. After all, Christ has experienced the same temptations and fully understands our plight: "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:15-16).
How do we receive that help? Jesus answers: "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened" (Matthew 7:7-8).