Sin may be likened to a mosquito bite. It starts as one small pin prick, but once the skin has been broken, that bite begins to itch. And each time we succumb to and scratch it, the welt grows. The itch intensifies. Attempts to waylay the irritation are merely temporary solutions. In the face of our own remedies, the itch always returns
Okay, perhaps this illustration is lacking. The metaphor inevitably breaks down in multiple ways. But we’ve all suffered through the unrelenting itch of a mosquito bite, poison ivy, or something similar. Beyond a certain point, you simply have no control over that itch.
So it is with sin. All it takes is one pin prick to the conscience and, before we know it, the welt has swelled. Those who remain unregenerate have no power to mortify their sin. They may be able to temporarily placate it, but it will always fester below the surface. They would have it no other way. Though they are enslaved to sin, they kiss the chains that bind them.
Those who have been saved and given new life in Christ, however, have a greater power at their disposal. At Calvary, Christ paid the penalty for the sins of all who would believe, and the Spirit who indwells believers allows them the power to mortify sin and walk in newness of life. This is the very same power, it may be noted, that raised Christ from the dead. It is nothing at which to scoff. It is nothing that should be taken for granted. It is a miraculous and gracious gift from a good, loving God.
To be sure, Christians will always wage war against the old nature while remaining on this side of glory. But if sin is no longer master over us, then we best not taunt that old nature with even so much as a pin prick. The flesh is weak and fallen, and though we are forgiven, we strive daily to walk in holiness, by the power of the Holy Spirit that has been given as a gift from God. The Lord Jesus Christ hung and bled on a cross for our sins—sins that, big or small, all began as a pin prick. Does not such a sacrifice demand and urge us to live in a manner worthy of the salvation we have been given? Let us pray that God might soothe the tempting itch of sin in our lives so that we might serve well the Master who saved us.