Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Jesus Is Our Advocate!

My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.  And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. (1 John 2:1-2)

John uses the address “dear children” in a warm, fatherly way.  He is not talking down to his readers but is showing affection for them.  At this writing, John was a very old man.  He had spent almost all his life in ministry, and many of his readers were indeed his spiritual children.

John’s statements about sin (1 John 1:8, 10) were designed to make believers aware of sin’s ever-present danger and to put them on guard against it.  According to Greek grammar, the ‘if’ before “anyone sins” carries the added sense of “and it is assumed that we all do.” This statement is not an encouragement to sin but a warning to all Christians to be on guard against sinful tendencies.

The Greek word “Advocate” is also used of the Holy Spirit in John 14:16, referring to a Helper for us in understanding the truth of God’s Word.  Here the word describes the intercessory work of the Son.  When we sin, Jesus represents us as our Advocate with the Father to plead our cause in heaven’s court.  Satan, on the other hand, is the accuser of believers (Zech. 3:1-4; Rev. 12:10).

Word Focus – Advocate - (Gk. parakletos) (1 John 2:1; John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7) G3875: The Greek word literally means “one who is called to our side.” This could be a comforter, a consoler, or a defense attorney.  In John 14:26 and John 15:26, the Holy Spirit is called our parakletos, our Comforter.  Here Christ is called our parakletos, our Advocate.  While the Holy Spirit works within us to comfort and help us, Christ represents us before the Father in heaven.  The two Paracletes work together in perfect harmony (Rom. 8:26, 27, 34).

To people who are feeling guilty and condemned, John offers reassurance.  They know they have sinned, and Satan (called “the accuser” in Revelation 12:10) is demanding the death penalty.  When you feel this way, don’t give up hope – the best defense attorney in the universe is pleading your case.  Jesus Christ, your Advocate, your Defender, is the Judge’s Son.  He has already suffered your penalty in your place.  You can’t be tried for a case that is no longer on the docket.  United with Christ, you are as safe as His is.  Don’t be afraid to ask Christ to plead your case – He has already won it (Romans 8:33, 34; Hebrews 7:24, 25).

Propitiation brings about the merciful removal of guilt through divine forgiveness.  In the Greek Old Testament (the Septuagint), the Greek term for propitiation was used for the sacrificial mercy seat on which the high priest placed the blood of the Israelites’ sacrifices (Ex. 25:17–22; 1 Chr. 28:2). This practice indicates that God’s righteous wrath had to be appeased somehow.  God sent His Son and satisfied His own wrath with Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross.  Our sins made it necessary for Jesus to suffer the agonies of the crucifixion; but God demonstrated His love and justice by providing His own Son.  The sacrifice of Jesus’ sinless life is so effective that it can supply forgiveness for the whole world (2 Cor. 5:14, 15, 19; Heb. 2:9). Christ’s death is sufficient for all, but efficient only for those who believe in Christ.  Not everyone will be saved, but Jesus offers salvation to all (Rev. 22:17).

Jesus Christ is the atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 4:10).  He can stand before God as our mediator because His death satisfied the wrath of God against sin and paid the death penalty for our sin.  Thus Christ both satisfies God’s requirement and removes our sin.  In Him we are forgiven and purified.

Sometimes it is difficult to forgive those who wrong us.  Imagine how hard it would be to forgive everyone, no matter what they had done!  This is what God has done in Jesus.  No one, no matter what they have done, is beyond forgiveness.  All a person has to do is turn from their sin, receive Christ’s forgiveness, and commit their life to Him.  We are no longer “condemned” when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior (Romans 8:1).

My question today is this:  Are you ready to have the joy, peace and happiness that only Jesus can give?  Make this the day of your Salvation and have Jesus represent you, as your Advocate, before God in heaven’s court.  God’s blessings too you.

References: NKJV Holy Bible, Life Application Bible (NIV), the Nelson Study Bible.


Frank Blasi said...

This article is such a refreshing tonic after reading so much Catholic doctrine on this website.
Yes, when Jesus Christ died on that cross, he paid the price in full.
Thankyou so much for posting.

Lloyd said...

Thank you Frank for your visit and comments. Yes, it if very refreshing for the soul indeed to hear the truth of the gospel. God bless.

J said...

Thank you for visiting my site and for inviting me to yours. I have not had much time available to read many of your thoughts, but from what I have read, I am greatly encouraged. Regarding today's thoughts, I would like to say that this point is so simple, so powerful, and yet so easily forgotten: Don’t be afraid to ask Christ to plead your case – He has already won it.

Thank you for the reminder.

dfish said...

It is a blessing that there is no sin that God cannot forgive. It is also wonderful to know that while we should not sin after salvation, provision has been made when we do so we don't lose our salvation. Jesus still represents us.

Great post.