Summary: Far too many believers live defeated lives. The Lord is never pleased when we surrender to our difficulties and admit defeat. Granted we can't overcome within our own ability, but with the help of the Lord, we can live victoriously.

Victory in Jesus

1 John 2: 1-6

As I studied this passage, I was reminded of the relationship John enjoyed with Christ. He was part of the inner circle, one of three that were closest to Jesus. I am convinced Jesus didn’t love those three more than the others, but they were privileged to experience events and activities the others missed. John enjoyed a physical relationship with the Lord as he walked with Him and witnessed the many miracles He performed. He saw enough physical evidence to prove Jesus was the Christ, but I believe John’s spiritual relationship with Christ exceeded the physical encounters. He witnessed the empty tomb, talked with the resurrected Lord, and was there as Jesus ascended back to the Father. John was absolutely convinced Jesus was the Christ. He knew the benefit of such a relationship and he wanted the church to experience it as well.

Keep in mind this epistle was written to the church at large. We are thousands of years removed, but it bears application for our lives as well. Just as those who received the actual letter penned by John’s hand, we would do well to heed it instruction. We need to experience a fulfilling relationship with Christ as well. I want to discuss the affirmations of John in this passage as we think on: Victory in Jesus.

I. The Appeal to Believers (1-2) – We sense the concern and compassion John has for the church. He addresses them as little children, as those who need instruction and guidance. He appeals to the church in our opening verses. Notice:

A. The Desire (1a) – My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. That seems very elementary, but it reveals the genuine desire of John for the church. He desired that they live life free of sin. He had written to them in hopes of providing necessary guidance to live victorious in Christ, not bound by the burdens and consequences of sin. He desired their focus to be upon the Lord and service to Him rather than on the lusts and desires of the flesh.

We would have to agree that this is a noble desire. Many today live defeated lives due to sin. They made decisions or engaged in activities that appealed to the flesh, and sadly discovered that sin never produces the desired result. I am not advocating that we can obtain perfection in this life, but it ought to be our desire to live life free of sin. We may not be able to obtain perfection, but there is nothing wrong in striving for it!

The problems our world faces are the result of sin. Problems within the church and our individual lives can be traced back to sin. We need to live our lives free of sin, as much as we possibly can!

B. The Discretion (1b) – And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: John desired they rise above sin, but he also knew the realities of living in the flesh. He knew our bodies were prone to sin. He knew there was a constant battle between the spirit and the flesh. He knew the believer would commit sin. This was simply a fact of life.

I would never encourage sin and we certainly cannot condone or promote sin, but we too face a constant struggle with the flesh. We can do the very best we possibly can to live for the Lord, seeking to please Him, and yet we will come short and miss the mark. As long as we live in this body of flesh, the struggle with sin will remain.

I have met those who honestly believe we could obtain perfection in this life. If that were true, why would God have sent His Son to die for our sin? If it were possible, I am convinced God would have demanded we accomplish it. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. I know some devout Christians who live victorious lives, but they do not live above sin.

C. The Deliverance (1b-2a) – And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: [2] And he is the propitiation for our sins: We will sin and come short while living in a body of flesh, and when we do, we have hope. John declares we have an Advocate with the Father who stands as our propitiation for sin. We do not have to live in defeat because of sin.

Jesus is our Advocate. He stands alongside us in order to help in any way possible. This pictures a friend who offers comfort and help to one who is troubled or distressed. It pictures a commander called upon to encourage and equip a discouraged troop. It also pictures a lawyer who pleads our case before the judge. Jesus is each of those to us. When we sin and fail in the journey, we have an Advocate who stands with us and for us!

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