3-Week Series: Double Blessing

Sermons

Summary: An Advocate with the Father

Introduction: The Advocate

From a Florida prison cell in June 1962, Clarence Earl Gideon wrote a note asking the United States Supreme Court to review his conviction for a crime he said he didn’t commit. He added that he didn’t have the means to hire a lawyer.

One year later, in the historic case of Gideon v. Wainright, the Supreme Court ruled that people who cannot afford the cost of their own defense must be given a public defender—an advocate—provided by the state. With this decision, and with the help of a court-appointed lawyer, Clarence Gideon was retried and acquitted.

But what if we are not innocent? According to the apostle Paul, we are all guilty. But the court of heaven provides an Advocate who, at God’s expense, offers to defend and care for our soul (1 John 2:2). On behalf of His Father, Jesus comes to us offering a freedom that even prison inmates have described as better than anything they’ve experienced on the outside. It is a freedom of heart and mind.

Whether suffering for wrongs done by us or to us, we all can be represented by Jesus. By the highest of authority He responds to every request for mercy, forgiveness, and comfort.

Jesus, our Advocate, can turn a prison of lost hope, fear, or regret into the place of His presence.

Source: Mart Dehaan, Our Daily Bread

I. I Write That You May Not Sin 1a

1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin.

A. Notice To Whom He Writes

1 In this letter, the Apostle John address his audience as my little children.

2 We do not know who he was addressing.

a. It could have been to a particular church (as Paul’s letters were)

b. It could have been to the church at large.

i. I believe that John had a particular audience.

ii. We will not know who that was until we reach heaven.

3 Bear this in mind:

a. John addresses his audience as “my little children” thirteen times in this book.

b. Think of what it would be like to have in your possession a letter written by President Abraham Lincoln to a member of your family.

i. What joy to have a prized possession from arguably the best president ever.

ii. But John’s audience was even more blessed as they received a letter from “that disciple that Jesus loved”.

c. John not only writes, but writes with purpose.

B. Notice What He Writes

1 We can have fellowship with God!

2 We must believe God’s message!

3 We must not be deceived! We are all sinners!

C. Notice The Purpose Of His Writing

1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin.

1 John writes to them as a loving father.

2 John writes to them as an aged Apostle.

3 John writes to them as a spiritual guide – that you may not sin!

D. Application To The Church

II. We Have An Advocate If We Sin 1b

And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

A. We Are All Sinners

1 We already know that everyone sins.

2 John’s terms

a. My little children – no more time here

b. You – same as my little children

c. We – John includes himself with those who sin.

i. Think about the magnitude of that.

ii. John was in the inner circle of the Apostles.

iii. Everything Jesus did – John saw – and wrote about in his Gospel.

iv. John was the only Apostle who did not abandon Jesus during arrest, trials and crucifixion.

v. John and Peter were the de facto leaders of the church.

vi. John lived his whole life for Jesus and did not stray.

vii. Yet, he includes himself as a sinner and we will see why presently.

B. We Have An Advocate With The Father

1 It is interesting, but not surprising that John uses the same term in both his Gospel and in this letter.

a. In the Gospel this word means

i. Summoned, called to one’s side, esp. called to one’s aid

ii. One who pleads another’s cause with one, an intercessor

iii. In the Gospel therefore, we find this word translated – comforter.

b. In this letter this word means

i. One who pleads another’s cause before a judge

ii. Counsel for the defense

iii. In the Letter therefore, we find this word translated – advocate.

2 But the context of this verse tells us about the court, the prosecutor and the defense counsel.

a. This is Christ in his exaltation at God’s right hand, pleading with God the Father for the pardon of our sins.

b. It is God’s court and it is that same adversary, the devil who brings accusation against us.

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