Summary: The believer who craves to grow more Christ-like must go to the Advocate & through Jesus' sacrifice find the cleansing & the conviction necessary to leave the horror of sin. Those who have done so will abide in God’s Word & walk in Christ-likeness.
1 JOHN 2:1-6 [LIFE, LIGHT & LOVE SERIES]
THE BASIS OF OBEDIENCE AND FORGIVENESS
The Apostle continues discussing the believers condition and conduct which he has personally discovered by walking in God’s light. Having revealed that even Christians sin daily, John goes on to point out God’s remedy for sin and to exhort believers to obedience. [Just because it is inevitable that we will sin and forgiveness is available doesn’t mean that we should take a lenient attitude toward it.] The believer who craves to grow more Christ-like must go to the Advocate and through Jesus' sacrifice find the cleansing and the conviction necessary to leave the horror of sin (CIT). Those who have done so will abide in God’s Word and walk in Christ-likeness.
I. OUR ADVOCATE’S SACRIFICE FOR SIN, 2:1-2.
II. TRULY KNOWING CHRIST, 2:3-6.
The fact that Christ’s blood restores the repentant to fellowship doesn’t make sin any less serious. To protect us from underestimating the impact of our sin John tells us in verse 1 that Jesus must come to our defense when we sin. “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
The aged Apostle addresses the believers as little children which is a term of endearment translatable as dear or beloved. The elderly Apostle loved and cherished the family of faith who were all young in Lord Jesus compared to his long tenure in serving Christ. Many of these who first received the letter actually were his spiritual children.
Out of his love for them John turns to face the problem of sin head on. He proclaims that the only answer to this killer virus, the person and work of Jesus Christ. Christ died for us and bore the penalty of our sin on the cross then He rose from the dead and now He intercedes for us before the Throne of God (Heb. 7:25).
The guilt of falling into sin can weigh heavy on the heart but in order that we may not lose heart over our condition John offers us gracious reassurance. We have an Advocate, Jesus Christ the righteous. Advocate is paraklētos, "one called to your side." In a forensic or legal sense it means “one who undertakes and champions your cause,” or “one who speaks in your defense.” In the literature of the day it was used of a friend of the accused person called to speak about his character and win the sympathy of the judge.
The devil, the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:10), is demanding condemnation because of your sin (Zech. 3:1-5). But Jesus stands up for us in the court of heaven (Rev. 5:6) and speaks in our defense as our Advocate [παρακλὴτος]. You have the best defense attorney in the universe pleading your case. [Jesus is the only one qualified to plead our case in the Father’s presence (Heb. 2:18).] Yes, Jesus acknowledges the fact of our sin, but His appeal is to His death for that sin on the cross. That sin has already been paid for and can no longer be held against the sinner who comes before their Advocate in humble repentance for his crimes against the law of God.
When Abraham Lincoln was President, his son Robert had A CLOSE FRIEND who entered the army as a private. Robert sent word to his friend, saying, "Write to me, and I will intercede with Father and get you something better." A few years went by before Robert heard from the soldier again. When they got together, Lincoln's friend said, "I never took advantage of your offer, but you do not know what a comfort it was to me. Often after a weary march I would throw myself on the ground and say, 'If it becomes beyond human endurance, I can write to Bob Lincoln and get relief; and I would rather have his intercession than that of the President's cabinet, because he is the President's son.'"
Christians have an even greater comfort. We too know a Son to whom we can go for help--Jesus Christ, our Advocate. An advocate is one who can assist us, either by pleading on our behalf or by giving evidence that supports our case. Jesus can do this for us because of His position at God's right hand. Because of our sin each of us needs such a helper. [As God's children we try not to sin, and we know that sin's power has been broken. Yet we still falter and need cleansing. That's why we are told that "If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”] [“If anyone sins” is a third class condition meaning very little doubt or “if and we do.”]