1 John 2:1-6 (ESV)1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
In this third message on our walk through 1 John, Pastor Chris shared how God’s justice system works for our benefit. Here in chapter two, the beloved disciple of Jesus writes of how Christ is our Advocate.
Our sinful behavior is a crime in the kingdom of God and punishable by temporary separation from God. Yet, God the Father as Judge, grants us a defender – Jesus the righteous.
When we are accused by our adversary, Satan, of violating God’s law, we have someone (advocate) to present our case in the Court of Heaven. Jesus answers the charges against us by taking them on himself – taking our place (propitiation) and redeeming us. His death on the cross is the remedy, His blood the restitution – the payment required to cover (atonement) for our sin. In this merciful system of holiness, we are reassured that we fully belong to God and have help to live in our true identity.
- The Reassurance of Jesus (v.1) – “…we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus…”
- The Invitation of Salvation (v. 2) – “He is the propitiation for our sins..”
- How can you be sure you belong to Christ? (v. 3) “…know him, if we keep his commandments.”
- Follow Christ’s example – do what He says, live as He wants
- Walker or a Talker? (vv. 4-5) “Whoever says, ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar…”
- How do we live this way? (v. 6) “…abide with him…to walk in the same way…”
“16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever…” John 14:16 (ESV)
- Jesus sent His Holy Spirit to be our Advocate (also, Comforter or Counsellor) – in Greek the Parakletos: to assist, comfort, counsel, defend, intercede, alongside, and our guide!
- See also, Zech. 4:6
We have a guide from God able to help us live holy lives. It’s a simple exercise that you practice every day to build spiritual stamina: Get before God, Humble yourself, Declare dependence on Him, Read and obey His Word, Live in your Spiritual Gifts, Listen to His voice – repeat 24/7/365.
- What comes to mind when you think of God as Just? How about as Judge?
- How might most Christians behave if they thought of committing sin equivalent to a crime?
- Why do you suppose Jesus’ role as our Advocate is central to John’s message of ‘knowing him?’
- How has the Spirit been your guide and comforter in your daily walk with God?
- Challenge yourself to ask God about your walk with him. Are you a ‘Walker’ or a ‘Talker?’
- If you find that you are doing more talking than walking about Jesus, consider the spiritual discipline of humility (see Micah 6:8). Ask the Spirit for help – that’s who Jesus sent to live in you, as a believer, to guide you in making righteous choices every day!