Jesus, the Perfect Advocate
The Cultural Christianity Series
"My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin." (1 John 2:1) Last week we learned that John's first letter begins with the God who has no beginning but has always been. John and the other Apostles heard Jesus, saw Him, and touched Him like you touch a friend and a respected teacher.
John then, in chapter one, talks about darkness and light, lies and truth, and fellowship with God and men. Authentic Christians call sin, sin and turn from it as a way of life because of Jesus. Much of John's first letter is in the present continuous tense, which means imperfect people continually turn from sin to not sin as a way of life. Fellowship with God and men is part of the process of walking in the light.
The second chapter begins with John telling us, "My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin." The New Testament writers never regard sin as slavery. "Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. So you too, consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore sin is not to reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts..." (Romans 6:9, 11-12). Christianity is, first and foremost personal. The previous verses have little to no meaning to the person that is not in an intimate relationship with God in Christ through prayer and His Word.
Sin became the master over Christ when he took our place on the cross. He gave His life to death for our sakes and in our place and put sin to death. For this reason, Paul tells us that sin is not to reign as a king of enslaved people as if we must obey its lusts. "If anyone sins we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." An advocate is a legal advocate who makes the right judgment call because he is close enough to the situation.
Sometimes, for interpretation reasons, Christians put saved people into different camps; for example, the Church and Israel, Old Testament and New Testament saints, and raptured and left behind. These, of course, are all general categories and for this reason, they are prejudicial. Jesus as the Advocate of all those for whom He died, sees clearly. As God, Jesus fully understands the sin that dwells in every man. As righteous, He is a consuming fire to all sin.
Think about the things that give you the most shame. The ones you hide as best you can from other people. Then imagine a world in which everyone, everywhere, knew every one of those sinful thoughts, desires, and actions, and every time they saw you, they shamed you for them. Furthermore, Now imagine that the righteousness of God is infinitely more hateful toward all sin. That will be the eternal existence for all sinners. However, Jesus took the place of sinners, forgives them, and is ready to empower them to overcome what placed Him there.
The blood of Jesus and His sufferings on the cross rescued all men who possess saving faith. He alone knows the extent of sinful men, and He died appropriately for all and each one. We should leave all judgment to Him, don't you think?
Do you want to sin, or do you love and appreciate Jesus?
If you want to hear more on this topic, click the link below for my Podcast, That They Might Know