In the 2nd chapter of John’s 1st epistle he gives us a very important description of Jesus’ ministry today. John writes, “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous”, (v.1 NKJV). John writes expressing the desire that Jesus’ followers don’t sin. Sin is contrary to God’s nature and inconsistent with the Christian life. But John also knows that due to the infirmities of the flesh and Satan’s fraud and malice that all of us sin. In fact the previous verse we read, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (1:10, NKJV). But John also gives us wisdom about what to do with our sin.
The word advocate in the Greek is the word paraclete- that is one who is called alongside to help, or to aid another. It was earlier used as a phrase to describe the Holy Spirit. Christ’s advocacy is inseparably linked with the Holy Spirit’s comfort and ministry working in us. The word advocate is also a judicial term denoting our helper in time of need or one who intercedes for us. A modern day equivalent would be an attorney. Jesus is our attorney handling our case in heaven.
It’s important to understand that our attorney who is handling our case is also the Son of the Judge. Notice He is our “advocate with the Father”. He also is the one who paid the sin debt penalty that we deserved. Paul also picks up with this theme when he writes in his 1st letter to Timothy these words, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” (2:5 NKJV). If Jesus is handling our case and He’s the Son of the Judge and He’s already paid our sin debt in full, wouldn’t you say there is a pretty good chance of our acquittal before the eternal bar?
Back when I was a young pastor, I had times of overwhelming shame and guilt over things that I had done before I was a believer. I would actually experience anxiety attacks of shame, sweating with heart issues as Satan brought to recall my past sins. But one day I discovered in the 2nd chapter of John’s epistle the profoundly significant fact that Jesus is my attorney in heaven. If someone was suing you today and they called to talk about the case you wouldn’t entertain that conversation for even one minute. You would simply say “talk to my attorney, he’s handling my case”. The name Satan means accuser and he is truly the accuser of the brethren. But if we are “in Christ” we don’t even have to listen to his accusation for one second about our past sins. All that we need to do is to simply direct him to our attorney, Jesus Christ, who is handling our case. All praise to our great God who has provided an advocate who has already made the sacrifice of eternal efficacy for all ages for us.
In Praise of our great Savior,
Pastor Rich Sivo