1 John Part 2: Jesus is our advocate
This is week 2 of our 8-week journey through 1 John. Last week we read through Chapter 1 and discussed what it means to walk in the light. Walking in the light is living a life of continual confession and transparency before God.
This week we are going to discuss how Jesus is our advocate, and how that realization will transform our lives and give us the victory over any sin. Grab your Bible and turn to 1 John Chapter 2.
Read 1 John 2:1-11
Beginning with verse 1 John reveals his purpose in writing: to help those reading stop sinning. Last week we discussed that God is light, meaning He is a perfect, holy being. As a perfect being, He would never say “Sin as little as you can.” Because of who He is, He demands perfection.
This standard of perfection is overwhelming. Unattainable. Impossible. Have you ever tried to go an entire day without committing one sin? Without saying one bad word? Without having one bad thought? Remember, if we claim to be without sin, we make God to be a liar (1 John 1:10). We are sinners. We’re going to sin, it’s inevitable.
All of us have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God (Romans 3:23)
Because we are bound to fall short, I believe that verses 1 and 2 are the most important verses in the entire Bible. Because in them contains the recipe for overcoming sin in your life today.
Let’s pretend for a moment that we don’t have the second half of verse 1, and we must fill in the blank. “These things I write to you so that you will not sin:_____________”
What would you fill in the blank with? If you could pass on some knowledge about life or the world or religion that would keep a person from sinning, what would it be?
Read your Bible every day? Pay your tithes? Fast every week? Pray for 3 hours a day? Don’t hang with bad people? Meditate? These are all things that religion tells us to do in order to keep ourselves from bad deeds and please God.
But the writer of 1 John mentions none of these. Instead, the writer appeals to the fact that Jesus Christ is our advocate and the atoning sacrifice of our sins.
The recipe for overcoming sin is recognizing you have an advocate, Jesus Christ.
The recipe for overcoming sin in your life has nothing to do with your own efforts but a realization that Jesus Christ is your advocate, and that by his death on the cross God’s righteous wrath towards you was satisfied.
We’ve repeated several times that walking in the light means living a continual life of confessing sin. We cannot hide our sin and walk in the light. But it’s important for us to know that walking in the light does not mean never sinning. It does not mean that if we sin one more time God will expel us from His presence.
Walking in the light is acknowledging our sin and appealing to Jesus Christ, our advocate. Because Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and our advocate, our fellowship with God begins and ends with him. It is completely maintained by Christ.
Fellowship with God is maintained by Christ, not us!
Our obedience is sprung forth from this truth. Our desire to follow God’s commands is no longer rooted in fear of being tossed into hell, but our love and appreciation for the Savior. As John will later write in this letter: “We love Him because He first loved us.” Then, as verse 5 says, the love of God is perfected in us and catapults us into a life of obedience to God’s commands and love for fellow believers. We remain in the light, while those who hate the believers remain in the darkness.
I’ve never met a Christian who wanted to sin. A Christian who wants to sin is not a Christian at all, because they have not experienced a new birth. But the fact remains that even after being born again, we remain sinners.
If you have been struggling with sin that you can’t seem to get rid of, I want you to write verse 1 and 2 of Chapter 2 down somewhere that you will see it every day. Remind yourself that Jesus is your advocate, that He stands before the Father and pleads your case, and that HE maintains your fellowship with God. Focus on that truth, and you will see the victory in your life over any sin.
Part 1: Walking in the Light