The people of God have much to rejoice over. The more one reads the Scriptures and studies the doctrine of salvation, they are reminded how much the Lord has done and how grateful we ought to be. One of the blessings of the gospel is that Christ is our Advocate. Consider this succinct yet profound text,
“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” (1 John 2:1).
The word “advocate” used in this text means, “one who comes alongside”. In this context it refers to one who stands in defence of a party being charged. Why is it significant that the Lord Jesus Christ is called the Advocate of God’s people?
It is because all humanity share in an equal problem. We are all sinners (Rom. 3:23, 5:12; James 2:10). In addition to being sinful, there is an even greater problem, we have sinned against our Creator and therefore His holy hatred and just judgment rests on us (John 3:36). This is a huge problem. But what about those who are believers? Though they have been forgiven (Eph. 1:7), what about the sins they commit after their conversion (and yes, Christians do sin!)? John begins this text by saying, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin” (1 John 2:1). The words “but if anyone does sin” is not a hypothetical scenario or even a mere possibility, rather it is what actually happens. So then, knowing that our Father hates sin, what ought we to know about this occurrence?
Despite sinful attitudes and actions, for those who are the people of God there is good news! When we sin, we have an Advocate who pleads with the judge. The Advocate is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the best kind of advocate to have, because He and the Father are in perfect unity. In this text He is referred to as “Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1). This is a fitting term because He is “holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens” (Heb. 7:26). He pleads our case because He is our Divine Representative (cf. Rom. 5:19), His righteousness has been imputed to our account (2 Cor. 5:21) and He stands in our defence.
What provisions do we experience? In the language of the OT and the book of Hebrews, we now have a High Priest who lives to make intercession for us (Heb. 7:25). What a thought! He knows our weaknesses and pleads for us, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:14-15). What a provision!
Take time to read these precious words from the hymn “Before the Throne of God” and even click on the video link at the bottom. Then, praise God for what you enjoy in Christ.
Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.
When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.
Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!