“JESUS, OUR ADVOCATE” 1 John 2:1-6
INTRO – Back in the 80’s, Joan Rivers was a popular TV talk show host & stand-up comedian from Brooklyn. She was an “in your face” kind of personality, & her catchphrase was, “Can we talk?” You knew when she asked that question, she was about to get pretty straightforward w/ whatever subject she was talking about. There was going to no doubt about her opinion or views on that subject.
As we come to the beginning of chapter 2 in our study of 1 John, I want to ask the Joan Rivers question: “Can we talk?” I want to give to you some straightforward statements about our lives as Christ-followers based on these verses.
“WE OUGHT NOT TO SIN” – v. 1a, 3, 6 – That’s pretty straightforward. If we belong to the Lord, then we are called & expected to live a holy life.
- v. 3 – If we “know Him,” then we will keep His commandments. In fact, keeping His commandments is an indication that we DO know Him. And this “knowing” is not just having head knowledge about Jesus; it is truly knowing Him by experiencing His work in our lives.
- v. 6 – If we “abide” in Him – to have habitual fellowship w/ Jesus – then we ought to “walk in the same way in which He walked.”
- Abiding in Jesus means that we are depending completely on Him for all we need to live for & serve Him. It’s a living relationship, a close, active, intimate relationship.
So, “Can we talk? Can we talk about not sinning?” It’s abundantly clear that the expectation of a Christ-follower is that we ought not to sin. We should strive continually to know Jesus, to obey Jesus, to abide w/ Jesus, & to walk w/ Jesus. If we will do these things, we won’t sin. Sin is “missing the mark.” So, if we will do these things, we will stay on target & not miss the mark that God has for us.
“WE ARE GOING TO SIN – v. 1b, 4 – BUT, as we all know by our study of the Scriptures & by our own personal experience, we are going to sin. Can we talk? Can we be honest here? Can we be transparent today? We ought not to sin. We don’t want to sin. We know that sin breaks the heart of God & quenches the Spirit of God. We’ve experienced the consequences of sin in our own life through pain, disappointment, loss, injury to ourselves & others. Our parents teach us not to, our pastor preaches & exhorts us not to, our personal study of the Bible shows us that we ought not to. And yet, we do it anyway. We still sin, & we are going to sin some more. I wish it wasn’t true, but it is.
- We don’t have permission to do it, but we do it anyhow.
- We don’t have license to do it, but we do it anyhow.
- We don’t benefit from it, but we do it anyhow.
- We don’t help our families when we do it, but we do it anyhow.
- We hurt ourselves & others when we do it, but we do it anyhow.
So, “Can we talk? Can we talk how we sin?” It’s crazy, isn’t it? From the Garden of Eden until this very moment, Satan has been tempting & we’ve been taking the forbidden fruit, all the while knowing that we will reap the consequences. We ought not to do it, but we are going to sin.
“WE HAVE AN ADVOCATE WHEN WE DO SIN – v. 1b – Ever heard of the terminology of “hysterical strength”? It’s the almost superhuman strength that you hear of someone having in a moment of dire need. Eric Hefflemire was working on his pickup truck in the garage of his VA home, when truck fell of jack & pinned him. Make matters worse, it caught on fire. 19 y/o daughter, Charlotte, came in, lifted truck off him, & pulled him to safety before truck exploded. At that moment, she was her dad’s advocate.
Advocate – paraclete – one called alongside to help. Usually has a legal meaning to it. Someone accused of a crime needs someone to plead their case before the judge. That’s an advocate.
This is only place that Jesus is called our Advocate. In Gospel of John, Jesus calls the Holy Spirit our Advocate in John 14, 15, & 16.
- John 14:16-17
- John 14:26
- John 15:26
- John 16:7
The Spirit comes to our aid here, today, right now in our walk w/ Christ to teach us, strengthen us, empower us, help us, & guide us.
But here in 1 John 2:1, John says that JESUS is our Advocate before the Father in heaven. When we sin, Jesus stands before the Father as our Advocate. But He doesn’t declare us “not guilty” b/c that would be untrue. We ARE guilty b/c we HAVE sinned! But He tells the Father that we ARE guilty, but that HE has paid the penalty for our sins, thus securing our undeserved pardon. We will not suffer the punishment that we deserve b/c our Jesus, our Advocate, suffered the punishment FOR us.
So, “Can we talk? Can we talk about our Advocate?” When we have messed up & find ourselves crushed beneath the weight of sin w/ the fire of sin is growing stronger & hotter in our lives, our Advocate steps up & pleads our case before the Father, reminding Him that on the cross, He lifted that burden of sin off of us & took it upon Himself. HE was burned w/ the fire of our sin so we would NOT be burned in the fires of hell!
- THAT’S what He did for us as our Substitute
- THAT’S what He endured for us as our Suffering Servant;
- THAT’S how He delivered us as our Savior
- And THAT’S what He submits to the Father as our Advocate!
- “He’s guilty, Father, but I’ve paid the price for him.”
- “She’s guilty, Father, but I’ve endured the pain & suffering for her.”
- “He’s guilty, Father, but I took his place as his substitute.”
- “She’s guilty, Father, but I rescued her & died for her.”
When you see your child fall & hurt himself, what do you do? “Get up, stupid! Can’t believe you did that!”? No! Run to their side & help them up.
When your best friend has lost their job, or their marriage, or a parent, what do you do? Think to yourself, “Well, I hope everything turns out ok”? No! Run to their side to help them.
When a soldier on a battlefield sees his buddy injured when he comes under attack from the enemy, what does he do? Run the other way? No! Run to his side & fight off the enemy! Pick his buddy up & get him to safety.
Jesus, our Advocate, did all of those things for us on the cross. And He is STILL our Advocate in heaven until He comes again to take us home to be w/ Him forever.
Daddy would always tell us boys, “Remember who you are, son.” So who are we?
- We are children of God who ought not to sin.
- We are children of God who do sin.
Today, our Heavenly Daddy says to us, “Remember who HE is – Jesus – He’s YOUR Advocate!”