"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
Last week we discussed how God is so faithful and just to forgive our sins if we ask Him for this forgiveness. But once we realize this truth, a reasonable question to ask is, “Can I just keep sinning if God will forgive me anyway?” In verse 1, John answers, “No way!” He has no desire for his readers to sin even if God’s grace will forgive them. In fact, he even explains that one of the main purposes for writing to them about sin is so that they would not sin! But as Christians, we have to work to find the balance of running away from sin and realizing that we will still continue to make mistakes.
Have you ever seen a baby who has just learned to walk? Even if they are walking more than they ever have before, we know that they will fall from time to time. We are similar to a baby learning to walk as we learn to live without sin. But thankfully we have a helper who is really good at walking! Jesus is our helper who knows how to walk perfectly! In fact, He lived His entire life without sinning, without falling over once. He was completely righteous. He was perfect! Therefore, when we fall over, He helps pick us back up and sets us back down on the course that we were on.
Verse 1 explains that this is the role of an advocate. That in our sin and human nature that causes us to keep messing up from time to time, Jesus is our advocate, our helper, our friend who approaches God and speaks to Him on our behalf. He assures God that He will cover us with part of His own righteousness and perfection like a giant blanket, since we cannot obtain it on our own. What a blessing, to have the perfect helper who helps us keep learning to walk every single day, especially when we seek out His help through prayer!
Questions for reflection and discussion
1. What is an advocate? How is Jesus our advocate?
2. Are there sins in your life that you aren’t fighting because you plan to ask forgiveness afterward?
Dear God, we pray that You would help us to run away from sin with all our might every single day. We pray that You would help us to look more and more like Jesus every single day. But we also pray that You would help us to have grace for ourselves when we do mess up. We thank You for being the perfect helper and perfect example of righteousness. Amen.