The second chapter of 1st John opens with this: “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. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 1-2).
These are not just powerful words from a convincing orator, or a seasoned preacher, but the heart and doctrine of the living God. In just 2 verses we have enough to study, ponder, meditate and reflect on for our entire lives. He starts off admonishing us to abstain from sin, but if we do sin we have an advocate, our closest modern word might be” lawyer”. He soon tells us this advocate is righteous; Christians know this deity as God the Father and his Son, Jesus the Christ.
In verse 2, the author tells us he is the propitiation for our sins. In the Greek, it is “Hilasmos” meaning Christ is the substitute for the consequences of our sins, assuming our obligations he expiated our guilt, he covered it so to speak by his atoning work on Calvary. WOW! How is this possible? I was born a sinner, I continue to sin, all the while learning the scriptures, praying, fasting, giving, loving others and much more.
What joy, what peace, what confidence this gives to you and I who are the children of God. Justification teaches us not only are our sins forgiven, but in the eyes of God it looks as though we have always obeyed. What does this mean to you and me? Glad you asked. It means we are no longer God’s enemy but his sons and daughters, forever united with him on the earth and fully when we enter Heaven.
Two powerful versus, right? I realize I am probably preaching to the choir, but sometimes all of us need some self-reflection. It helps with those nasty blind spots that cause us and those around us so much harm. Automobiles now come with “Blind Spot Monitoring” systems that keep you from veering off course into unseen trouble, ours is the Bible, use all of it.
I once heard it put that the judge is our Father, the defense attorney is our elder brother and neither of them like the prosecuting attorney.