WE HAVE AN ADVOCATE
1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation (“atoning sacrifice”), for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Why did the Apostle John say that he wrote to “My little children”? He wrote to them “that ye sin not.” And we should always strive to be perfect, even as our Father in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. This is a goal that we should strive for, even knowing that we, of ourselves, cannot attain to such a spiritual height. But ‘setting the bar’ at this height will cause us to reach higher than if we set it lower.
This is taught us throughout the scriptures. John was obeying the word of the Prophet Ezekiel. Ezekiel 3:21 Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.
And our Lord cautioned sinners in the same manner. John 5:14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
We also find this instruction in the Apostle Paul’s writings to the church located at Corinth. 1 Corinthians 15:34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
But then what did John write next? – …if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father… But what is an advocate? It is obvious from this verse that he has somewhat to do with sin. The word “advocate” means “consoler, or intercessor.” In fact, it is the same Greek word translated “Comforter” in John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7. But those verses refer to the Holy Spirit, and John specifically states that our advocate is “Jesus Christ the righteous.”
But this does not mean that the Holy Spirit is not our advocate, and that only the Lord Jesus is! This is cleared up by the Lord’s words in John 14:16. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Also in John 5:32 the Lord states, “There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.” By these words we realize that we have both the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit as our Advocates and Comforters! For the Holy Spirit is none other than “the spirit of truth.” And the Lord Jesus is the truth! (See John 14:6)
The members of the Trinity are One! Although we may not be able to comprehend it, the scriptures clearly state that the Lord and the Spirit, as well as the Lord and the Father, are one! 2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. John 10:30 I and my Father are one. For just as the believer is “spirit and soul and body,” yet is one person, so the Trinity is also three, but one! 1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul lists both Advocates as our intercessors in his Roman letter. Romans 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
That word, “if” in verse one of our text, in the phrase, “And if any man sin” does neither mean that it is possible to live a perfectly sinless life, nor that we have no recourse when we do sin! For this is exactly that which our Advocates are for! Consider John’s words in the first chapter of this epistle.
1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. Years ago there was a radio preacher who constantly preached that sinless perfection was possible, and that he and his church had reached that state. But that of itself was a sin! For the Apostle John states in the above listed tenth verse, we imply that God is a liar if we say that we have no sin! – And that is a terrible sin!
For God’s word clearly states that all are sinners! Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
There is also another strong reason we need a heavenly intercessor. There is a powerful advocate standing at the bar of justice demanding our condemnation! Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
The Holy Spirit brings conviction upon the sinful soul, not condemnation, as does sin and Satan! Condemnation is not the work the Son of God came into the world to accomplish. John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. Our Advocate states, There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:1) And in the next verse the Apostle Paul tells us why this is true. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)
We know that we can do nothing of ourselves, without the Lord’s helping us! John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
But this does not mean that we have nothing to do, as far as completing our sanctification! In fact, it is because that we have been provided such wondrous heavenly aids, that we are strongly commanded to work out our salvation with fear and trembling! Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
We are to ‘perfect’ the holiness which God has provided. 2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
For as in the natural, the individual has nothing to do with his birth, but is responsible to develop himself in growth thereafter. Even so it is in the spiritual life. 1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
How did we come to have these wonderful Advocates to console and intercede? They were sent by the Father. John 14:24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
And the Son, the first Advocate, is said have sent the Holy Spirit, the second Advocate to us from the Father. John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
But in order to do so, he had to remove himself from the earthy realm. John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. At the time of the first Adam’s separation from God, the Holy Spirit was removed, leaving him and his bride to realize that they were now naked. Their covering had formally been the presence of the Spirit of God. Genesis 3:10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. 11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
And when the last Adam – the Lord Jesus Christ – returned to God, after his completed restoration of mankind, the Holy Spirit was sent again. And the outward covering of the bodies of the first parents, has now returned to cover the hearts of the Lord’s peoples. For as sin is the ‘coming short’ of God’s glory, imparted righteousness is the recovery of that glory! John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
For once the Lord Jesus departed earth, ascending back to his throne of majesty, he sent us the Holy Spirit for the establishment of our faith and hope! Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; 1 Peter 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
There is a pattern of this departing of the first champion of God, in order that a second may be raised up. Moses was removed in order that Joshua might take charge. (See Joshua 1:1-2) Elijah was removed in his fiery chariot and whirlwind, in order that Elisha might be raised up. And Elisha, with his double portion of the Spirit, did twice the miracles that Elijah had accomplished. (See 2 Kings 2:9-11) Then John the Baptist was removed into prison before the Lord Jesus began his earthly ministry of preaching the kingdom. John 1:15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. Mark 1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
And therefore with this pattern being set, the Lord informs his disciples that It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter (Advocate) will not come unto you; And if Christ’s removal is of such glorious worth now, what shall his return be to the church? Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
1 John 3:2 … we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
2 Thessalonians 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
Matthew 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
For upon his return, the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and the church – Christ’s Bride – shall all be one! 1 Corinthians 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. 15:27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
John 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
The receiving of the Holy Spirit in regeneration is our seal, assuring us of the final glory, when Christ shall appear! Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Pastor Gene Breed
March 22, 2018