Christ Our Advocate
1 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.
2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
Word Study: The Greek word translated as “advocate”, is “parakletos” which has a basic meaning of one called alongside to help. It refers to one who gives protection, security. One who pleads a case on behalf of others. Propitiation, “hilasmos” refers to a means of forgiveness or means by which sins are forgiven.
Comment: I am so grateful that John decided to start chapter 2 and the rest of the book with this verse, referring to verse 1. Without verse 1 of chapter 2, I would be pulling out my hair knowing that I can never ever be a true Christian, since I would never qualify. It might not make sense to you now, why I say this but later on, it will. Keep reading.
John begins chapter 2 verse 1 with the most comforting and assuring statement in his book.
John starts by saying that the reason he is writing these things, is so that we may not sin. What things is John referring to?, my opinion is that he is referring to everything he has written in this book. John makes his intention of writing very clear, he is writing so that we may not sin. Knowing that I am a sinner and still struggling with sin, John’s intention that we may not sin, seems very difficult. Not only that, John in chapter 1 verses 8-10 said that if we say that we have no sin or have not sinned, we are lying and make God a liar. So, how can John then say that he is writing so that we may not sin, does he not know that we will sin? John clears this confusion by making the most comforting and assuring statement. John says, but if we do sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, the holy, the right. This statement by John acknowledges that we will sin and therefore clears the confusion but, he then says if we do sin, we have one who will plead our case with God, Jesus Christ the Holy one.
When we sin, we break God’s law and therefore need to appear before God’s court for judgement. Speaking now in human terms. Now, if we do need to appear, we need an advocate, an attorney, who will plead the case for us. So, each time we sin, Jesus pleads our case with God. In Rom 8:34, we see Jesus who has died, was raised, Who is now at the right hand of the Father, interceding to God on our behalf. Similarly in Heb 7:25, where the verse says Jesus always lives to intercede for us. In 1 Tim 2:5, we see Jesus as a mediator and the only mediator between us and God.
John then rightly calls Jesus a propitiation of our sins, the one through whom our sins have been forgiven. John says, Jesus is not only a propitiation for them only but for the whole world. Only through Jesus is our sins forgiven. Col 1:20 says that Jesus made peace by the blood of His cross
Do I have a relationship with Jesus test.
3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.
4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,
5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
Word Study: The word keep comes from the Greek word “tereo” which has a basic meaning of to keep in view, to take note or to watch over. It literally means to guard, keep hold in reserve, preserve for a purpose, maintain or keep in tact.
Comment: How do I know if I have a relationship with Jesus, a personal relationship? John moves to another test that we can use to determine whether we have a personal relationship with Jesus. Do we know Jesus? John says this is how we can for sure know, that we know Jesus or have come to have a personal relationship with Him, how do we know? We know that we know Jesus, if we keep His commandments. This is proof that we have come to know Jesus, we have come to have a personal relationship with Him.
What does it mean to keep His commandments. It means to obey them, to keep them in view as you live your life, to guard your behavior against the commandment, to maintain your life according to what the commandments say. In short, proof that we have come to know Jesus, is if we obey and continue to obey His commandments.
John then says if anyone says they know or have a personal relationship with Jesus, and they don’t obey His commandments, then they are lying and they don’t have the truth in them. No-one has a relationship with Jesus, who does not obey Him.
This is a very simple test. All you have to do, is to look at your life and determine if you live a life of continuing obedience to Jesus, if yes, you know Him, if not, you don’t, if you think you do while you don’t obey, you are a liar.
Then John says if we indeed obey His commandments, then truly the love of God is perfected in us. We truly show that we love God when we obey Jesus’s commandments.
John says that this life of obedience to Jesus’s commandments shows that we have unity with Him, we live in Him. If you say you abide or remain in Jesus or have unity with Jesus, then you ought to walk as He did.
Message: It’s very simple, to have a personal relationship with Jesus, to have unity with Him, means to obey His commandments and to walk as He walked. If you don’t, you don’t have a relationship with Him