We Have An Advocate - 1 John 2:1-2

“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1). The apostle John’s love and concern for his fellow believers is on display in at least three ways in this passage. First, John used a term of endearment to address his readers. They were his little children. Second, John’s purpose in writing to them flowed from a heart of concern. He did not want them to sin. Third, he wanted them to know that they had an Advocate with the Father if they did sin.

John’s mention of an advocate is  informative, comforting, and a cause for rejoicing. He did not want his fellow believers to think that sin and guilt had the final say in their lives. In fact, John  affirmed that this should not be the case. Believers should confess their sins so that they could receive forgiveness and cleansing from the Father (1 John 1:9). That, alone, is a cause for rejoicing and thanksgiving. We should also rejoice and give thanks because we have an advocate with the Father. An advocate is one who appears on another’s behalf. And our advocate is none other than “Jesus Christ the righteous” (This is why some translations capitalize Advocate). The apostle Paul wrote that Jesus is “at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us” (Romans 8:34). Eugene Peterson comments, “we have a Priest-Friend in the presence of the Father.”

Is Jesus qualified to be our advocate? Consider what John had written about Jesus in the opening part of his letter. Jesus is the “Word of Life” (1 John 1:1). He is the “eternal life, which was with the Father” (1 John 1:2). Jesus is the Father’s Son (1 John 1:3). His blood cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7). He is the Christ, and He is righteous (1 John 2:1). John adds one more statement about Jesus that qualifies Him to be our advocate. He wrote, “and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). Man’s relationship with God is broken because of sin, and Jesus serves as God’s means to overcome that broken relationship. In fact, God planned it to be that way. John wrote, “In this is love, not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). Believers can take comfort in knowing that the One who appears on our behalf is the One sent by the Father to serve as our qualified advocate.

Having a qualified advocate to appear on our behalf should not be viewed as an excuse to sin. We should strive to walk in the Light. However, we can be encouraged to know that we have help when we depart from God’s standard of uprightness. We can confess our sins and trust our Advocate to intercede for us.