This post is part of the series His Encouragement
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Welcome! Welcome, dearest friends, to His Encouragement: Biblical Inspiration for Your Thursday. Every Thursday, a few blogging friends and I will each bring you a Bible passage and a little hope-filled discussion. We pray that these Thursday posts help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you.
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, ESV
According to the Dictionary, an advocate is “a person who pleads for or on the behalf of another; intercessor” and “a person who pleads the cause of another in a court of law”.
1 John 2:1 is a beautiful promise because it explains the ideal goal – “that you may not sin” – but also provides comfort in knowing that Jesus is our advocate, our intercessor, our defense attorney when we do sin.
Why is this important? Because the Bible tells us clearly that “everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God” (1 John 3:4) and that the consequence of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
Many people – perhaps even you – have a distorted mental image of God. They believe Him to be an angry, wrathful God perched up in heaven, eagerly waiting for us to mess up so He can punish us.
However, a careful reading of the Scriptures paints a very different picture. Let’s take a moment to contemplate the scene.
The big picture
The Creator creates a perfect world where no evil of any kind exists and places the first human beings there. These humans are precious to Him, and He gives them a few rules to ensure their safety and happiness. Time passes (we don’t know how much) and they decide to disobey the rules, which results in consequences. One consequence is that evil infiltrates the once perfect world, resulting in a vicious cycle of pain, sorrow, and death.
However, instead of destroying this little planet and its wayward inhabitants, the loving Creator places it under quarantine and sets a plan into motion to redeem it. A plan that requires God Himself to take on human form, live the sinless life we no longer can with all of the temptations and challenges that we experience. Then He willingly takes our place and gives His very life – literally risking everything – to pay the ultimate penalty of sin (death).
Through it all, there is an adversary who has spread lies about the Creator and His character. This adversary even launched a rebellion in a failed attempt to take His place as supreme ruler of the universe. To this day, he vengefully attempts to destroy everything the Creator holds dear.
God is on trial
Imagine it a moment: One by one each human being is brought into a heavenly courtroom. Before all of the unfallen beings and worlds, this adversary spews condemnations; brings up all of our past mistakes, our sins, our secrets, our flaws, our weaknesses, our shame, our guilt; and fights for our annihilation.
“This pathetic human,” he shouts, “is a SINNER. She has broken Your law! She has committed grievous crimes against Your heavenly government. We all know the penalty for such things: Death! Put her to death!”
The judge gazes down at the accused with sympathy, but He has to let the scene play out. You see, it is not really the human race that is on trial on judgment day. God Himself is on trial.
A crime has been committed and there must be a punishment. If not, the adversary would cry to the entire universe: “See! God is unfair and unjust! He forces all of us to obey, but He bends His own law when it suits His purpose! He is a liar and not worthy of worship!”
On the other hand, if God metes out the proper punishment dictated by the law, the adversary would say: “God claims to be love and mercy, but He murders His own creation for making a mere mistake! He is hateful and not worthy of worship!”
And all of the universe – the angels on God’s side, the angels on the adversary’s side, and the untold billions of beings from worlds unknown to us – all watch and wait with bated breath. What is going to happen? How will God rule? Is He really love (1 John 4:8) or has it all been one big lie?
Jesus our advocate
It is with this tension-filled scene in mind that 1 John 2:1 confidently declares: “…if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
That is when Jesus steps forward. He is our advocate, our defense lawyer in these cosmic proceedings. Jesus knows everything about us and yet He still wraps His loving arms around our quivering shoulders. He boldly declares to the Father and all those present on judgment day:
“All that you have said is true, but none of it matters. This one is My precious lamb. The law was broken, yes, and a crime committed, but the penalty has already been paid. I died in her place, and my blood has washed away all of her sins.“
The judge’s final ruling
The just and merciful Judge, God the Father (2 Peter 3:9), accepts Jesus’ atonement for the sins of the accused. Then he pardons us and purges the records. Doing so allows us to once again participate in the perfection that was originally intended for all of humanity in a world without sin, without evil, without pain, without suffering, without death.
That is how much God loves you!
And not just you alone, but the entire world!
1 John 2:2 continues: “He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.”
Amen! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! This is the good news of the Gospel. This is the marvelous grace and matchless love that caused the disciples to leave their regular lives to follow a thirty-year-old who spoke in parables, chastized the hypocrites, healed the sick, and hung out with those society labeled “sinners”.
This is the astonishing mercy and unparalleled justice that spread through civilization like wildfire, touching hearts hardened by pain and giving hope that one day, fair and righteous justice would be served.There is an accused, an accuser, a judge, an advocate, and the entire universe is watching with bated breath to see what happens… Click To Tweet
Yes, there is an advocate! And that advocate is Jesus Christ! He is offering to represent you in the celestial courts on judgment day pro bono. He is waiting, longing to take you under His protection.
All you need to do is simply ask.
What verse has touched your heart this week? Share in the comments below!
Be sure to also visit my fellow bloggers and read their encouragement for your Thursday as well:
- Trisha of Joy of Reading
- Nicole of The Christian Fiction Girl
- Jessica of A Baker’s Perspective
- Becca of The Becca Files
- Gina of Stories by Gina
- Rev. Rebecca Writes
- Andi of Radiant Light
- Leslie of Edits & Reviews by Leslie
Are you in the market for a new Bible?
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Continue reading this series:
His Encouragement: Listen to advice and accept instruction