Life-Study of 1, 2, & 3 John, Judeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we shall continue to consider 2:1-2.
In verse 1 John says, “My little children, these things I write to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous.” We have seen that here John tells his little children, all the recipients of this Epistle, that his intention in writing was that they would not sin. But if anyone sins, we have an Advocate, a helper or counsel, with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous.
In verse 2 John goes on to say that Christ is “a propitiation concerning our sins, and not concerning ours only, but also concerning the whole world.” As we have pointed out, the Lord Jesus Christ has offered Himself to God as a sacrifice for our sins, not only for our redemption but also for God’s satisfaction. His vicarious death satisfied God and appeased Him. Hence, He is the propitiation between God and us. As the propitiation concerning man’s sins, the Lord Jesus is for the sins of the whole world. However, this propitiation is conditional upon our receiving it by believing in the Lord.
John’s writing in this Epistle is tender and delicate. When I first read chapter one years ago, I was very happy. However, I did not understand why John added 2:1-2. It seemed to me that the problem of sin had been fully solved in chapter one, and I thought that these verses in chapter two were not necessary. Later I came to appreciate the importance of these verses.
According to chapter one of this Epistle, we have received the divine life, and we are enjoying it in the fellowship of life. In this fellowship we receive the divine light, and in this light we practice the truth. But we still need the warning concerning the sin that dwells in our flesh. We need to be careful and on the alert regarding indwelling sin.
Whenever we sin, we need to confess our sin to God. If we confess our sins, God is faithful in His word to forgive us our sins, and He is righteous in His redemption to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. This is wonderful. Nevertheless, as 2:1-2 indicates, we still need a Person, an Advocate with the Father, to take care of our case. Because we are not capable of handling the case ourselves, we need a heavenly attorney.
In chapter one John speaks of the blood of Jesus, and in chapter two, of our Advocate. Not only has God provided the blood of Jesus Christ, which was shed for us so that we may be forgiven and cleansed; God has also prepared Christ as our Advocate. First, the Lord Jesus shed His blood as the price of our redemption. Then after shedding His blood, He becomes our Advocate, our heavenly attorney, taking care of our case. How marvelous that our Advocate pays our debt and takes care of our case!
The fact that Christ is our Advocate with the Father, and not simply with God, indicates that our case which the Lord undertakes for us is a family affair, a case between us as the Father’s children and the Father. Actually, our Advocate is our elder Brother, the Son of the Father.
The divine family is full of love, but it is also full of righteousness. Hence, there are regulations and also the Father’s discipline. We should never think that in the Father’s house we can be unruly. Our Father is orderly, and His house should be much more orderly than a human court of law. However, as children in the Father’s house, we are often naughty. We make mistakes, break the family regulations, and offend the Father. For this reason, we need the Lord, our elder Brother, to be our Advocate with the Father.
As the One who shed His blood for us, the Lord Jesus is the righteous One. He is right not only with the Father, but also right with us. The Lord is our Paraclete (the anglicized form of parakletos, the Greek word rendered Advocate). He comes alongside to help us, He serves us, He takes care of us, and He provides whatever we need. We were in need of the cleansing blood; therefore, He provided us with His own blood for redemption and cleansing. We also need someone to take care of our case. Therefore, He is now our Advocate, our parakletos.
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