10/31/Su – Our Advocate

Daniel 8:1-14; 1 John 2:1-6; Psalms 119:153-159; Proverbs 26:23

NT: “My little children, I am writing you these things so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father — Jesus Christ the righteous one. He himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world. This is how we know that we know him: if we keep his commands. The one who says, “I have come to know him,” and yet doesn’t keep his commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, truly in him the love of God is made complete. This is how we know we are in him: The one who says he remains in him should walk just as he walked.” (‭‭1 John‬ ‭2:1-6‬ ‭CSB)

At the end of the first chapter of this letter, John wrote about walking in the light of truth and not in the darkness of deception and falsehood… of confessing our sins unto forgiveness instead of hiding or denying sins for the sake of appearing righteous. When this letter was written there were no chapters and verses. John’s thought continued from chapter 1 into chapter 2. In context of what he just wrote about walking in the light, John said, “I am writing these things so that you may not sin… but if you do, we have and advocate with the Father.” The hope, goal and expectation of walking in the Light is that we do not sin… but if we do, we have an advocate. The Greek word translated here as advocate in parakletos. That is the same word that is used to describe the Holy Spirit our helper.  Parakletos is someone who is called or summoned to one’s side. The Holy Spirit is our parakletos – He comes to our side to walk with us, empower us, help us and lead us. Jesus Christ, the Righteous One – the one who made a way for us to become righteous in Him – is a parakletos with the Father. He sits at the right hand of God and intercedes on our behalf. If we sin and confess our sin, Jesus intercedes on our behalf to the Father, who then forgives us and cleanses us from our unrighteousness. Through Jesus our advocate, though we may commit sins, we can be sin-free through open and honest confession and repentance.

How do we remain in relationship with our advocate with the Father? We remain in relationship through obedience born our of our faith in Him and our love for Him. If we truly have faith in Christ, that faith will be evidenced through obedience to His word. If we truly love Christ, that love will be expressed through obedience to His word. If we do not obey the teachings and commands of our Lord and Savior, then is He truly our Lord… and if we have not declared Him as Lord, is He truly our Savior? Our walk should align with our talk. If we say that we know the Lord (have intimate fellowship with Him) but do not keep His commands, then we are walking in deceit and falsehood. If we truly know the Lord, we will walk just as He walked: in faith-filled, loving obedience to the word, will and ways of God.

Psalms: “Consider my affliction and rescue me, for I have not forgotten your instruction. Champion my cause and redeem me; give me life as you promised. Salvation is far from the wicked because they do not study your statutes. Your compassions are many, Lord; give me life according to your judgments. My persecutors and foes are many. I have not turned from your decrees. I have seen the disloyal and feel disgust because they do not keep your word. Consider how I love your precepts; Lord, give me life according to your faithful love. The entirety of your word is truth, each of your righteous judgments endures forever.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:153-160‬ ‭CSB)

Just as John explained, the psalmist declared that salvation comes through faith-filled love for and obedience to the word, will and ways of the Lord God. Salvation was far from the wicked. Why? Because they had a disdain for God’s word, will and ways. Seeing people that were disloyal to God’s word, will and ways caused the psalmist to be deeply grieved. The English word used here is disgust… and it is disgusting to see people act deceitfully or faithlessly – not because the people are disgusting – but because the torment and death that comes from being separated from God is disgusting. Life, light, freedom, enduring peace, everlasting joy and salvation from torment and death comes only through faith in God and His Christ, that is born in us through faith in His word.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you that You are my advocate with the Father. As the Apostle Peter wrote, everything I need to live a life of godliness and holiness has been provided by You and is found in You. But if I do fall into sin, I can be cleansed and forgiven from that sin as I confess and repent, and You advocate for me to the Father. Help me to maintain my light and life-giving relationship with You through faith-filled loving obedience to Your word, will and ways as You give me the grace to walk in the Light by faith. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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