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Care of the Advocate

View daily reading plan: 1 John 2.1-3

John makes clear that, for the believer, sinning should be abnormal rather than normal. However, he is realistic; he knows that we will never attain perfection this side of heaven, and so he adds, “And if any man sin...”. Verb tenses are important, and here John is referring to isolated acts of sin, and not the constant practice of sin alluded to in 3.9. Habitual sinning as a lifestyle demonstrates that a man has never been born again.

But what if a genuine believer does sin? “We have an advocate with the Father”. It is vital to note that God is still referred to as “the Father”. The erring child is still in His family! When a believer sins the enjoyment of his relationship with the Father is disturbed, but the vital family link can never be severed. However, restoration is needed if spiritual family life is to be enjoyed.

The Lord Jesus is available as “an advocate”(Gk. paracletos, a helper, translated “Comforter” in regard to the Holy Spirit in John 14.16). His activity helps the wayward believer back into the enjoyment of fellowship with the Father. Again, there is stress on the fact that it can all be accomplished perfectly righteously. The One who effects it is “Jesus Christ the righteous”, and it is based on His work of propitiation. On the basis of His sacrifice, sinning saints can be restored to the Father’s favour.

In failure then, let us all be sensitive to the work of the Helper as He encourages us back into the full enjoyment of being one of God’s family.

Sunday, 28 April, 2024

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