Jesus Is Our Advocate
Read 1 John 2:1-17
John opens up by greeting the church in Ephesus as little children. This is said as a term of endearment, not as belittlement. It shows great love for the reader. Then he continues to say what his intention for his letter is. He is writing to help them flee from sin. He is looking out for our best interest out of love. We have an advocate. Just like in court, we have a lawyer fighting for us, we have Jesus fighting for us. Only Jesus Christ, the all righteous one, can restore us to righteousness. Righteousness means being in good relationship with if we go back to its Greek roots.
He is our advocate that fights against the sins we have done, but he also took on our punishment of death. We needed an eternal punishment for our eternal death caused by our sin. There is nothing we can do to earn salvation, but instead, Jesus paid the price. He is the propitiation for our sins. This means that he is the appeasement of wrath. Jesus appeased God’s holy anger against sin so that we may be in right relationship with him.
Just like it says in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave is only begotten son that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Jesus died so that all may have salvation and live in right relationship with him. Our part is to repent and believe in the gospel. God’s grace is a gift available to anyone who repents and believes. If we know him, we love him for what he has done for us.
To love and know him involves a personal and intimate relationship. Through that relationship, we are transformed. Our minds and our hearts are made new. We are called to be like Christ and to walk in the light. Being like Christ means we imitate his loving nature, his obedience and devotion to God, and his selflessness to others. This means loving and giving even when it hurts.
This commandment is not new. We see it throughout the Old Testament. It is written that we have to have love for God and love for others. Jesus reiterates this in the New Testament when questioned about what the greatest command is.
In the next chunk, we see John addressing fathers, young men, and children. John is using this language to symbolize the stages of spiritual maturity in a Christian’s life. He gives each an encouragement.
This last chunk encourages us not to place things above God. We must love God and serve him only. John is not saying that the whole created order is evil, for it is not, it was created by God. Human desires are part of God’s creation; they are evil when they are expressed in forms that God did not create them for. Take for example sex. Sex is a human desire that God made, but for the context of marriage.
John ends this chapter by saying the world is passing away. The world comes to an end and that end is planned by God. We see the end times played out in Revelation. Spoiler alert, God will rule. That is something that we can have confidence in and look forward to.