Thursday, October 25, 2012

Jesus, our Advocate Part I: Confession

In 1 John 2:1, we are told that Jesus Christ is our advocate.  A statement of the apostle that the great object which he had in writing to them was that they should not sin; and yet if they sinned, and were conscious that they were guilty before God, they should not despair, for they had an Advocate with the Father who had made propitiation for the sins of the world. However, this must be understood in the context of the previous verses as it is a continuation and should not be separated. Confession precedes advocacy. 

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. " 1 John 1:9
We can get four basic lessons from this text:

  1. There is no use in attempting to conceal our offences, 1Jo 1:8. They are known, all known, to one Being, and they will at some future period all be disclosed. We cannot hope to evade punishment by hiding them; we cannot hope for impunity because we suppose they may be passed over as if unobserved. No man can escape on the presumption either that his sins are unknown, or that they are unworthy of notice.
  2. It is manly to make confession when we have sinned, 1Jo 1:9-10. All meanness was in doing the wrong, not in confessing it; what we should be ashamed of is that we are guilty, not that confession is to be made. When a wrong has been done, there is no nobleness in trying to conceal it; and as there is no nobleness in such an attempt, so there could be no safety.
  3. Peace of mind, when wrong has been done, can be found only in confession, 1Jo 1:9-10 . That is what nature prompts to when we have done wrong, if we would find peace, and that the religion of grace demands. When a man has done wrong, the least that he can do is to make confession; and when that is done and the wrong is pardoned, all is done that can be to restore peace to the soul.
  4. The ease of salvation, 1Jo 1:9. What more easy terms of salvation could we desire than an acknowledgment of our sins? No painful sacrifice is demanded; no penance, pilgrimage, or voluntary scourging; all that is required is that there should be an acknowledgment of sin at the foot of the cross, and if this is done with a true heart the offender will be saved. If a man is not willing to do this, why should he be saved? How can he be?
in part II, we'll look at the role of an advocate in a human court. This will later help us understand the role of Jesus Christ as an advocate in heaven. Check tomorrow's post.

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