1b And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
We live in a world of many temptations of sin and with a body marred with sinful lusts. Though Christians are not permitted to sin, it is highly likely that we will find ourselves being overtaken by sin from time to time. John’s exhortation here should never be taken as a licence to sin. Nonetheless, if a Christian commits a sin, he should admit his sin and turn to Christ who is our Advocate with the Father in heaven.
The present advocacy of Christ in heaven is due to the fact that we still have sins. In heaven’s court, the charge against our sins will be read out. To make things worse, our adversary, Satan, will press the charge further against us. Satan is a hate-filled prosecutor who accuses us relentlessly (Revelation 12:10; Zechariah 3:1-2). He attempts to turn God against us, as he did in the case of the Old Testament saint, Job (Job 1:6-11).
Undeniably, our sin causes us to be guilty. In view of our absolute inability to have the charge against us disallowed, God’s love has ordained a perfect, able and suitable Advocate for our acquittal. He is Jesus Christ. There are two reasons why a repenting Christian, though he had committed a sin, can be comforted because of Christ, the Advocate.
Firstly, our Advocate, Jesus Christ, is “with the Father”. As our Advocate, Christ will not attempt to hide or deny our guilt. He will admit the guilt of His people for whom He has become the Advocate. He will not forsake them in their hour of need. He will have pity on His people and plead their case with the Father. He will speak to the Father in their defence. Jesus Christ remains with God to plead for every one of His people.
Secondly, our Advocate, Jesus Christ, is “the righteous” One. He is our perfect Advocate. His perfect righteousness is the basis of His plea for us. He will say, “Father, yes, they are sinners. Yes, they are unrighteous. But Thou has accepted Me as their Substitute. Now, please see my righteousness that I have given to them. I also have shed my blood as a propitiation for their sins. They wear my righteousness by faith.” In this way, Christ will appease God’s anger against our sins.
What more can a sinner ask for than this? Let us confess our sin, and embrace our great Advocate, Jesus Christ, by faith. He will not reject us.