Christ Our Advocate – A Study Outline
I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
1 John 2:1
Observations on the Word
- Though mentioned of the Holy Spirit elsewhere, this is the only reference to Christ.
- The Greek word is paraklētos (G3875).
- It refers to one who is called alongside. Vine says that it “is a primarily verbal adjective and suggests the capability or adaptability for giving aid. . . used in a court of justice to denote a legal assistant. . . an advocate.”
- Thayer’s: “summoned, called to one’s side, especially called to one’s aid. . . one who pleads another’s cause with one, an intercessor.”
- A similar word, pareklēsis, “consolation” is used of Christ.
- He is the consolation of Israel (Luke 2:25).
- We have consolation in Christ (Philippians 2:1).
- Jesus Christ and the Father have given us everlasting consolation (2 Thessalonians 2:16).
Observations on the Text
- “That you sin not”—the supreme wish of the apostle and of God.
- “And if any man does sin”—our supreme weakness and constant failure.
- The sin was avoidable, yet it happened regardless. Tremendous cause for guilt.
- The big question in our minds: “What will God do with me now?”
- Notice the individuality (“if any man”), telling us the level on which the Lord deals in His role as Advocate.
- “We have”
- “We,” that is, believers specifically. The present work of Christ is only for those who have a real link with Him.
- Note that even though the sin is individual His advocacy applies to all believers. He is comprehensive in His intercession. He is impartial. Because you are a believer, you have an advocate, PERIOD.
- “Have” as a possession. His advocacy, note, is not based on my confession but on my possession. Before the guilt is felt He is already before the Father.
- “Advocate.” Wonderful mercy for the undeserving. Calvary as the epitome of divine love secures all our present mercies. We look to the cross on which He bore the world’s sin and are confident that He can presently deal with my individual sin.
- “With the Father.”
- Pros (“with”) denotes an active relationship as Mr. Vincent comments. There is clear direction and purpose. This is not simply positional. This is practical.
- Note that it is with the Father specifically. This, as is typical of John, is a family context.
- This is where the distinction between His priesthood and His advocacy is drawn.
- His advocacy has to do with our individual sins; His priesthood deals with the broader scope of our weakness.
- His advocacy restores communion; His priesthood secures access.
- His advocacy ends when we are glorified; He is a Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
- His advocacy is before the Father; His priesthood is before God.
- His advocacy is based on His righteousness in a legal court; His priesthood is based on His sympathy on the throne.
- “Jesus Christ, the Righteous.” The only way I question His advocacy for me is to question the merits of His righteousness. The conditional possibility of restoration is based on the unconditional basis of His righteousness; thus, restoration to communion with God is always a real opportunity.
- “And He is the propitiation [appeasement/satisfaction of divine wrath].” This is always the basis for any of His mediatorial roles and intercession.
- His righteousness allows Him before the throne; His propitiation gives me a place before the throne.
- His righteousness gives credibility to His pleading; His propitiation gives credibility to our cause.
Faith is not what we feel or see;
It is a simple trust
In what the God of love has said
Of Jesus as “the Just.”
What Jesus is, and that alone,
Is faith’s delightful plea;
It never deals with sinful self,
Or righteous self, in me.
— J.C. Ryle