My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not ours only, but also for those of the whole world. (1st John 2:1-2)
In this passage we find two words of enormous significance which I fear most Christians are unaware of. The failure to understand this passage may cause many to live a life absent of joy, comfort and a peaceful soul. They are the words: advocate and propitiation.
The apostle whom Jesus loved writes to encourage us all not to sin - yet he understood our nature and knew that we all would. Therefore, I believe John wrote this passage for the purpose of bringing comfort and peace to the souls of those whom he knew would stumble on their journey to eternity.
It is not my intent to cause one to think that John condoned sin or to cause one to lessen the consequence of sin. Sin in the life of a Christian will always bring about spiritual sickness. Unabated and continual sin in the life of a Christian will always bring spiritual death!
Yet, the fact remains that Christians will sin! How do we reconcile this knowledge with the salvation which comes to us through the blood of Christ? Two words: advocate and propitiation!
Advocate finds it's root in the Greek word parakletos and depicts one who comes to the aid of another. Webster defines it as: one that pleads the cause of another; specifically : one that pleads the cause of another before a tribunal or judicial court.
Propitiation comes from the Greek word hilaskomai. It carries a meaning of the attributes of grace and mercy. Webster defines it as the act necessary to gain or regain the favor or goodwill.
What wonderful news for those who are called by that worthy name Christian! Though we are admonished not to sin - our spiritual desire so often fails to win the battle over the lusts of the flesh, lusts of the eyes and the boastful pride of life. All Christians find themselves in the dilemma of sin. As students of the Bible we know that sin separates one from God and condemns one to hell. The Christian, though has an advantage over the sinner that has not been reconciled with God. Jesus Christ goes before to the throne of God and pleads our cause. Better yet, He Himself is the fulfillment of God's grace and mercy and is the total sum of what is needed to regain the favor and goodwill of God Almighty.
All Christians will sin, but as long as a Christian does not give in to continual unabated willful sin - there will never be a separation from the grace and mercy of our God.
By Monty F. Parker
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