Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The One and Only Advocate

"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 for ours only, 
but also for those of the whole world."
1 John 2:1-2

ad·vo·cate n. a person who pleads for or in behalf of another; intercessor.

If ever we needed an advocate, it is when we stand in front of a Holy God. There is nothing in us with which we can plead our own case. To stand sinless before God is impossible, for the Bible tells us that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23).  This is bad news for anyone who thinks she can enter Heaven based on how much good she has done. Good works? Isaiah 64:6 says, "For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away." Bad news, indeed. But God doesn't want our iniquities to take us away like the wind. He gave us an Advocate in the person of Jesus Christ. The perfect, sinless Son of God took our sins upon the cross and paid the price that God's holiness and righteousness demands. And so the man who recognizes his pitiful condition -- his wholly sinful state - can receive the righteousness of Christ and therefore allow HIm to intercede with the Father on his behalf. Christ is the propitiation - the atonement - for our sins. More than that, for the sins of the whole world. But the only way Christ can step in as our Advocate is if we ask him to.  "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name" (John 1:12). It's not enough to believe Christ existed, we have to believe that His sacrifice is sufficient for our sins and receive Him as our only Advocate. Now that's good news.

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