“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin.
But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father
in our defense–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.”
(1 John 2:1)
Sin is not to be taken lightly. Jesus Christ’s death upon the Cross should convince us of that – and John underlines it here. However John is enough of a realist to know that consciously and unconsciously we will still sin – and so he deals with it.
Sinning again, after becoming a Christian, does not mean that there needs to be another Saviour. Jesus died once and for all – for all the sin of the world past, present and future. It also does not mean that we have now fallen out of our new relationship with God. We have become His sons and daughters for eternity and so,
“neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
Jesus then speaks to the Father ‘in our defence.’ However it is not, as some have imagined, a loving Saviour pleading with a judgemental God. On the contrary God is Love. Here instead Jesus is speaking as the One by whom and in whom we are forgiven and made righteous. In that capacity He speaks to the God of Love, presenting Himself on our behalf as the One in whom the debt has already been paid.
“He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 2:2)
So He presents Himself to the loving Father as the Lamb of God who has dealt with our sin, and by Whom we are now in a right relationship with God. And God who is Love smiles on Him, and so on us, and agrees. And so
“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)
Get a grip on this great truth. Don’t let it lead you to treat sin lightly – rather to know and value forgiveness more deeply.
Lord help me to grasp the truth and reality of Your wonderful love – and to live in it and trust it completely. Amen.