The tremendous possibilities of having Jesus as our Advocate
VIDEO: “… these things I write to you that you may not sin.” A powerful sermon on our possibilities as forgiven Christians!
An Advocate with the Father: Jesus Christ the righteous
“My little children, these things I write 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.
In his follow up to the message delivered by Gary Fenn on Jesus our Advocate, Philip Derkatch focuses on a very important part of this verse:
“And our goal is that we may not sin! Our goal is that we actually become like Jesus, in His footsteps. Christians are called Christians because they were Christ like, it says. And that’s the goal, to be like our Master. We want to be like Him!”
The best lawyer ever
“We have this best lawyer ever in all of history fighting for our cause! He’s fighting and defending us, and then if He is for us, who can be against us? If He is with us, what can harm you? So with boldness we could be filled with this spirit of faith and learn to walk in His footsteps, so that we can fulfill these verses: ‘and do not sin.’ It’s possible for those who want that with all of their life. That’s His goal! That’s why He came to earth. That He could have many brethren following in His footsteps.”
It’s important to see that in that verse John doesn’t say “when anyone sins,” as if it should be a foregone conclusion, but “if anyone sins.” Our faith and our goal is for, and if we should fall, our Advocate is there for us. But our goal is that we don’t fall, and the falling becomes less and less as we walk in His footsteps and learn of Him.
Watch and listen to the whole sermon here and read the entire transcript below.
I want to thank God for what we heard here this morning, so clearly. And I’d like to read that a little bit again in 1 John 2:1: “My little children, these things I write to you so that you may not sin.” So that’s the goal. It’s clearly stated there. That’s His desire. “And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
That’s tremendous good news, that we have this advocate, this lawyer, in the corner pleading our cause. And that’s how it is usually in court. You have the prosecutor, or accuser, and we know who that is, accusing us of doing something. And then to have that lawyer. We don’t have to answer him. Our lawyer fights for us. And like we heard so clearly, He knows us intimately. This High Priest who is acquainted with all our weaknesses. And He defends us, because He sees our heart, He sees our intention. What is our intention? That we may not sin. That’s the goal.
But the truth is we all know through experiences that we begin to walk like that small toddler, and of course we fall. And then we’re sorry, because we clearly want to walk. When a child falls the mother doesn’t go around saying to her friend or neighbor, “Oh, by the way, my child is falling all day.” She says, “My child’s starting to walk!” She’s so excited: “He can walk! And yeah, he falls now and then still. Almost never though!” Day four, five, you can see he starts to get better. He starts to walk, because the goal is that he walks! And our goal is that we may not sin! Our goal is that we actually become like Jesus, in His footsteps. Christians are called Christians because they were Christ-like, it says. And that’s the goal, to be like our Master.
And of course, on that way we experience these falls. But our goal is not to stay down, like we heard, and wallow. Our goal is to keep walking. And you know children, they want to walk, and they want to run, really quick. And they manage it because they are zealous to get up there. They really want to get up there. So they fall for a few days, or a few weeks, and they tumble. And then they start to run. And then they fall again, then they run and run and run! It seems like they never stop running! Because that’s their goal. They want to get up there! And that’s how we are. We want to be like Him!
But I’m so glad that we have this Advocate, Jesus Christ the righteous. And we must keep that as our foundation. That He forgave us. He came to us while we were yet sinners. We did not love Him; He loved us first! That love was one way. It wasn’t reciprocal. It was all His goodness to us before the foundations were formed of this earth. He called you and me out. That tremendous, unconditional love!
And there it’s written; Paul writes it to the Ephesians very powerfully. I think it meant so much to him. You read that in Ephesians 2:1: “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” That’s how it is. It doesn’t matter how noble a people we came from, what our family name is, how religious we were, how religious our forefathers were. We were once dead in trespasses and sins and He made us alive! When you’re dead you can’t do anything about that. So, that was one way. Completely undeserved.
And it sounds almost fantasifull what we heard here. It’s written in the prophet that He saw our sins, and He saw us while we were yet sinners, and because of that tremendous sorrow we had in our heart, we had a deepand forgiveness that we asked for, that He could forgive us. And God is so amazing, like we heard, He cast it into His sea, and He blots out all our transgressions. Because He was the propitiation. He was the atoner for our sin. Him. He paid the price. In His body He bore our stripes. It said He was for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities. So He paid the price. We could never pay that price. But we feel tremendous indebtedness. And we want to fulfill, like we heard in the song, Jesus’ laws. His commandments, we want to fulfill! It’s not commandments of the law, of Moses, it’s commandments of Jesus and our desire is to fulfill them! And to be made alive in the spirit. And to not sin, to please Him, so we never have that separation with God the Father that we once experienced.
And you can see this here in verse 4: “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) …” And then it says in verse 6: “… and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus …” What a tremendous grace! He made us alive. There was nothing we did. By grace we’re saved. And then it says in 7: “… that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
So can anyone boast here that they’ve been forgiven of their sins? Can anyone be proud of that, that I’ve been forgiven of my sins? That makes me so different, by nature, than others? No! We were lost! We were dead in our transgressions. And our Lord and Savior, that High Priest who understands us, He paid a price for us and gave Himself as guilt offering. We didn’t find an animal and sacrifice it so we’d be forgiven of our sins. Jesus Christ the righteous, the righteous died for the unrighteous. The godly died for the ungodly. And we love Him. We know that He loves us, and we want to please Him.
And it can be that we’re once forgiven of our sins, but then of course we learn to walk. But then there’s the unconscious sins as well, that we can hear in our tone of voice afterwards. What we said, what we did, that affects people. And of course, the accuser says, “Ah! You said that!” And you did say that. You didn’t mean to say that. You don’t even recall being tempted, perhaps. But you did say that. And so the accuser comes: “Look at that! You’re guilty according to this, you said this, you did that, you showed impatience to someone.” Oh, I thank and praise God that we have that Advocate, that lawyer fighting for us! Like we heard so clearly and powerfully. He says: “That is my true son! That’s my true daughter! They want to be like Me. They still have sin in theirto overcome. And let’s work with them. Fight for them. And I will powerfully intercede for them, until they live this life that I lived in the days of my flesh.”
So we have this tremendous High Priest. We have Him who paid the atonement for our sins. It was a gift of God. Let’s not treat it lightly, that tremendous gift by giving us His life. We pay back by being faithful to Him, faithful to His commandments. And we don’t go back time and time again, and say, “It doesn’t matter if I sin, I’ll just be forgiven. It really doesn’t matter.” And one can be sloppy and lukewarm. Is that one who wants to be like Jesus? Is that one ever going to learn to walk? Of course not! They’ll be like we heard. He’ll just lie there, wallowing in his mire. And like it says, the dog returns to its vomit, the sow to its mire. That’s how it is to willfully sin again after we see the truth. Then we are not of the truth, then we don’t want to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. And one misuses this grace to their own destruction.
So I thank and praise God that we have this grace that we’re saved. This gift that we can come out of complete darkness and trespasses and sin, and learn to be a young, small child in Jesus and learn day by day to walk. And our legs get stronger and stronger, faith comes into our heart. He breathes life into us! He gives us power to overcome. And power to live His life. He gives us this life, that we can follow in His footsteps. We learn to walk and run with Him. That we become fit to be called His brethren. Oh, think to have that name: “This is My brother, this is My sister, whom I’m not ashamed of. Because their heart is pure. They want to be like Me. They want to follow in the footsteps. I understand them. I’ve gone through it.”
What a tremendous price He paid to take on in His body that flesh and blood like the children! Him, who knew no sin. He looked like in the appearance of sinful flesh so He’d understand what it is to be tempted in all points like as we. What a merciful, wonderful High Priest we have. And there He’s fighting for us in that corner! So we don’t have to listen to the accuser. We don’t have to listen to him who lies and deceives. We have this best lawyer ever in all of history fighting for our cause! He’s fighting and defending us, and then if He is for us, who can be against us? If He is with us, what can harm you? So with boldness we could be filled with this spirit of faith and learn to walk in His footsteps, so that we can fulfill these verses: “… and do not sin.” It’s possible for those who want that with all of their life. That’s His goal! That’s why He came to earth. That He could have many brethren following in His footsteps.
So I thank and praise God that we have this calling. And we have this hope in our heart that we’re made alive from the dead, from transgressions and sins in Him who loved us before we loved Him. We will pay back that best we can by being faithful in our daily life. And that pleases Him. And don’t we want to please Him? We don’t want in any way make Him sad or sorry, and we understand that sin does that. But if we do sin, you have an Advocate with the Father. And I’ve needed that Advocate. And I’m so glad I still have that Advocate that’s fighting for me in the corner. And He’s fighting for you. So you and I can go this way that Jesus went. And He will not be ashamed of those who have that in their heart to be like Him. And they’re in sorrow, and in need when they fall short of that goal, of course. But soon we’ll be walking. And soon we’ll be running with Him.
So may God bless each one powerfully. Let these words of faith that we heard burn in our heart, so we live for nothing else! And those whose hearts are burning for Him, they will not be put to shame. Hold fast in your faith! And you’ll see these words can be fulfilled. John’s exhortation – he lived that life. And he’s exhorting us today, that we can also live this life. Praise be to our Advocate and the firstborn of many brethren. Praise be to Him, our High Priest who’s with us day and night, pleading for us. Oh, we’re the most fortunate, blessed people! May God bless each one.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, unless otherwise specified. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.