1 John 2:1-6
My little children, these things write I to you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father…
The manner of our restoration, if we fall short of the sinless aim, not less than the sinless aim itself, is fitted to guard against any abuse of John's doctrine of forgiveness. It is through an advocacy altogether incompatible with anything like the toleration of evil.
I. HE IS "JESUS CHRIST THE RIGHTEOUS." Jesus! He is called Jesus because He saves His people from their sins. Christ! the Anointed! whom the Father anoints through the Spirit; whom I also, through the Spirit, in sympathy with the Father, humbly venture to anoint! His Christ and mine! But the emphatic word here is "righteous." This term may be understood as pointing, not to the legal righteousness which Christ has — or rather which Christ is — but to the righteousness of His character, and of His manner of advocacy with the Father for us. In any court in which I had a cause to maintain I would wish to have a righteous advocate. I do not want one to tell me smooth things, putting a fair face on what will not stand close scrutiny, getting up untenable lines of defence, and keeping me in good humour till ruin comes. Give me an advocate who, much as he may care for me, cares for honesty and honour, for law and justice, still more. Such an advocate is Jesus Christ for us in the high court of heaven; for He is "Jesus Christ the righteous." Such an advocate is He also when, in the capacity, as it were, of chamber counsel, He is with us in our closet, to listen to all that we have to say, to all our confessions and complaints, our enumeration of grievances, our unbosoming ourselves of all our anxieties and all our griefs. He will so ply His office, and travail in His work of advocacy between the Father and us, as to preserve the right understanding which He has Himself brought about and obviate the risk of renewed separation. He will make it all subservient to our more thorough cleansing from sin and our closer walk with God; our being "holy as He is holy."
II. "HE IS THE PROPITIATION FOR OUR SINS." He is so now. He is present with us now as our advocate with the Father; and it is as being the propitiation for our sins that He is present with us. He draws near; the Spirit so taking of what is His and showing it to me as to bring Him near. Can I touch these hands which I have been nailing again to the accursed tree, or feel them touching me again to bless me, without my whole frame thrilling as the voice runs through my inmost soul — "Sin no more"; "Thou art dead to sin"?
III. There is a supplement added which still further explains the sort of advocacy which Jesus Christ the righteous carries on. He is "THE PROPITIATION FOR OUR SINS; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." This is added to preclude the possibility of a believer thinking that, if he lapses, it is under some method of recovery different from that which is available for all mankind. Where, then, ye children of the light and of the day — ye followers of the Father and of His Son Jesus Christ — where is your peculiar privilege of sinning lightly and being easily restored? What is there in that sin of yours that should make it lie less heavily on your conscience, and afflict your souls less grievously, than the sins which, when you were of the world, you committed?
(R. S. Candlish, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: