1 John 2:1 – The Advocate

By Wayne Jackson

One of the purposes of John’s first epistle was to inoculate against sin. “. . . These things write I unto you that you may not sin.” Of course human beings are weak, and even the most conscientious sin. And so provision is made: ". . . if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. . . " The term “if” does not suggest that some might live above sin; rather, the word here is used in the sense of “when.” Note that.

Of special importance here is the use of “Advocate.” It derives from a Greek word suggesting “to call to one’s side.” Underline “Advocate,” and in your margin write: Call to one’s side; attorney. Christ is our attorney, pleading our case before the Father. What a thrilling concept! Observe also that His qualification to function in such a vital role is further set forth. He is Christ Jesus “the righteous.” Absolutely righteous. Because of His own perfect life and sacrificial death, He can plead for mercy for us on the basis of what He did.

There is another crucial point to note in connection with verse 2. Christ’s work as an Advocate is not only available for Christians, it is potentially available for the whole world. This is not in harmony with the Calvinistic notion that Jesus died only for the elect. John’s affirmation contradicts the dogma of “limited atonement.” Underline the phrase “the whole world” in verse 2, and note: Refutes doctrine of “limited atonement.”

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About the Author

Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.