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: And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:1,2).
Oh, the tenderness of God towards His creation! After clearly explaining the fallen condition of man in that we all possess a sin nature and commit sin (1 John 1:7-10), the Holy Spirit makes this appeal to us as “my little children”. And what is His appeal? That we as sinners by nature and by choice with no hope of being just before God on our own, have an Advocate with The Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous. And what does God proceed to tell us that Jesus did for us in order to make that possible? He became the propitiation for our sins.
In order for us to appreciate what John is writing to us, it is imperative that we understand the meaning of the two words advocate and propitiation. An advocate is one who pleads the cause of another before the courts. To propitiate means to appease or pacify the wrath of someone by paying the atoning sacrifice.
In other words, John is writing to tell us that Jesus Christ is both our advocate and propitiatory sacrifice, by whom we come to the Father. These biblical truths magnify the unconditional, unmerited, saving grace of God that is extended towards us through Jesus Christ. After telling us that we are sinners by nature and by choice, John then writes” if any man sin”…excuse me? All men sin and fall sort of the glory of God, thus these words of Scripture are meant to be read and believed by every single person here this morning. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).
Lest you think that all we need to do in light of these truths is “accept” Jesus as Savior and go on living our lives without any moral change, think again. John precedes this glorious revelation concerning Jesus with the words, “these things write I unto you that you sin not”. John is not talking about sinless perfection, but he is talking about living a life of purity (1 John 3:3) for the glory of God. As we come to The Lord’s Supper this morning, may we come with adoration and appreciation for the life changing grace that has made us new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).