But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
“If anyone does sin, we have an advocate.” Yes, though we sin, we have Him still. John does not say, “If anyone sins, they have forfeited their advocate,” but “we have an advocate,” even though we are sinners. All the sin that a believer ever did or can be allowed to commit cannot destroy his interest in the Lord Jesus Christ as his advocate. The name given here to our Lord is suggestive. “Jesus.” He is the kind of advocate we need, for Jesus is the name of one whose business and delight it is to save. “You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”1 His sweetest name implies His success.
Next, it is “Jesus Christ”—Christos, the anointed. This shows His authority to plead. Christ has a right to plead, for He is the Father's own appointed advocate and elected priest. If He were our choice He might fail, but if God has laid help on one who is mighty, we may safely place our trouble where God has laid His help. He is Christ, and therefore authorized; He is Christ, and therefore qualified, for the anointing has fitted Him fully for His work. He can plead in such a way as to move the heart of God and prevail. What words of tenderness, what sentences of persuasion will the anointed use when He stands up to plead for me!
One more aspect of His name remains: “Jesus Christ the righteous.” This is not only His character but His plea. It is His character, and if the Righteous One is my advocate, then my cause is good or He would not have represented it. It is His plea, for He meets the charge of unrighteousness against me by the plea that He is righteous. He declares Himself my substitute and puts His obedience to my account. My soul, you have a friend perfectly fitted to be your advocate—He cannot but succeed; leave yourself entirely in His hands.
1) Matthew 1:21
As a thank-you from us for your gift, we'll send along this month's resource: How Christianity Transformed the World by Sharon James
Click here to learn more about Truth For Life
Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotional by Alistair Begg, published by The Good Book Company, thegoodbook.com. Used by Truth For Life with permission. Copyright © 2021, The Good Book Company.