My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
1. The author states that he is writing this letter so that the recipients will not sin. He is providing valuable information that should guide and direct their life. What does this suggest for you? Do you have anything you could share with others to help them not sin?
2. The second half of verse one suggests a solution for sin. What is it?
How does Jesus advocate on our behalf? What does an advocate do?
Advocate - a person who pleads for or in behalf of another; intercessor.
Is this verse for non-Christians or Christians?
The first verse indicates a connection, a relationship. This was to the church. Non-Christians have more than a sin issue. They have an allegiance issue. They are not a child of the family for they have rejected God. They must first be adopted to even gain an audience before the King to require an advocate.
3. Wait a minute. Doesn’t verse 2 contradict what is listed above? How do you think the two verses work together? Think about it and then turn the page.
Yes, Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins. God pays the price that we should pay. It is called mercy. In saying that the first verse is for Christians I am not suggesting that the rest of the world does not sin and doesn’t need Jesus. The point is that it is clearly stating a solution for the Christian that sins and that Jesus is an advocate for those who have declared their allegiance to God and yet disobey.
A man wants to enter a kingdom but does not know the king to request entrance. What would he do? It is known that this man has acted in a manner that is contrary to the way in which the kingdom is instructed to act. What chance does he have to enter?
While Jesus does serve as an advocate for those who follow Him and yet disobey, Jesus acts to transform those who desire to become one of His followers and enter His kingdom. The man must be made worthy to enter the kingdom. It is nothing he can do to make that happen. Only the King Himself can make it happen.
Do not take this verse to mean that all are saved, but rather reading the Bible as a whole understand that if we seek to love Him completely, and if we seek to love our neighbors by following Jesus and obeying Jesus that we will be transformed and made worthy of God’s Kingdom.
So can a person be made worthy (be saved) and not have eternal life?
A person has been following Jesus, but decides they no longer want to. Would God force them to live eternally in His presence; forced to obey Him?
We often live in fear that we will lose our eternity or access to Heaven if we sin at the wrong time. A relationship is not a transaction. Your greatest concern should be that of your attitude, for there will be those who appear to be the most obedient and Christ like and will find themselves in Hell because every action was selfish and meant to gain selfish rewards. While there will be others who many scoff at and reject because of their appearance and they will find themselves at the feet of Christ because of the purity of their heart and their desires.