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We Have An Advocate - Lesson 3

1 John 2:1-6 (NLT2)

Love and Spiritual Reality

1 My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the truly righteous one. 2 He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world. 3 And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. 4 If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. 5 But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. 6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.

John understood the power embodied in the Word of God including its ability to enable a victorious life. He knew that if people would memorize it and meditate on it, they wouldn’t have to sin. Psalm 119:9,11 bear this out. By the way, that is still true today. Strengthen your inner man by exercising in the Word, and you’ll be surprised how readily you can walk away from temptation. However, for a variety of reasons we don’t always avoid sinning, and that’s where Jesus comes in.

The Father notices our sin and may want to deal with it in judgment, but Jesus intervenes in our defense, pointing out that His blood has already paid for and expiated the transgression. This work of grace is sufficient for the whole world, all anchored in His righteousness and dispensed in His mercy. Ready cleansing doesn’t call for slacker behavior – if a person claims to know and love God he will show it by obeying God. Living in obedience gives strong evidence for knowing God and living in Him.

If you say you are living in God, you should live as Jesus did. Rely on His advocacy to keep you clean and true.

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