Tuesday, October 23, 2018

"The Advocate"

"The Advocate"


     "If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (I John 2:1).

     The atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ provided a secure salvation to all who trust Him, so much so that God "will not impute sin" to His sons and daughters united to the Savior (Romans 4:8).  Regarding the maintenance of unhindered fellowship and our walk with Him, however, we require the ongoing Heavenly ministry of the Savior who "ever liveth to make intercession for us" (Hebrews 7:25).  While there is never a necessity or excuse for believers to sin, we do at times distrust and disobey our Lord.  "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us" (I John 1:8).  Sin stains our conscience, and stunts our capacity to realize and receive the grace of God for the life to which He calls us.  In such times, it is vital that we know the Scriptural truth of the Advocate said by the writer of Hebrews to "now appear in the presence of God for us" (Hebrews  9:24).  The Apostle John referred to our Mediator as "Jesus Christ the righteous."  No more telling description could reveal our Lord's Heavenly work on our behalf.

    "Christ is made unto us… righteousness" (I Corinthians 1:30).

     The same grace of the Lord Jesus that originated our salvation maintains our fellowship.  His righteousness is our hope, to the degree that His innate righteousness is now our imputed righteousness.  

    "He (Christ) is righteous… And therefore it was imputed to him (Abraham) for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification" (I John 2:29; Hebrews 4:22-25).

    That which began our righteous relationship with God maintains our righteous fellowship with Him, namely, the person and work of the Lord Jesus.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.  Nothing else.  In times of faith and faithfulness, the power of Christ leads and enables us as we trust Him.  In times of failure, the presence of Christ as our Advocate at the right hand of God provides forgiveness, cleansing, and restoration as we trust Him.  We can no more work our way back into fellowship than we worked our way into salvation.  We rather "look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2).  Thereby, the remembrance and affirmation of our Savior's death for our sins and risen life for our salvation fosters the necessary repentance and faith whereby we "draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience" (Hebrews 10:22).  

    We have an Advocate who now appears in the presence of God for us.  Thus, regardless of how far we have fallen, we do not have to remain fallen.  We must not remain fallen, but rather arise in God's promised forgiveness, cleansing, and restoration of fellowship as provided through "the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus" (II Timothy 2:1).  "Get up!" the Spirit of God and the Word of God say to us when we have fallen.  "Look up!" declare the same Witnesses, directing our hearts to behold the crucified and risen Lord Jesus as the Mediator who ever lives to plead for us to the Father more than willing to respond to His Son's intercessions.  A secure salvation, and as needed, restored fellowship - these are the gifts of "so great salvation" provided by so great a Savior and so effectual an Advocate, Jesus Christ the righteous (Hebrews 2:3).

"There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."
(I Timothy 2:5)
"There is forgiveness with Thee."
(Psalm 130:4)
"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
(Isaiah 1:18)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Weekly Memory Verse
   In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.
(I John 4:9)


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