Thursday, November 30, 2006

Devotion: What We Should Know About OUR Jesus! #3

What We Should Know About OUR Jesus!


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 -- 1 John 2:1; King James Version

In my PAST I was known to get into a lot of trouble. I got into fights. I liked to drive fast. There are numerable things I could mention, but you get the point. After one particular episode I had to hire a lawyer (AGAIN). I'd had great experiences with this certain fellow, so I asked him if he'd "be my lawyer all the time". He said, "Sure, all you have to do is put me on retainer." I said, "What's that mean?" "It means," he explained, "that you pay me a fee to keep my services available. When you need me for something, your retainer fee insures that you can get me. You'll be one of my regular clients." It sad to say that I needed a lawyer on retainer, but I had one.

I made allusion to Christ as Advocate yesterday when I wrote of Him being our Mediator. Maybe I shouldn't have done that, but I love the thought of Him serving as both. He mediates to make initial peace and then continues to advocate on our behalf. Easton's Bible Dictionary defines an advocate in this way: Advocate, (Greek, parakletos), one who pleads another's cause, who helps another by defending or comforting him. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia adds this: The Greek word has several shades of meaning: (1) a legal advocate; (2) an intercessor, (3) a helper generally. In the passage before us the first and second meanings are included. Christ in heaven intercedes for Christians who sin upon earth.

It is a name given by Christ three times to the Holy Spirit (John 14:16; 15:26; 16:7, where the Greek word is rendered “Comforter,”). It is applied to Christ in 1 John 2:1, where the same Greek word is rendered Advocate.

In 1 John 2:1 the Apostle John is telling us that when we sin we have an Advocate that will plead our case. I find this exciting! Does that mean that since we have someone to plead our case we should live a freewheeling lifestyle? Not just "No", but emphatically, " NO!" Grace does abound, but it does not give us excuse to abuse it! Should we willfully do that we are smacking God in the face.

Commenting on 1 John 2:1, Matthew Henry said, "The original name is sometimes given to the Holy Ghost, and then it is rendered, the Comforter. He acts within us; he puts pleas and arguments into our hearts and mouths; and so is our advocate, by teaching us to intercede for ourselves. But here is an advocate without us, in heaven and with the Father. The proper office and business of an advocate is with the judge; with him he pleads the client's cause. The Judge with whom our advocate pleads is the Father, his Father and ours. He who was our Judge in the legal court (the court of the violated law) is our Father in the gospel court, the court of heaven and of grace. His throne or tribunal is the mercy-seat. And he that is our Father is also our Judge, the supreme arbitrator of our state and circumstances, either for life or death, for time or eternity" (quoted from eSword commentary).

So, what does this all mean for us today? We have our Advocate, the Lord Jesus, at the Judge's bench constantly pleading our case. As for our retainer, unlike the kind I paid cash money for, Jesus secured OUR payment with HIS blood and He is ALWAYS there pleading on our behalf. Isn't that wonderful? The Holy Spirit, described as Comforter, is within us telling us how to speak to the Judge while the Advocate is in heaven speaking to the Judge for us! WOW!!!!!

So much could be said and written of these offices of the Spirit and the Son, but, for a short devotion, I hope your interest is peaked. We should all be encouraged that we have Jesus, the righteous Son of God, to CONSTANTLY plead our cause. He is constantly seeking victory for us. I just cannot get over that. There are times when we don't seek to win for ourselves, but Jesus is ALWAYS on the case. He's there, even in this moment, with a LONG list of clients, interceding before the Judge. He's there right now for YOU and for ME; He's pleading our cases, making argument for us, seeking to assuage God's holy justice.

If this doesn't encourage you today; if this doesn't light your fire and warm the cockles of your heart, your wood is wet!

Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus the Son,
Tim Bowes
Romans 12:1-2

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