February 21, 2015


1 John 2:1-2

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.

—  1 John 2:1

Anyone who finds themselves in a tight legal spot wants the best available lawyer to represent them.

In today's verses, John uses the Greek word parakletos to call Jesus our lawyer. In the ancient world, a parakletos was an advocate who pleaded a defendant's cause before a judge. In his gospel account, John uses this word often to describe the Holy Spirit's role in the believer's life (see John 14-16). John uses it here, however, to describe Jesus as the counsel for our defense, our legal representative, our advocate before God the Father, judge of all humankind.

Because each of us has broken God's holy law, we stand guilty and condemned. But God loved us so much that he provided an advocate for us. Jesus, our advocate, is not swayed by personal interests. He is righteous and blameless and has made us right with the Judge of the universe.

Because of what our righteous advocate has accomplished for us—through his death, resurrection, and ascension—we are now credited with his righteousness before God. Jesus will ceaselessly continue to advocate for us.

When you stumble today, take comfort in your advocate, the Lord Jesus, and in his mercy that never fails.

Jesus, our advocate before the Father, help us in gratitude and in humility to bend to your will today. Help us to honor you in a world that needs to receive your grace. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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