“My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
And if anyone sins,
Should a Christian sin, he has the wherewithal to address his sin – a Lawyer in heaven who satisfied the absolute demands of the Father’s absolute being.
we have an Advocate
The words “we have” indicate that the advocacy of Jesus begins at the moment we commit a single sin. Jesus instantaneously and constantly is at our disposal, whether we realize it or not. This is true, regardless of whether we appreciate it or not. He will always come to our side to help us with our sin issue before an absolute God.
Jesus is more than a Savior and more than Lord, He is our Advocate or Lawyer. He is with the Father and intercedes on our behalf to the Father. An advocate is someone called alongside to help. An advocate comes to someone’s aid. Secular Greek used “advocate” as a court term to denote a legal assistant, counsel for defense. Jesus, as our Advocate, pleads our cause; He is our Intercessor.
The word “advocate” occurs 5 times in the Greek New Testament. Other occurrences translate it by “comforter.” All 4 of the other occurrences refer to the Holy Spirit.
We have a Defense Attorney in Jesus Christ and another Defense Attorney in the Holy Spirit. Jesus defends us against the accusations of the Devil because of our sin (Re 12:10). The Holy Spirit gives us the power to live the Christian life (Ro 6:12-14; 8:12,13; 1 Co 15:34; Ti 2:11,12; 1 Pe 1:13-16).
God makes provision for the sins of the believer.
God provides double advocacy for the believer: 1) the Lord Jesus Christ interceding in heaven and 2) the Holy Spirit comforting on earth. Jesus’ advocacy is finished – that is the basis of his plea against the accusations of Satan against the believer.
In addition to our two Advocates, the Father has an Advocate – the Holy Spirit. Jesus takes care of all our affairs over there. The Father has an advocate who takes care of His concerns over here. God has an Advocate with us, and we have an Advocate with Him.
Jn 14:16, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper [advocate], that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”
The word “another” indicates that there are two comforters. Jesus says, “I am Comforter number one, but I will ask the Father to give you another comforter. This comforter will be similar to me.” The Holy Spirit is to us what Jesus was to the 12 apostles. This is the first occurrence of the word “comforter.”
Jn 14:26, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”
The Holy Spirit is the Lord Jesus’ representative here. He is the one and only Vicar of Christ. He personally represents the Lord Jesus in time on earth. He helps us in our infirmities (Ro 8:26).
Jn 15:26, “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.”
The preceding two verses indicated that the Father sent the Spirit. Now, this verse indicates that Jesus sent the Spirit. Both the Father and the Son dispatched the Holy Spirit to earth. The Holy Spirit always bears witness to the Lord Jesus.
Jn 16:7, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.”
This is the fourth and final occurrence outside 1 John. The Lord Jesus in His humanity cannot be over there and over here at the same time.