Do This If You Sin
Do you ever commit sin? A child of God, one who has experienced spiritual rebirth by placing his faith in Jesus Christ, will not make a lifestyle of sin. He can not do so because God has now joined him to Christ spiritually, and this mystical union with the Holy One has fundamentally changed his nature. The new life he has on the inside creates an appetite for the things that please God and a discomfort with sin. Accordingly, in Christ, we are given both the desire and the power to live in obedience to God daily.
But unfortunately we have not learned to do so perfectly yet. We still miss the mark and stumble and fall from time to time. What should we do if we sin? I John 2:1-2 answers the question for us.
“My little children, I’m writing these things to you so that you don’t sin. But if you do sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. He is God’s way of dealing with our sins, not only ours but the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1, 2 CEB)
Knowing how detrimental sin is to us, our families and society, John urges us not to sin. Nothing good ever comes out of sin. But knowing that we sometimes do, he takes the time to show us how to respond. In essence, he tells us how to think and what to believe, if we sin.
He reminds us that we are not condemned, rejected, or kicked out of the family when we sin. In fact, our sins are not even imputed to us. “Little children, don’t sin, but if you ever do, do not forget you have an advocate with the Father, who is none other than Jesus Christ, the Righteous.”
We are to remember we have an advocate. An advocate is one who stands up to speak on behalf of another with the intention of obtaining favor for the one he is standing up for. Ordinarily, our sins should bring us condemnation and judgment. That is what we deserve. But instead of judgment we receive mercy and obtain favor. Why? We have an advocate. Jesus Christ, the Righteous, is standing up for us and speaking on our behalf before the Father!
Now, what is Jesus saying to the Father that justifies us and keeps us forever blessed? He does not manipulate the evidence or make excuses for sin. Instead, He pleads the blood. He points to His own blood, which is on the Heavenly Mercy Seat, and reminds the Father that He has paid the full penalty for every sin of every man for all time. He presents the evidence the Father requires that proves that both God’s justice and holiness have been satisfied.
The good news is since He speaks for us, we do not have to speak for ourselves. When the Pharisees wanted to stone an adulterous woman to death, she did not have to speak for herself. He spoke for her, and one by one, her accusers dropped their stones and departed. Then as her Savior and advocate, she heard Him say, “Woman, neither do I condemn you. Now, go and sin no more.”
Don’t sin, child of God. But if you do, don’t focus on your sin; focus on your advocate! Do not forget you have Someone standing up for you and speaking on your behalf. And remember that because of Who He is, and what He’s done for us, He is able to keep you blessed and blameless forever.