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Sunday, October 2, 2016
Plead my case
You are my little children, so I am writing these things to help you avoid sin. If, however, any believer does sin, we have a high-powered defense lawyer—Jesus the Anointed, the righteous—arguing on our behalf before the Father. (1 John 2:1VOICE)
I'd like to reword this passage with just one tiny change of words, but I know I cannot add to or take away from scripture. If you will indulge me, I think it will make sense and will not really take away from what it says. Here is how I think this should actually read:
You are my little children, so I am writing these things to help you avoid sin. When, however, any believer does sin, we have a high-powered defense lawyer—Jesus the Anointed, the righteous—arguing on our behalf before the Father.
One word - when, not if - is all I changed, but I think it comes a lot closer to how it is we really "live life". It isn't in the off-chance that one of us might actually sin now that we have come to Christ, it is that we will sin and we need to know we have an advocate standing on our behalf to declare us "not guilty" because grace has been the "ruling" over that sin.
I think some of us might just beat ourselves up a little too much when we "cross the line" into things God has asked us to leave behind, not partake in any longer, or which just plain tantalizes us to the point of compromise. It is like we somehow thought we'd give our lives to Jesus, see a 180 degree change in our behavior, and walk away without ever turning back to some of the stuff we dabbled in for so long in the first place! Talk about unrealistic expectations!
I want us to stop for one moment here. Think about this one - as long as we are beating ourselves up, Satan has won! He has no need to stand as our accuser any longer because we are doing it to ourselves! God doesn't want us to stand as our own accuser - he wants us to present our need before him and allow him to cover it with his grace! Yes, we are guilty. Yes, we goofed up again. Yes, we should probably be "over" this compromising issue by now. But...when and as often as we do compromise...Jesus is there pleading our case, asking for grace, and obtaining the sentence of "not guilty" on our behalf.
Look again at the passage - it is written for believers - those who have placed their trust in Jesus, giving control of their lives squarely into his hands. There is no "mistake" in what is placed in scripture - all of it is there for a purpose. This passage is there to encourage us when we do stumble and fall into the traps we thought we could avoid! It is there for the believer - because the believer gets distracted on occasion - taking their eyes off Jesus. Sin might get an inroad, but it doesn't have to become the way of life for us all over again. We have a way back into "focus" through the grace of God. Rather than beating yourself up because you "did" sin, fall into the arms of grace because your "doing" already received the penalty at the cross. Just sayin!