Mark Five of an Authentic Christian
1My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 3And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. —1 John 2:1-3
The fifth mark of an authentic Christian can be seen in the way we exercise our faith: we believe confidently. Never because of anything we have done; always because of what Christ has done.
When John mention “an advocate,” he’s picturing a big courtroom. God is the Judge who knows everything and forgets nothing! “My little children . . . if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father.” An advocate is someone who steps into the courtroom on our behalf. The guilty verdict and the wrath of the court is upon us! And nothing will stop it! But our advocate shows up and says, “Wait for a moment!” This is Jesus Christ. It’s a good time to cheer.
The text says, “Jesus Christ the righteous.” If Jesus was sinful, He’d be right here in the accused seat with us. Jesus Christ, the sinless one—the perfect Son of God, sent by the Father into the world to solve the problem we could not solve ourselves.
The verse says, “We have an advocate. . . Jesus Christ.” My salvation is assured by Jesus. How did He accomplish that?
First, by averting or turning away God’s wrath. “Not her! Not him! Not now!” That’s what “propitiation” means. Jesus comes between us and God’s wrath.
Second, by absorbing God’s punishment. Jesus offers Himself as our substitute—“Do it to Me.” This is also included when it says that He is the “propitiation for our sins.” “Punish Me for her sin! Punish Me for what he did!” And Jesus Christ took upon Himself the payment for our sin.
Notice, “. . . and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” This is for everyone. The whole world needs this. If you have it, you’re forgiven for all of eternity. If you don’t have it, you’re lost no matter how good you are. No one but Jesus can assure us of salvation.
So the question comes, is your salvation secure in Christ? This is the Good News; that you don’t have to go to hell to pay for your sin yourself. But sitting here and reading it won’t get it done for you. You have to say to God, “I need it. I want it. I choose it.” That’s the power of the Gospel.
· In what parts of my life am I finding it most helpful to live out my assurance in Christ confidently?
· How would I explain this confidence to someone else?
Prayer- Almighty Father, I acknowledge again that it’s never about me and always about You. It’s not the size or strength of my faith but the infinite and divine qualities of the One in whom I am trusting. Thank You today for the assurance in Christ: “By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything” (1 John 3:19-20). Thank You for the freedom to live confidently in Christ. In Jesus’name I pray, Amen.