We Have an Advocate
"If anyone does sin, we have an advocate." Yes, though we sin, we have Him still. John does not say, "If anyone sins, they have forfeited their advocate," but "we have an advocate," even though we are sinners. All the sin that a believer ever did or can be allowed to commit cannot destroy his interest in the Lord Jesus Christ as his advocate. The name given here to our Lord is suggestive. "Jesus." He is the kind of advocate we need, for Jesus is the name of one whose business and delight it is to save. "You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."1 His sweetest name implies His success.
Next, it is "Jesus Christ"—Christos, the anointed. This shows His authority to plead. Christ has a right to plead, for He is the Father's own appointed advocate and elected priest. If He were our choice He might fail, but if God has laid help on one who is mighty, we may safely place our trouble where God has laid His help. He is Christ, and therefore authorized; He is Christ, and therefore qualified, for the anointing has fitted Him fully for His work. He can plead in such a way as to move the heart of God and prevail. What words of tenderness, what sentences of persuasion will the anointed use when He stands up to plead for me!
One more aspect of His name remains: "Jesus Christ the righteous." This is not only His character but His plea. It is His character, and if the Righteous One is my advocate, then my cause is good or He would not have represented it. It is His plea, for He meets the charge of unrighteousness against me by the plea that He is righteous. He declares Himself my substitute and puts His obedience to my account. My soul, you have a friend perfectly fitted to be your advocate—He cannot but succeed; leave yourself entirely in His hands.
Family Bible reading plan
verse 1 Ezekiel 37
verse 2 Psalms 87, 88
Zeal Without Burnout: Seven Keys to a Lifelong Ministry of Sustainable Sacrifice by Christopher Ash
Thousands of people leave Christian ministry every month. They have not lost their love for Christ, or their desire to serve him. But for one reason or another, they are exhausted and simply cannot carry on. Christopher Ash knows this experience all too well. As a pastor of a growing church, and then in his role of training people for ministry, he has found himself on the edge of burnout a number of times and has pastored many young ministers who have reached the end of their tether.
His wisdom has been distilled into this short, accessible book, in which he reveals a neglected biblical truth and seven keys that flow from it. Understood properly, and built into our lives as Christians who are zealous to serve the Lord, they will serve to protect us from burnout, and keep us working for God's kingdom and glory.
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.