Guard Your Opportunity
My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. (1 John 2:1-3)
John uses the fatherly phrase, my little children, six times in his first epistle. He was speaking to the church from the standpoint of a loving leader, not a heartless demanding dictator. The thought of Christians walking in sin hurt him, not because they had rejected his teachings, but because he knew that they could not walk in the fullness of joy while living in sin.
The term advocate in Greek is translated comforter in other parts of this letter. Yes, Christ is our attorney and advocate who declares our innocence, and He also encourages us to move forward and sin no more. Jesus cared so much about you and me that He became the propitiation for our sins. 1 John is the only book that uses this word. It is hilasmos in Greek; it means that Jesus was the voluntary sin offering given in our stead. Jesus took the punishment that you and I deserved so that we could walk in freedom from sin and total forgiveness from God. John explained that Jesus didn’t die only for the good and the righteous. He died for the sins of the whole world: for the people who have done wrong, for those who committed heinous crimes and those who have done horrible acts. Anyone who turns from their wicked ways to Jesus will receive forgiveness and cleansing.
Those who have a relationship with God keep His commandments. The word keep is the Greek word tereo and means to guard from loss or injury by keeping the eye upon. It referred to protecting a priceless heirloom or expensive jewel. John was telling us to love the Word of God so much that we guard opportunities to hear and read it as a precious jewel.
Practical Application – Guard your opportunity to receive the Word and worship with other believers. Honor your pastor and your church.
Psalm 84:10; Psalm 5:7