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Communion Meditations (2023)

 

Advocate

Originally scheduled for December 24

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. My 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. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
(1 John 1:8-2:2 ESV)
 
There is a problem that almost every new Christian faces. You go through the experience of becoming a Christian, having your sins forgiven and being baptized. Everything seems wonderful! And then you screw up and do something wrong — you sin, again. One of three reactions to this event occurs.
·        You may simply deny it. We are good at lying to ourselves, and you just simply say, “that wasn’t a sin.” Eventually the sting goes away and you let sleeping worms lie. Ultimately, this won’t work — but most of us don’t think ultimately.
·        You may give up. You may decide that you are so far gone as a sinner that even Christ can help you; you’re doomed to hell. It’s depressing, but takes very little effort.
·        You decide you need a good lawyer. Perhaps to your surprise, this is the smart thing to do.
The word for the phrase “good lawyer” in the New Testament is “advocate.” As any lawyer will tell you, you don’t want to defend yourself. As one put it to me, “anyone who represents himself in court has a fool for a client.” You want someone who can do what you can’t.
 
You have such a Advocate — Jesus Christ. And what an advocate he is!
·        To start with, he is literally God’s right hand man.
·        He is our propitiation — he paid the penalty for our sin.
·        John (his best friend) assures us here that he is “faithful and just” to forgive us if we confess our sins.
·        Upon our confession, he will cleanse our sins as well.
And just in case you’re wondering, there are no exceptions to this. Confession and repentance are what he requires, alone. The result of this process is that we stand in righteousness before God — Christ’s righteousness.
 
Communion is not only a reminder of what Christ did for us to in becoming our atoning sacrifice, it is also the time for confession and repentance. Take the time to examine yourself, honestly and completely. Then see in the bread, his body, and in the cup, his blood, willingly given so that you might be forgiven. There is no one so far gone he cannot forgive. He took the sins of the world on his shoulders; he will take yours as well.

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