“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1
A while back, I handed my son something to drink and as he walked into our living room, with the drink in his clumsy toddler hands, I said, “Don’t spill.” I then realized that my son, who was 2 at the time, was probably going to spill. So I followed up my command of, “Don’t spill” with “But if you do, it’s okay. Mommy will clean it up.”
And I think that’s basically what we see here in John’s command to us! He says “Don’t sin.” And then it’s almost as if he remembers to whom he is writing. He can guess that we are probably going to sin. So he follows it up with, “but if you do, don’t worry. Jesus cleaned it up.”
John issues an impossible command- speaking on behalf of a perfect God, instructing imperfect children to do something that is so against our fallen nature. Though, we do have a new nature. We do have the indwelling Holy Spirit to help us to overcome and be a master over sin. We are able to walk in the Spirit, possessing the fruits of the Spirit. Love when we formerly couldn’t truly and sacrificially love one another, patience when we our own nerves are shot, kindness when we can’t think of a reason to be kind to that undeserving person but we can think of 1,000 reasons to let them have it, faithfulness when we feel like walking away, gentleness when we want to be harsh, and self-control when we really want to let go of all control and follow the desires of our flesh. So, we do have the Spiritual ability to not sin, by the gift of the Holy Spirit Himself. However, we are still in this body of death. We still have desires that we allow to give birth to sin.
So John, knowingly, lovingly says, “Jesus! Jesus is the answer. Don’t spill, but if you do… Jesus is your advocate. Jesus has already cleaned it up!”
God the Father looks down on us and only sees Jesus. His perfection in place of our imperfection. His sacrifice in place of our sin. He is before the Father, having cleaned up our sin. We spilled red wine on God’s brand-new white luxury carpet and Jesus cleaned it up. Not only cleaned it up, but replaced it, restored it, renewed it and made it so our red wine can never stain it again! Our sins are forgiven for His name’s sake. God the Father sees us as perfect because of Jesus Christ the righteous!