December 1: “Jesus, Our Defense Attorney”

8 Minute Read

Be Still

To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.

Today’s Bible Reading:

Daniel 8:1-27
1 John 2:1-17
Psalm 120:1-7
Proverbs 28:25-26

Listen to the Lord

Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.

1 John 2:1 (NLT): “My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.”

Reflections from Scripture:

Every one of us will sin, even after we have accepted the gift of eternal life from the Father. Yet, with all of the changes in us that took place at salvation, we should develop a distaste for sin. When we do sin, we should be so convicted and bothered by it that we run to the Father, confess what we have done to him, and rest in the truth of 1 John 1:9 that He will forgive and cleanse us.

1 John 1:9 (NLT): “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”

But, in 1 John 2:1, we learn that we aren’t in the sin battle alone. We learn that Jesus, Himself, is fighting for us.

Just listen once more to the role that He fills on our behalf:

1 John 2:1 (NLT): “My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.”

The word used for “advocate” is really “one who is called alongside of.” Jesus is the one who is called to be beside us when we sin, and He performs this action in front of God the Father.

When you consider this definition, the word “advocate” fits nicely. We have broken God’s laws when we sin. God is the Judge and must administer judgment upon sin. But Jesus, acting on our behalf, defends us before the Father. If I could be so bold and presumptuous to put words in Jesus’ mouth, I think He might say something like: “Father, I paid for their sin on the cross and declared them to have My righteousness when they were saved. So, they should be acquitted of the offense.”

This really is a formality. God the Father loves His children immensely. But, He is holy. Sin cannot be overlooked. So, Jesus is glorified by defending us every time we stumble into sin.

Friend, this shouldn’t make us feel as if we have a license to sin. It should cause us to work to sin less. While we are grateful that Jesus defends us before the Father, we don’t want our name to be brought up over and over. So, pursue holiness. Desire to become more like Christ. Then your Savior won’t have to spend so much time defending you.

Romans 6:1 (NLT): “Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace?”

Spend Time in Prayer

Lord Jesus, as I am reminded that You must defend me before the Father every time I sin, it makes me want to be more intentional about sinning less. While I am grateful that You willingly, graciously serve as my advocate, I don’t want to keep you busy in that capacity. So, help me, Lord Jesus, to crave and pursue even greater degrees of holiness and develop a hatred for personal sin. I pray this in the Name of the only One who can help me in this endeavor, Amen.

Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida ( His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.

Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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