Universal Light


Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we know that we have sinned and are not worth to come before your throne for any request.  We have sinned against you and God the Father who has created all things and judges all men.  We ask you for forgiveness for the way we live our lives and the sins that we commit.  We recognized that You are our attorney and that You argue our case before God without rest.  We praise and thank You for Your sacrifice for us and Your continued watch over us.  Amen.

Main Scripture:

And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.  And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. (1John 2:1b-2, NKJV).

Associated Scriptures:

Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts.  Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord (Isaiah 55:7-8).

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).

I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more (Isaiah 43:25).

Correlative Quotes:

My beloved children - So the apostle frequently addresses the whole body of Christians. It is a term of tenderness and endearment, used by our Lord himself to his disciples, John xiii, 33.  And perhaps many to whom St. John now wrote were converted by his ministry. It is a different word from that which is translated "little children," in several parts of the epistle, to distinguish it from which, it is here rendered beloved children. I write these things to you, that ye may not sin. Thus, he guards them beforehand against abusing the doctrine of reconciliation. All the words, institutions, and judgments of God are levelled against sin, either that it may not be committed, or that it may be abolished. But if any one sin. Let him not lie in sin, despairing of help. We have an advocate. We have for our advocate, not a mean person, but him of whom it was said, "This is my beloved son." Not a guilty person, who stands in need of pardon for himself; but Jesus Christ the righteous; not a mere petitioner, who relies purely upon liberality, but one that has merited, fully merited, whatever he asks.[1] – John Wesley

“Jesus.” Ah! then He is an advocate such as I want, for He loves me, and takes an interest in me. Jesus is the name of one who became man for my sake. He knows what sore temptations mean, He understands what trials mean, what afflictions mean. I am glad I have one who will be interested in my welfare and will plead for me as a friend for a friend, and as a brother for a brother. I thank God that though I sin I still have Jesus who is my “brother born for adversity,” the friend of sinners, and will, therefore plead the sinner’s part.[2] – Charles Spurgeon

Furthermore, "if any man sin," let him, while loathing and condemning it, not fear to go at once to God, the Judge, confessing it, for "we have an Advocate with Him." He is speaking of a BELIEVER'S occasional sins of infirmity through Satan's fraud and malice. The use of "we" immediately afterwards implies that we all are liable to this, though not necessarily constrained to sin.  Advocacy is God's family blessing; other blessings He grants to good and bad alike, but justification, sanctification, continued intercession, and peace, He grants to His children alone. Advocate (translated from the) Greek, "paraclete," the same term as is applied to the Holy Ghost, as the "other Comforter"; showing the unity of the Second and Third Persons of the Trinity. Christ is the Intercessor for us above; and, in His absence, here below the Holy Ghost is the other Intercessor in us. Christ's advocacy is inseparable from the Holy Spirit's comfort and working in us, as the spirit of intercessory prayer.  As our "advocate," Christ (Christ the righteous) is not a mere suppliant petitioner. He pleads for us on the ground of justice, or righteousness, as well as mercy. Though He can say nothing good of us, He can say much for us. It is His righteousness, or obedience to the law, and endurance of its full penalty for us, on which He grounds His claim for our acquittal. The sense therefore is, "in that He is righteous"; in contrast to our sin ("if any man sin"). The Father, by raising Him from the dead, and setting Him at His own right, has once for all accepted Christ's claim for us. Therefore, the accuser's charges against God's children are vain."[3] – Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown


This text is one of the most important in the Bible.  If John is saying that I am writing this letter so that we will not sin, then there is the possibility that we could live without sin.  However, that phrase would be in conflict with the rest of Scripture (Romans 7:15).  In fact, John himself in 1John 1:6 and 10 says that if we say we have no sin we make God a liar. However, The Greek phrase “and if anyone sins” when translated “and if anyone sins and you will…"if, and it will happen" gives us a better contextual view of the entire letter and coincides with Scripture.  As further evidence that this would be a correct translation, the word “we” in 2:1d refers back to the phrase “little children” in 2:1a.  This means that John is talking specifically to Christians.[4] – A. T. Robertson

The reality is this:

  1. The Wretched: All have sinned (Romans 3:10), "There is no one righteous, not even one.” We have all missed the mark.
  2. The Root: Our sin nature, (Ephesians 2:3), “All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.” It is our nature to sin and be disobedient.
  3. The Results: Separation from God, (Isaiah 59:2) “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” God is deaf to the unsaved. The only words He hears are the expressions of repentance.  Even the words of repentance from unbelievers are initiated by God.
  4. The Restitution: Through Jesus, the price was paid for all, (1 Corinthians 6:20) “you were bought at a price.” Jesus paid it all for all.

God has set forth Christ to be the propitiation through faith in his blood, and we ought to accept Christ as being an all-sufficient propitiation. …Whether my sin be little or be great, whether it is fresh or old, it is the same sin, and blessed be God has all been atoned for through Christ the propitiation. We ought to take Christ as being the death of every sin and of all sin, as having expunged and wiped out the great debt as well as the little... We have never got the full idea of Christ until we know that every sin of thought, of word, of deed that the believer has ever been guilty of, finds its death, its drowning, its total annihilation in the propitiation which God has set forth. Oh! we want to come where Kent was, when he said:

“Now free from sin I walk at large,

My Savior’s blood’s my full discharge,

At his dear feet my soul I lay,

A sinner saved and homage pay.”[5]

– Charles Spurgeon

Jesus is our advocate because He is the “Propitiate.”  Every sin, whether it is great or small, is equal in the mind of God.  Therefore, every sin must be confessed.  We must repent of all sin in our lives.  All of our defiant actions are under the blood of Jesus.  He is the one and only substitution for our noncompliant nature.  He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Jesus is the persecuted one.  He led a life of oppression, (John 5:16).  Jesus became the one who took our punishment.  He was brutally beaten on the day of His death, (Mark 14:65).  Jesus made the full and final payment.  He died a cruel death, (John 19:30.  He is now the propitiate; the payment.  Jesus fulfilled God’s demands, (2 Corinthians 5:15). 

Finally, we see that Jesus as the promised one: From Calvary to the right hand of God, He has become the advocate for all those who make Him Lord of their lives and put their trust completely in Him as our savior (1 Peter 3:22).

Summary Statement:

The light of God is available as the light to all mankind.  The Light’s universality allows unregenerate mankind to choose God or evil as the direction for our lives.  Without the life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Christ there is no choice, we would be doomed to eternal punishment.  Once we are born again Jesus becomes our advocate because he is our propitiation.  He earned the right because He paid the price.

  1. W. Pink describes the two purposes for which John authored 1John 2:1b-2. Namely, an assurance of our salvation and the provision of an advocate.

His (God’s) immediate purpose was two-fold: first, to communicate a message that would keep God's children from sinning; second, to supply comfort and assurance to those who might sin, and, in consequence, be cast down and fearful that the issue would prove fatal. He, therefore, makes known to them the provision which God has made for just such an emergency. This we find at the end of v. 1 and throughout v. 2. The ground of comfort is twofold: let the downcast and repentant believer (1 John 1:9) be assured that, first, he has an "Advocate with the Father"; second, that this Advocate is "the propitiation for our sins."[6] – A. W. Pink

Lesson within the Lesson:

Why is it critical to the context of the Bible that we view “But if anyone sin” as “But if anyone sin, and we will?”

What is meant by “Jesus is our Advocate?”

What is Jesus’ primary purpose as our Advocate?

What does the word “propitiation” mean and why is it important to us?

[1] John Wesley, John Wesley’s Notes of the Bible, Public Domain, Publication date 1755, jacobjuncker.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/wesley-explanatory-notes-on-the-bible.pdf#page=564&zoom=100,0,308, P. 485.

[2] Charles Spurgeon, The Sinners Advocate, Sermon #515, Public Domain, spurgeongems.org/vols7-9/chs515.pdf, P. 6.

[3] Jamieson, Robert, D. D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David, "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible," Public Domain 1871, Copy Freely, P. 3070.

[4] A. T. Robertson, New Testament Word Pictures Volume 6, this work is in the Public Domain. Copy Freely, hopefaithprayer.com/books/NewTestament WordPictures-Robertson.pdf., P. 1945

[5] Charles Spurgeon, Set Forth as a Propitiation, Public Domain, 1861, spurgeon .org/resource-library/sermons/christ-set-forth-as-a-propitiation#flipbook/, P. 7.

[6] A. W. Pink, The Atonement, Public Domain, the-highway.com/atonement_Pink.html