1 John 2:1-2
“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. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.”
As Christians we often use the excuse, “God will forgive me so it’s ok if I sin today because it will be forgiven tomorrow.” We were not created to live on this earth with a sin reset button. We were created to be blameless and pure, but when Adam and Eve had the first taste of sin, we were slammed onto another track and way of life. This new path includes hardships, fear, doubt, and unbelief. It became the norm to sin on a regular basis, then use a so-called get-out-of-jail-free card to ask for forgiveness and get a reset.
We are all human so we all sin. But what happens when we sin? I used to constantly think that my sin made me not good enough to get into heaven – that I was too sinful to even call myself a Christian. I was so blinded by what I wasn’t that I couldn’t see my true identity in Christ. I continuously beat myself up over the minuscule factors of what I did wrong, and it tore me apart.
One day a friend told me, “Perfection is not the qualification to get into the kingdom of heaven. My desire and passion for God to focus my life on Him and His works is the only qualification that I need.” I really didn’t understand her statement at the time, I didn’t realize then that our God is a forgiving God; however, since then I have changed my mindset regarding how I view life and how I view myself. I had focused on my works as the ticket to heaven instead of realizing that Jesus’ works had already bought me my ticket. Once I stopped focusing on trying to always be perfect, my concept of perfection changed.
From the moment sin entered our world Jesus was dedicated to being our advocate. This is as true today as it was then. Champion, supporter, and crusader are all synonyms for advocate; Jesus fulfilled every one of those requirements on the cross and continues to do so in our daily lives. His intercession as our champion, supporter, and crusader guides us away from sin. I didn’t know it then but I was sinning against God when I viewed myself as less than enough for the kingdom of heaven because I was inadvertently doubting His power as my redeemer. He interceded in my life through the voice of a friend, and it guided me away from the downward spiral of poor self-image.
As today’s verse tells us, Jesus is the only one who is truly righteous. He didn’t just intercede for my sins; He interceded for the entire world’s sins when He gave His life on the cross for us. He took responsibility for each and every one of our faults and failures, defeating them on the cross. It is not our job to try to be as perfect and holy as Him; He already did that! We are responsible to use our faults and failures from which we have been forgiven to inspire and instil hope in people who have given up. We were placed on this earth to walk through our own lives as living examples of what God has done and what He can do to help others out of their own pit of doubt and unbelief.