1Jn 2:1-2 “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
Many times we hear people say that believing in salvation purely by the shed blood of Jesus without any requirement on man’s part is a license to go on sinning without fearing any reprisal. John puts the shedding of Jesus’ blood for the remission of our sins in a different light. We are taught about the great sin-debt that Jesus paid so that we labor to not sin anymore. Hard indeed is the heart that can hear about the great love and suffering of Jesus in putting away our sins from us and think “Oh, boy! Now I can just sin all I want to.”
Once I have seen the truth of my sinful condition, I understand that I cannot change the fact that I am a sinner. Once I have been blessed to see the truth of the cleansing power of Jesus’ blood, I understand that I do not want to ever sin again! Then I am faced with the reality that while I no longer love sin, I am still a sinner. As such, I must rely on Him daily to be a lamp unto my feet and to keep me from straying. I do not fear that straying will undo what He has done with the giving of His life. Rather, I do not want to dishonor Him after seeing all that He has done for me.
The fact still remains that I was conceived in sin, and to say that I now have no sin means I have deceived myself. Yet, to admit that I sin breaks my heart and dishonors Him. Again, Jesus is the only answer to this situation. If we sin (Strong’s gives the idea of “When we miss the mark”), Jesus is our advocate (intercessor, comforter) with the Father. As the offspring of Adam, we are going to miss the mark now and then; we are not perfect in our flesh. We still have an intercessor with the Father in Jesus Christ that gives our hearts comfort when we realize that we have come short. He not only died to save us but lives to console us through the Holy Spirit.
Jesus is the power that makes atonement for our sin. He is not just a piece of the plan; He is the plan! He is not a necessary piece of the propitiation; He is the propitiation. His is the only power that God the Father will accept to atone for our transgression because Jesus alone among men is righteous. He is not just the propitiation for the sins of those who recognize what He has done; He is the propitiation for the sins of everyone that the Father chose in Him from before the foundation of the world.
I have brethren that believe the doctrine of election teaches that only a portion of Adam’s race will be in heaven. I have brethren that believe that God’s teaching of election has only a gospel application and the salvation from sin applies to all Adam’s race. My purpose here is not to debate the merits of either of these positions. What I want to stress here is that our eternal destiny is not based on chance. Jesus did not die to give men a chance to go to heaven. God did not gamble that Jesus’ sacrifice would be enough to save His people.
Whether you believe that only a portion of Adam’s offspring are going to heaven or that all of them are going is not nearly as vital, in my opinion, as the understanding that all that Jesus died for ARE going. No chance, no maybe, no dependence on what man might or might not do; all who Jesus shed His blood for WILL spend eternity in heaven. He will raise up at the last day ALL the Father has given Him, and out of that number (whoever it is) He will lose nothing! Of this I am absolutely positive; all that God purposed before the world began to spend eternity in His presence will spend eternity in His presence. We might differ on what this number looks like and still believe in salvation by the sovereign grace of God. Belief in salvation by grace assures us that those that Jesus died for will be there without the loss of one. I am content that the Father knows exactly who they are, and I don’t need to.
May we hold the truth of salvation through the propitiation of Jesus Christ as a light to keep us from sin and rejoice that He is still our advocate with the Father when we miss the mark!