God's Justice on Your Side [Part 2]
By — April 04, 2017
Are you ready for some good news?
Jesus Christ is your righteous advocate.
Today’s Text: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1:9–10, ESV)
We have started a new series about God’s epic love, a study of the book of 1 John. The whole predicament of humanity has always been that because we were born in sin, we were debtors, and we justly deserved punishment. In other words, without Christ, justice is against you.
You have committed offenses and justice demands payment. But in the first chapter of 1 John, verse 9 we read that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. Shouldn’t it read that God is faithful and merciful, or longsuffering, or patient, or loving to forgive us our sins? How can it be that God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness?
The answer is in Jesus Himself. In Christ, our sin has already been paid for – or justified – through Jesus’ death. This is the beauty of the Triune God. Within Himself – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – God is both just and the justifier.
1 John 2:1 gives us this good news. “... we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous.” Right now, the Son is fellowshipping with the Father, advocating for all of us who are in Christ. Notice that John doesn’t call Jesus the advocate, the merciful; he says, our advocate, Jesus Christ the Righteous. Jesus is there demanding justice. Jesus says, “Father, I already died for Alan, and I paid the price in full. He cannot be punished for the same crime. He has been justified.” Jesus the Righteous does not plead mercy for you; He stands before the Father with full authority and demands justice on your behalf!
What we ultimately needed from God was mercy, but by the sheer genius of God, in Jesus Christ He became both merciful and just. The One who is just became our justifier. And that’s the gospel!