My little children (believers, dear ones), I am writing you these things so that you will not sin and violate God’s law. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate [who will intercede for us] with the Father: Jesus Christ the righteous [the upright, the just One, who conforms to the Father’s will in every way—purpose, thought, and action]. 2 And He [that same Jesus] is the propitiation for our sins [the atoning sacrifice that holds back the wrath of God that would otherwise be directed at us because of our sinful nature—our worldliness, our lifestyle]; and not for ours alone, but also for [the sins of all believers throughout] the whole world. 1 John 2:1-2
John writes this letters to believers so that they will not sin. Now that doesn’t mean we are going to be perfect once we come to Christ and not sin. Because John says that if we do sin we have an advocate in Jesus Christ the Son of God. Jesus is our advocate because His shed blood covers us when we place our faith in Him. This means that His righteousness is applied to our lives. So that means even if we do sin that the righteousness we have in Christ doesn’t change. Our sin and shame were nailed to the cross with Jesus. So we can take confidence in the truth that if we do sin we are able to draw near and confess our sin and our Father is faithful and just to forgive us.
Jesus is the propitiation for our sins. That means He is our substitute. Because of our sinful nature and the sin that is upon us the wrath of God is reserved for us. But Jesus has given His life and has taken the punishment and wrath we deserve. The beauty of the gospel is that we have done nothing to earn our salvation and we don’t deserve it. But God in His gracious mercy chose to lay down His life for us. Our Father in Heaven chose to send His only begotten Son to take our place.
The offer of salvation goes out to all people. Anyone who would take Jesus as Lord and Savior and repent of their sin will be saved. John makes the point that Jesus is not only the propitiation for the sins of the first century believers, but for believers throughout time. The sacrifice of Jesus only had to happen one time and His sacrifice atoned for the sins of humanity once and for all. When He cried it is finish, He pointed to the reason He came. Humanity had a sin debt to Almighty God because He cannot be in the presence of sin. It is through Christ that the debt was paid. When we come to Christ we become bond servants of the Lord because He has purchased our lives with His own life and blood. May we daily draw near to Him and continue to be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit into His image.