If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 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.
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. (1 John 1:8 - 2:1, ESV)
What is an "advocate"? An advocate is one who pleads our case, who defends us and intercedes on our behalf. An advocate is a helper, someone who comes alongside us to aid us, comfort us, and to guide us in the ways of righteousness.
Jesus was born into a stable so that He could become our Advocate.
We have all sinned against a holy God - all of us. It does not matter the degree of our sin, for any violation of God's laws and His requirements for righteousness makes us guilty before Him. In ourselves, we have no way to make ourselves right before God: we cannot live perfect lives from our first breath, and we have no way to pay the penalty for our rebellion.
So what can we do?
That's the point. We cannot do anything; Jesus Christ has done it all. He came to live a perfectly righteous life in complete and whole hearted obedience to His Father. He came to die the death that we all richly earned with our mutiny against our Sovereign Lord and God. When God sends His Spirit to convict us of sin and draw us to Christ, the perfection of Jesus' life is given to us and the full payment of His death takes away our sin so that we may stand before God.
Are Christians perfect? No, not here on earth. Here, we struggle with temptation and sin, and we frequently fail to walk in obedience and fellowship with God. But that does not put us back into the kingdom of darkness, subject to God's wrath! Jesus was born, He lived and He died to reconcile us to His Father, but He also rose again to be our Advocate.
Every moment of every day - humanly speaking - Jesus stands before His Father and intercedes for His brothers and sisters, His friends. Each and every day, Christians have to live by the grace which has saved us and by the continuing grace that is transforming us into the image of Christ. Each and every moment, Christ is our Advocate, applying His blood and His righteousness to our imperfect lives and making them perfect in the eyes of God.
We are hidden and renewed in Jesus Christ our Advocate. Our hope is solely in Him.
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure;
Save from wrath and make me pure.
Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.
Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.
While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine eyes shall close in death,
When I soar to worlds unknown,
See Thee on Thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.
Thank You, Jesus, for coming to live for me. Thank You, Lord, for dying for my sin and paying my debt. Thank You for living inside me, for helping me, for being my Friend and my Defender. Thank You, Jesus, for loving me so much that You came to be born in a humble stable!