Perry Mason was the title character in a popular series of novels, radio programs, and finally a television series set in Los Angeles starring Raymond Burr. The fictional lawyer specialized in advocating for the innocent, mostly people who had been wrongly accused of murder. Perry Mason epitomized a good lawyer, striving to help those in need.
The Bible uses this type of legal language, saying that Jesus is our advocate before God the Father. God’s amazing grace is key to understanding salvation. In today’s reading, the apostle John wrote to believers about what to do when sin occurs in our life after our initial salvation. Just as grace and forgiveness were at work in our justification, so also we find them at work in our sanctification.
Every follower of Christ must walk in the light and pursue righteous living (1:5–7). It’s the key to having fellowship with God and with one another. The question naturally arises, then, “What happens when we sin?” What we must first understand is that we will sin (1:8, 10). It’s going to happen. God’s work in us is not yet finished.
When we do sin, we must confess our wrongdoing to God. That means repenting of our sin and turning from it, knowing God has promised to forgive us (1:9). It’s in this context that we can fully appreciate the role of Jesus as our Advocate (2:1). As the perfectly Righteous One, He speaks on our behalf before God the Judge, saying, in essence, “I have already paid the price for this believer’s sin. No penalty remains. Please grant more grace and forgiveness.” In other words, Christ’s atoning sacrifice has already taken care of matters (2:2). His blood has cleansed and purified us, and continues to cleanse and purify us, from sin (1:7, 9).
Today, spend time confessing your sins to the Lord. We don’t need to fear bringing our sin before a Holy God because for us as believers, forgiveness is guaranteed. And there’s every reason to do so. Sin interferes with relationships, but Christ already took care of that on the cross. Go to Him today, and revel in His grace!