May 23, 2023
1 John 2:1-6
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.  3 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
New International Version (NIV)
“Who is Jesus to you?”  Before she became a follower of Christ, one friend thought that was an odd question.  How would you answer it?  Is he your Savior?  Is he your Lord?  Can he be one without being the other?
Humanly speaking, John spent as much time with Jesus as any of the disciples.  He knew he was loved by Jesus.  The Lamb of God took away the sins of the world, including John’s.  John stood beneath the shadow of the cross.  He could never forget Jesus’ atonement for his own sins.  He reminded Christians that when we sin, we have an Advocate with the Father.  The ascended Christ not only frees us from the penalty of sin, but also from the power of sin.
Too many Christians act like Jesus’ work of salvation ends with justification.  John wrote in vv. 3-6 about sanctification.  When we know the price Jesus paid for our sins this makes us want to obey him.  The sure sign of our salvation is our ongoing sanctification.  Jesus had changed John’s life from a “son of thunder” to the beloved disciple.   Once he had offered to call down lightning to destroy a Samaritan village.  Now he writes about loving others.  Where did he learn that?  Jesus.
The goal of the Christian life is to become like Jesus.  We know we live in him as we begin to live as Jesus did.  Jesus cannot be our Savior without being our Lord.  He is who he is.  The two functions come in one perfect Person.  Once we are forgiven, our supernatural transformation makes us want to leave sin behind.  Who is Jesus to you?  If he has justified you, he wants to sanctify you.  We are free from sin’s penalty.  Through the Holy Spirit we are being set free from sin’s power.  Someday, we will be free from sin’s presence.  And all of this through Jesus.
Pray with me:
Father, thank you for our Advocate, who became the atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Lord we need help today to overcome the power of sin.  Evil lurks at the door.  Let us not be ambushed by sin today.  Free us from willful sins, we pray.  Make us more like Jesus today we pray, in his name.  Amen. 
Our 2023 Every Day with Jesus readings are taken from Robert Murray M'Cheyne's Bible Reading Calendar. Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy here:
Please join us in reading through the scriptures again this year.  We will read the New Testament twice and the Old Testament once this year. M'Cheyne once said, “A man is who he is on his knees, and nothing more.”  Would you pray with me that God will make his word live to us this year?  Let’s not just get through the Bible.  Let it get through to us!


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