I. Introduction (2:1-2) My Little Children

A. Both in Latin and in Greek diminutives carry a special affection

1. John is a very old man - maybe the last man alive who had actually walked and talked with Jesus

a. so often age gets out of sympathy with youth and can even acquire an irritability toward the new and laxer ways of the

younger generation

b. but John in his old age has nothing but tenderness for those who are younger - those whom he calls little children

2. He writes to exhort them not to sin but notice he does not scold them

a. there is no cutting edge in his voice - he seeks to love them into a life of obedience and purity

b. John's object in writing is that they 'nay not sin

B. There is a two-fold connection between what is said here and what has gone on before

I. John had said two things about sin:

a. first, he said, sin is universal - anyone who says he has not sinned is a liar

b. second, he said there is forgiveness of sins through the atonement of Christ

2. Now it is possible that someone could use those two statements to think lightly of sin

a. if all have sinned why make a fuss about it, why struggle with what is inevitable?

b. then if God forgives us when we do sin, why even worry about it?

3. In the face of that John has two things to say

C. The Christian is one who has come to know God and have fellowship with him; the inevitable accompaniment of knowledge must be obedience

I. John is emphatic on this point, to know God and to obey God are twin parts of the same experience

D. Secondly, the man who claims to abide in Him (2:6) must live the same kind of life as Jesus Lived

1. By that I mean, union with Christ necessarily involves the imitation of Christ

2. So John lays down two great ethical principles

a. knowledge of God involves obedience and

b. union with Christ involves imitation of Christ

3. Therefore, the Christian can never be induced to excuse or think lightly of sin

II Jesus our Advocate

A. It is clear that Christianity is an ethical religion - it is also clear that man is often an ethical failure

I. confronted with the demands of God we admit them and accept them and then fail to keep them

2. flow can the believer then continue to enter the presence of God

a. the problem is solved in the person of Christ

b. in this passage, John used two great words about Christ which we must understand in order for us to enter into the full benefits

of our salvation in Christ.

B. Jesus is called our Advocate

1. The word Advocate is parakletos - in other places it is translated comforter

a. it is used with that meaning in Gen. 37:35 where Jacob's children rose to comfort him after the loss of Joseph

b. used that way in Matt, 5:4 - those who mourn will be comforted

c. but that is not the most common or literal use of the word

2. It is used of someone called alongside to help

a. in secular Greek Xenophon tells how Cyrus was summoned (parakletos) to his tent to be his counselor

b. it means a supporter, helper and above all a Witness in someone's favor - an advocate in someone's defense

c. a parakletos was defined as "one who lends his presence to his friends"

d. more than once in the New Testament there is the great conception of Jesus as the friend and defender of men

e. Paul writes of Christ, "He is at the right hand of God to intercede for us." (Rm. 8:34)

f. in Hebrews it says, "He even lives to make intercession for us" (Heb. 7:25): He also says, "He appears in the presence of God

for us" (Heb. 9:24)

3. The tremendous thing about Jesus is that He has never lost his interest or his love for us

a. He still pleads our case in God's presence and that advocacy begins the very moment we sin

b. note that I John 2:1 does not read this way: If we repent we have an advocate with the Father

c. It says, If we sin we have an advocate

d. at the moment of your failure tie springs into action

e. why does he do that? Because he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins

f. since He assumed the responsibility for our sins on the Cross - tie fully intends to shoulder the responsibility for all our sin.