1 JOHN ii. 1. “My little children, these things write I unto you,
that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with
the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
JOHN writes this Epistle to those whom he personally knew
and loved. What a suitable garment these words make
for John’s affection—”My little children.” Some people
use terms of endearment too large for their souls; but
John’s large soul completely filled this raiment of speech.
Two things are taught by the passage.
I. The gracious provisions of the Christian dispensation
do not encourage but discourage sinning.
We often sin through ignorance; the Christian dispen-
sation enlightens us as to sin.
We sin through carelessness; the Christian dispensation
makes us serious about sin.
We sin through moral deadness; the Christian dispensa-
tion inspires us with life.
We sin through despair; the Christian dispensation fills
us with hope.
We sin through feverishness and restlessness of spirit;
the Christian dispensation imparts peace.
We sin through weakness; the Christian dispensation
II. The sins of Christians should not lead them to de-
spondency and despair.
If any man sin, there is cause for sorrow, and cause for
fear, but none for despair. For we are not left to plead
our own cause. Nor are we left to seek an advocate and
representative. A Representative is provided for us, and
revealed to us; and the Advocate we have is God’s Christ.
Do not suffer the guilt of sin to rest on you for a single
hour. Many Christians err here. They perhaps trip and
stumble in the morning, and they leave the acknowledg-
ment of their sin till the evening; and the consciousness
of guilt is over them all day long like a storm-cloud.