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 2:1).
Who doesn’t go astray at times? I and everyone else have a need for praise. But when we sin, we shouldn’t despair of not finding God’s mercy. Whoever imagines that their achievements are worth something mistrusts God’s mercy and sins in the same way. Don’t despair after you have sinned, but lift your eyes upward, where Christ intercedes for you. For he is your advocate and intercessor. He pleads for you, saying, “Father, for this person I have suffered. I am looking after this individual.” This prayer is never useless, because Christ is our high priest (Hebrews 5:10).
Even though we have Christ, our high priest, advocate, mediator, reconciler, and comforter, we have turned instead to dead saints and considered Christ our judge. That’s why we should write this passage from the apostle John in gold letters and inscribe it on our hearts. So reach out to him and say, “Lord Christ, I know of no other advocate, comforter, and mediator than you alone. I do not doubt that you are all this to me. I cling firmly to it, and I believe it.” Christ was born for us. He suffered for us. He ascended into heaven for our sake, sits at the right hand of the Father, and prays for us. Satan tries with all his might to blind our hearts so we will not believe what the Holy Spirit says in this passage.
A Christian’s condition is a source of wonder! For Christians are both sinful and righteous. They are sinful because of the sinful nature they carry with them that is contaminated by sin. They are righteous because the Spirit pulls them back from sin. With our reason, we can never understand the wonder of this condition.
Adapted from Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional by Martin Luther