I John 2:1-2

The Divine Courtroom


Our contemporary society is fascinated with the courtroom drama. Our movies and cable television shows broadcast the judicial system in the form of entertainment. But the cosmic courtroom transcends and dwarfs all human trials in scope and severity. Satan is the prosecuting attorney before God the Father the supreme Judge of the universe. If sinners are to be given justice, none of us would survive a judgment from an absolutely Holy God. As R.C.Sproul points out: “God is Just; we are unjust, if we receive from His hands what justice is due to us, we face the everlasting punishment of hell.” But all is not hopeless because we have a sinless Defense Attorney, the Lord Jesus Christ who has declared us innocent based upon His substitutionary atonement. We deserve condemnation but we have been acquitted because we are in Christ having His righteousness imputed to us.

  1. Our Divine Defense Attorney –v.1

    1. Terms of endearment – “little children”

      1. John writes to comfort and admonish – 1:9

      2. The probability that we will sin – Jam. 5:16

      3. Forgiveness in advance – Illustrate – (Barnhouse)

    2. Our Advocate – “One who comes along side us” John 14:16,26; 16:7; 14:15,16

1. Case not based upon our own merits – Turn To: Titus 3:3-7

2. John is the only writer of the New Testament that uses the legal word “advocate” however it is implied in various texts: Luke 22:31-34; John 17:9-16; Rom. 8:31-39; Turn To: Hebrews 7:22-27

  1. Our Divine Propitiation – v.2

    1. Propitiation is the key word – it means “appeasement, or satisfaction” rooted in the Old Testament. – Exodus 25:10-22; Heb. 9:22; 9:11-12; 10:8-12

    2. The propitiatory atonement is vicarious – Jesus Himself took our place.

    3. Clause of Controversy:

      1. B.B. Warfield – The gospel ministry will advance to the whole world.

      2. Unlimited Atonement – Provision for all of mankind given a potential salvation for all mankind without exception.

      3. Define Atonement – Our Lord Jesus death was an atonement fully accomplished for believing sinners. (John MacArthur, John Murray)- Rev. 5:9

    4. Exegesis:

      1. Taking the text at face value – John is not making a redundant statement.

      2. John is a Jew primarily writing to Jews. (He is not the apostle to the Gentiles) John is making a distinction between Jews and Gentiles by using the word “world” – I John 5:19

      3. The propitiatory sacrifice of Christ is applied only to believers who have faith in His blood – Rom. 3:24,25

      4. You cannot separate God’s Sovereign election from His gift of eternal life – John 17:2, 9,19,25


  1. The death and intercessory work of Christ should instill in us the desire to live for Christ in holiness – Note. v.1 cf. II Cor. 5:15

  2. John writes so that when we do sin we must not lose our assurance because we have an Advocate – Our Divine Defense Attorney – 1:7,9

Pastor Nick Iamaio

Reformed Presbyterian Church 207 South First Street, Fulton, NY 13069

Web Site fultonrpc.org