My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. (1 John 2:1)

PRESIDENT CALVIN COOLIDGE had a reputation for being a man of few words. One story relates that he went to church one Sunday without his wife. For some reason, she stayed home, and when he returned, she asked him, “What did the pastor preach about?”

“Sin,” was his laconic answer.

“What did he say about it?”

“He was against it.”

So was John. He took a strong position on the subject at the beginning of 1 John 2, and he made other strong statements about sin as he continued to write.

But knowing how human we are, he also declared, “But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One” (1 John 2:1).

We can picture God the Judge, sitting in the judgment seat. We stand before Him, guilty as charged. Satan, as prosecutor, is “the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night” (Rev. 12:10).

But we can also visualize Jesus coming to our defense. He reminds the Father that, although we are guilty as charged, He paid the penalty for our sins. Jesus himself “is the atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 2:2).

We must not use this advocacy as an excuse to be careless about sin, but we can rejoice that our Savior defends us.

Walk in obedience today and in the confidence that you have a great Defender.

Ron McClung, who works at his denomination’s world headquarters, lives in Fishers, Indiana, with his wife, Carol. They have two sons, nine grandchildren, and two great-granddaughters.