A Church without the real Jesus Christ.

Is this possible? Yes.

It was the greatest burden of John and the threat is still very real.

That threat is not the denial of Jesus but the dethroning of Jesus Christ. It takes place around the issue of sin.

John is challenging those who dismiss sin and make it unimportant or dismiss sin as impossible for those who are spiritually enlightened or mature. We see it today. If we remove sin it leads to the dethroning of Jesus Christ. In fact with no sin there is no need of a present Saviour.

“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2 v 1-2)

We see his deep affection to whoever he is writing to, no one really knows but probably a group of churches who see him as their apostle. He is not saying he expects they will not sin because he has already said we all do.

We know what happens when we sin. We feel guilt, conviction and rightly so. The enemy of our soul, the opportunist, makes his move and brings condemnation and sin can lead to many destructive places. BUT … we have Jesus Christ!

The role of Jesus is as our defence, our advocate, it is beautiful to see the interplay between Jesus and the Spirit as both fulfil roles in advocacy (see his gospel 14: 16). His role is also our sacrifice.

John says that Jesus continually intercedes on our behalf using His righteous act on the cross as our defence. That is not to continually calm God’s anger down. No. This is all of God’s idea. John will say later in 4:10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

He is doing this for us the Church and for the whole world.

But who benefits? It is those who know they are sinners.

If you are not a sinner then you don’t benefit from what Jesus Christ is doing right now.

John sees the danger that Church can try to operate without the real Jesus Christ. Without a correct view of sin then there is no benefit of the reality of Jesus Christ. Anything less dethrones Him.

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