RECEIVING THE CONTINUAL CLEANSING
AFTER WE HAVE BELIEVED
The question now is this: What should we do if we sin again? What should we do if we become filthy again? All the sins we committed before we were saved have been washed away by His blood. But what should we do about the sins that are committed after we are saved? We do not want to be chastised. We do not want to lose the kingdom. We do not want to suffer the hurt of the second death. What can we do before God? Let us consider 1 John 2:1: "My little children, these things I write to you that you may not sin." A Christian’s goal is not to sin. John wrote these words so that we would not sin. According to the status that Christians possess, it is possible for us not to sin. Unfortunately, according to actual history, we often do sin. Positionally speaking, we should not sin. But experientially speaking, we often do sin. There is no need to sin. But sin is an unshakable fact.
John continues, "If anyone sins." Here we are dealing with the problem of a Christian who sins. He is a little one of God; he belongs to God. If he sins, what should he do? "We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous." It does not say that we have an Advocate with God; rather, it says that we have an Advocate with the Father. Thus, this verse refers to the children of God. It refers to those that have been saved. If anyone among the saved ones, the children of God, sins, he has an Advocate with the Father. This is not a dispute in a law court, but a matter within a family.
The word Advocate in the original language is paracletos. Para means alongside of. To be alongside of means that you are there and another is there. You are in Shanghai, and this one is also in Shanghai. When you go to Canton, this one also goes to Canton. It is like railway tracks. You cannot have one track in Szechwan and another in Nanking. Cletos means helper. A paracletos, therefore, is someone who is alongside helping. You can run away. But wherever you run, the paracletos will be there also. Many who help are very good, but they sometimes come too late. There may be a lot of rice in Shanghai, but the starving ones in Szechwan will not be able to get it, because it is not alongside. The Greeks used the word paracletos to refer to a defense lawyer in court. Suppose that you do not understand the law, and others accuse you. Others may sue you or take advantage of you. But you do not have a way to answer them. Now there is a paracletos to answer for you. Others charge that you have sinned. But your paracletos will say that you do not have sin. He will answer for you like a defense lawyer. The meaning here is to have someone next to you to speak for you. If a Christian sins, there is One with the Father speaking for him.
(Gospel of God, The (2 volume set), Chapter 25, by Watchman Nee)