“Our help is in the Name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
This past week I have been reading Dane Ortund’s book Gentle and Lowly (Crossway, Marcch 15, 2020). I came across the following quotes from John Bunyan that I found to be very helpful at this point in the pandemic. They fit very well with the 124th Psalm which we will be studying tomorrow night in Bible Study.
“Let’s look more deeply at the difference between Christ’s intercession and his advocacy by noting the difference between Hebrews 7:25 and 1 John 2:1. Hebrews 7:25 says that Christ always lives to make intercession for us, whereas 1 John 2:1 says, “If anyone does sin, we have an advocate.” Do you see the difference? Intercession is something Christ is always doing, while advocacy is something he does as occasion calls for it. Apparently he intercedes for us given our general sinfulness, but he advocates for us in the case of specific sins. Bunyan explains it like this: Christ, as Priest, goes before, and Christ, as an Advocate, comes after. Christ, as Priest, continually intercedes; Christ, as Advocate, in case of great transgressions, pleads. Christ, as Priest, has need to act always, but Christ, as Advocate, sometimes only. Christ, as Priest, acts in time of peace; but Christ, as Advocate, in times of broils, turmoils, and sharp contentions; wherefore, Christ, as Advocate, is, as I may call him, a reserve, and his time is then to arise, to stand up and plead, when his own are clothed with some filthy sin that of late they have fallen into.2 Note the personal nature of Christ’s advocacy. It is not a static part of his work. His advocacy rears up when occasion requires it.”
“Bunyan puts it best: Christ gave for us the price of blood; but that is not all; Christ as a Captain has conquered death and the grave for us, but that is not all; Christ as a Priest intercedes for us in heaven; but that is not all. Sin is still in us, and with us, and mixes itself with whatever we do, whether what we do be religious or civil; for not only our prayers and our sermons, our hearings and preaching; but our houses, our shops, our trades, and our beds, are all polluted with sin. Nor does the devil, our night and day adversary, forbear to tell our bad deeds to our Father, urging that we might forever be disinherited for this. But what should we now do, if we had not an Advocate; yes, if we had not one who would plead; yes, if we had not one that could prevail, and that would faithfully execute that office for us? Why, we must die.”
“But since we are rescued by him, let us, as to ourselves, lay our hand upon our mouth, and be silent.4 Do not minimize your sin or excuse it away. Raise no defense. Simply take it to the one who is already at the right hand of the Father, advocating for you on the basis of his own wounds. Let your own unrighteousness, in all your darkness and despair, drive you to Jesus Christ, the righteous, in all his brightness and sufficiency.”
“Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers” by Dane C. Ortlund