1 John 2:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 John 2:1, NIV: 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.

1 John 2:1, ESV: My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

1 John 2:1, KJV: My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

1 John 2:1, NASB: My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;

1 John 2:1, NLT: My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.

1 John 2:1, CSB: My little children, I am writing you these things so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father--Jesus Christ the righteous one.

What does 1 John 2:1 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

John begins by explaining why he is writing his letter. His goal is for the readers' maturity. However, John realized believers are still capable of sin. He makes this clear, but also notes that we have hope when this occurs. This is a great message of reassurance for Christians.

This hope in times of sin is through Jesus Christ, who serves as our advocate with the Father. Here, John refers to Jesus as "the righteous." The Greek word translated "advocate" is paraklēton, which is also used in the Gospel of John as a reference to the Holy Spirit (John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7). This word literally means one who pleads a case on someone else's behalf, or a close, helpful advisor.

In this verse, Jesus is called "advocate;" He is "with" God the Father; He is the "Christ," meaning "Anointed One;" and He is "the righteous" one. John heavily emphasizes the greatness of Jesus. He also highlights the sufficiency of Christ over sin and His role as advocate on our behalf before the Father. Other New Testament passages, such as Romans 8:34 and Hebrews 7:25, also describe Jesus in the role of an advocate for believers.

Note that in 1 John 2:2, Jesus is described as the one who pays our debt of sin. Not only does He speak to God on our behalf, He also covers the cost of our sins.