Taken and adapted from, “The Work of Jesus Christ as an Advocate, Clearly Explained, and Largely Improved for the Benefit of All Believers”
Written by, John Bunyan, London: 1689. Edited for thought and sense.
Posted in the Dead Puritan Society by Paul D. Posted in Justification.
“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 (ESV)
Wouldst you know whether Jesus Christ is your advocate?
Then I ask again, Hast thou revealed thy cause unto him? —I say, Have you revealed your cause unto him? For he that goes to law for his right, must not only go to a lawyer, and say, Sir, I am in trouble, and am to have a trial at law with mine enemy, pray undertake my cause; but he must also reveal to his lawyer his cause. He must go to him and tell him what is the matter, how things stand, where the shoe pinches, and so forth. Thus did the church of old, and thus does every true Christian now; for though nothing can be hid from him, yet he will have things out of thine own mouth; he will have you to reveal your matters unto him (Matt 20:32).
“O Lord of hosts,” said Jeremiah, “that judges righteously, that tries the feelings and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I revealed my cause” (Jeremiah 11:20). And again; “But, O Lord of hosts, that tries the righteous, and sees the feelings and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them; for unto thee have I opened my cause” (Jeremiah 20:12). Do you see here, how saints of old were accustomed to do? How they did, not only in a general way, entreat Christ to plead their case, but in a particular way, they went to him and revealed, or opened their cause unto him? O! It is excellent to behold how some sinners will do this when they get Christ and themselves in a closet alone; when they, upon their bare knees, are pouring out of their souls before him; or, like the woman in the gospel, telling him all the truth (Mark 5).
O! Says the soul, Lord, I am come to thee upon an earnest business; I am arrested by Satan; the bailiff was mine own conscience, and I am like to be accused before the judgment-seat of God. My salvation lies at stake; I am questioned for my interest in heaven; I am afraid of the Judge; my heart condemns me (I John 3:20). Mine enemy is subtle, and doesn’t lack the malice to prosecute me to death, and then to hell. Also, Lord, I am sensible that the law is against me, for indeed I have horribly sinned, and thus and thus have I done. Here I lie open to law, and there I lie open to law; here I have given the adversary advantage, and there he will surely have a hank against me. Lord, I am distressed, undertake for me! And there are some things that thou must be acquainted with about thine Advocate, before thou wilt venture to go thus far with him. And, you must know him to be a friend, and not an enemy, unto whom you open your heart; and until you come to know that Christ is you friend, or a friend to souls in you condition, you will never reveal you cause unto him, not thy whole cause….