If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus
Christ the righteous: and he is the Payment for our sins:
and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 2:1-2.
Since we are unable to keep the law, Christ came and stepped
between the Father and us, and prays for us: Beloved Father,
be gracious unto them and forgive them their sins. I will take
upon me their transgressions and bear them; I love you with
my whole heart, and also the entire human race, and this
I will prove by shedding my blood for mankind. I have fulfilled
the law and I did it for their welfare in order that they may
partake of my fulfilling the law and thereby come to grace.
Therefore there is first given us through Christ the sense that we
do not fulfill the law and that sin is fully and completely forgiven;
however, this is not bestowed in a way or to the end
that we need not keep the law in the future, and may forever
continue to sin, or that we should teach, if we have faith we
need no longer to love God and our neighbour. But the meaning
is that the fulfilling of the law may now for the first time be
successfully attempted and perfectly realized, and this is the
eternal, fixed and unchangeable will of God. To this end it
is necessary to preach grace that man may find counsel and help
to come to a perfect life.
But the help offered us is that Christ prays the Father to
forgive us our sins against the law, and not give to us what we
are still owing. He promises also to give the Holy Spirit, by
whose aid the heart begins to love God and to keep his commandments.
God is not gracious and merciful to sinners to
the end that they might not keep his law, nor that they should
remain as they were before they received grace and mercy ; but
he condones and forgives both sin and death for Christ's sake.
who has fulfilled the whole law to make the heart glad and
through the Holy Spirit to kindle and move the heart to begin
again to love from day to day more and more. Thus begins in
us not only love, but also truth, a true character, as the law
requires. Christ is full of grace and truth, and through him
grace and truth grow in us.