I am glad you asked about this, for many are either ignorant or confused when it comes to this subject. The English word ADVOCATE is only found once in Scripture. Let’s read 1st John 2:1, “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an ADVOCATE with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (NKJV). As you can see, Jesus acts as our Advocate IF WE SIN. The word advocate means, “One who comes to your side.” Today the word often refers to a “Defense Lawyer” who “comes to the side of a person accused of a crime” to offer them legal help by pleading their case before the judge. Because of this, some believe that when we sin Jesus “pleads our case before our heavenly Father.” The problem with that view is they usually go on to say that the Lord Jesus pleads with the Father by reminding Him that He died for that sin. I trust we realize that the Father does NOT need to be reminded of that, for He was completely satisfied with the atonement Jesus made for our sins. Jesus said on the cross “It is finished” (John 19:30) and God accepted the payment His Son made for our sins and He raised His Son from the dead to prove it. Romans 4:25 declares, “Who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.”

So, in what way does Jesus “come to our side” to help us? I believe He comes to our side the moment we sin to RESTORE US TO FELLOWSHIP WITH THE FATHER. The believer has been born again into the family of God but sin can DISRUPT FELLOWSHIP with the Father. Our RELATIONSHIP with the Father will never be broken, but the smallest sin causes our communion with God the Father to be severed. The moment we sin Jesus immediately comes to our side to convict us of our sin in order to bring us to confess that sin, which in turn results in RESTORED FELLOWSHIP with the Father (see 1st John 1:9). We have a beautiful picture of His work as Advocate in Jesus “washing the disciples’ feet” in John chapter 13. As we WALK through this sinful world we sometimes become DEFILED BY SIN. In order to restore us, Jesus must WASH AWAY THAT DEFILEMENT to restore us. How does He do that? He does it with the Word of God! Ephesians 5:25-26 speaks of this, “Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and CLEANSE her with the WASHING OF WATER BY THE WORD.”

There are two thoughts concerning Jesus as JUDGE. He will JUDGE THE BELIEVER’S WORKS to determine what rewards he/she will receive. This truth is found in 2nd Corinthians 5:10 and 1st Corinthians 3:13-15, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad…Each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss, yet he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”

He will JUDGE THE UNBELIEVER’S WORKS to determine his/her degree of punishment in the lake of fire. We see this solemn truth in Revelation 20:11-12, 15: “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it…and I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and the books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books…And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” If you compare these verses with verses 4-6 it will be clear that “the dead” here are all those who had rejected God’s offer of salvation through His Son and thus they will experience the “second death,” which is the lake of fire. No believer will be involved in this judgment for as we have already seen, their sins were already atoned for by Christ on the cross. (300.5) (DO)