Advocate

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Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [1]

-is one that pleads the cause of another. In a very particular manner, the Scripture applies this to the Lord Jesus Christ. Indeed, it is so peculiarly and personally his, that it expressly forms one of his divine offices. Hence, the apostle saith, "If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the propitiation for our sins." ( 1 John 2:1-2)

It is very blessed to see the personal and peculiar fitness and suitability of the Lord Jesus Christ to this office, and in how endeared and affectionate a manner he is thereby recommended, and comes home with all the warmth of tenderness to our hearts. I persuade myself that I shall have the reader's pardon and indulgence, if I trespass for a moment, on dwelling a little more particularly, than the merely noticing it, on this sweet feature in the portrait of Our Lord.

That our poor nature, universally speaking, stands in need of an advocate, is unnecessary to insist, upon, for "we have all sinned and comeshort of God's glory." And therefore, he who undertakes to plead the cause of the sinner, must himself be sinless. And he must not only possess sufficient abilities to the office of a special pleader, but,he must know every person, and every case, with all the disadvantages of all the causes for which he undertakes. Neither is it sufficient, that he hath all these qualifications, and more than these, unless that he be lawfully constituted to the office. It is not enough, in our common courts of justice, between man and man, that many an able and a feeling heart could stand up for poor guilty criminals, and plead their cause. He that advocates for them, must have a legal call to the office, and be sworn into it, according to the laws of the court. It is most blessed, therefore, to see that in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ all these different qualifications meet and centre, and shine forth in one full constellation.

An attention to a few leading particulars, will make this appear abundantly plain and obvious to every beholder. The Redeemer's claim to this office of an advocate, and the only advocate of our poor nature, is founded on the call of Jehovah We are told by God the Holy Ghost, ( Hebrews 5:5-6) that Christ "glorified not himself to be made an High Priest, but was called of God, as was Aaron." And he was not only called to the office, but sworn into it, by the solemnity of an oath.-"The Lord sware, and will not repent; thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek." So then, it appears beyond all question and dispute, that JEHOVAH, who said unto him, "Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee;" said also, "Thou art a priest for ever;" and confirmed it by his oath. I beg the reader to keep the remembrance of this everlastingly in view. Your Jesus, your advocate with the Father, is your sworn advocate, and by JEHOVAH himself. And as by reason of the sin of our nature, God our Father is the law adversary of every poor sinner; (see  Matthew 5:25) so Christ is our law advocate, and fully and legally appointed to this office, by JEHOVAH himself. Sweet thought!

But we must not stop here, in examining into the right of Christ, for the exercise of this divine office, the advocate of his people. He is no less so, by virtue of his being the propitiation for our sins; and in a double sense in this particular, because, not only the infinite dignity of his person, and the infinite merit of his propitiation gives him this claim, but also he is the very propitiation which God "himself hath set forth, through faith in his blood." Let the reader consult those Scriptures for himself, which prove the certainty of these precious truths, and he will see how unanswerably conclusive they are. ( Job 33:24;  Isaiah 42:21;  Matthew 17:5;  Romans 3:25) Now, then, let me pause, and ask, Hath not this almighty advocate a right to plead for his own rights, and those of his people in him? Was it not an absolute promise, in the charter of grace, that "when he had made his soul an offering for sin, he should see of the travail of his soul, and be satisfied?" ( Isaiah 53:10-11) And shall not the blessed Jesus stand up and plead for the fulfilment of those promises? Hath he, indeed, given himself as the sinner's surety "an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour?" and can he rest satisfied, till he hath brought all his ransomed people around him in glory?

Moreover, there is one point more to be considered in this subject of Christ's advocacy, which we have not yet even glanced at, though it forms a principal object, for which the Lord Jesus carries on his high priestly office, in the court of heaven, namely, the destruction of all his enemies, and the enemies of his dear people. When the Lord Jesus, by the Spirit of prophecy, spake of the purposes of his coming, it was for the overthrow of the empire of Satan, as well as the establishment of his own kingdom. "The day of vengeance (said Jesus) is in my heart, and the year of my redeemed is come." ( Isaiah 63:4) So, then, it must follow, that unless we can suppose what is impossible, that when Jesus returned to heaven he ceased to take concern in the exercises and sorrows and temptations of his redeemed upon earth, and that the triumphs of the powers of darkness engaged not the attention of the Lord to destroy: surely he is now, as much as ever, carrying on, by his everlasting intercession, all the grand purposes of his victory over hell, until he come, in the fulness of the times appointed, finally to crush the foe, and to root out of his kingdom "all things that offend." I must not stay to describe what the Scriptures of God so very largely and blessedly set forth, the numberless qualities of the Lord Jesus, in his abilities, and readiness, and grace, and a thousand endearing things beside, which render him so peculiarly suited to the office. The prophet sums up all in one, his character, in this department of it, when calling him the Wonderful Counsellor; and the Apostle no less, when declaring that "in Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." ( Isaiah 9:6;  Colossians 2:3) And if it were not for swelling the pages of a work that I must rather study to abridge, I might easily shew, that such are the powerful recommendations the Lord Jesus brings with him, to induce any, and every poor sinner, that is conscious of the want of an advocate, to plead his cause before God, that not a soul, earnest for his everlasting welfare, would cease a moment from putting all his concerns in the hand of such a wise, tender, and successful High Priest as Jesus. Indeed, indeed, it is most blessed to behold the Lord Jesus in this endeared character. All he undertakes is altogether free, "without money and without price." No case of his people, however desperate, he refuseth; and none that he undertakes can fail. Other advocates may, and indeed must, ultimately bring forth disappointment, but no cause put into the hands of Jesus can. And the gracious manner in which the Lord carries it on, is most blessed; for he makes every case which he takes up his own. He enters into all their concerns, gives them to see how much he sympathizes with them, during their exercises, and supports their souls with an abiding assurance, that he is everlastingly attentive to them. Not all the hallelujahs of heaven can make him for a moment intermit his overlooking either the persons, or the causes, of all his redeemed upon earth. For it is not their deservings, but his love; not what they have done, or can do for themselves, but what he can do for them, that becomes the standard of his grace. What they are, and what they merit, comes not into the amount. That they are his, and that he hath purchased their redemption, and received them as the gift of his Father; these are the motives which operate in the heart of Christ. He saith himself, in his pleadings for them before the throne, (for the words are already given to us) "Father, I will that they whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me." ( John 17:24)

Ye sinners in Zion! here bring all your causes. Come to Jesus and put every concern in his almighty hand. Jesus waits to be gracious. He can, and will save to the uttermost, all that come to God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. ( Hebrews 7:25) Hail! thou glorious, gracious, lawful, and successful Advocate of my poor, soul!

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [2]

ADVOCATE (Gr. paraklçtos ). The word occurs only in the writings of St. John: four times in his Gospel (  John 14:16;   John 14:26;   John 15:26;   John 16:7 ) of the Holy Spirit, and once in his 1st Epistle (  1 John 2:1 ) of Jesus. It is unfortunate that our English Versions have rendered it in the former ‘Comforter’ (RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] ‘or Advocate , or Helper , Gr. Paraclete ’) and in the latter ‘Advocate’ (RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] ‘or Comforter , or Helper , Gr. Paraclete ’).

Comforter ,’ though a true and beautiful designation of the Holy Spirit, is an impossible rendering. It is true that parakalein means either ‘comfort’ ( Mat 5:4 ,   2 Corinthians 1:4;   2 Corinthians 7:6 ) or ‘call to one’s side’ (  Acts 28:20 ), but paraklçtos must be associated with the latter signification. It is a passive form, and denotes not ‘one who comforts ( parakalei )’ but ‘one who is called in to aid ( parakaleitai ).’ It was a forensic term, signifying the counsel for the defence and corresponding exactly to our ‘advocate’ (Lat. advocatus ). Singularly enough, the Greek-speaking Fathers mostly took the word in the impossible sense of ‘Comforter,’ influenced perhaps by the false analogy of Menahem ( Consolator ), a Jewish name for the Messiah. Cf. Cyril of Jerusalem, Cat . xvi. 20: ‘He is called Parakletos because He comforts ( parakalei ) and consoles and helps our infirmity.’ Were it understood in its literal sense of ‘Strengthener’ ( Confortator ), ‘Comforter’ would be a fair rendering; but as a matter of fact it originated in an error; nor does it suggest the true idea to the English reader. It should be observed that ‘comfortless’ in   John 14:18 lends it no support. RV [Note: Revised Version.] gives ‘desolate’; literally, as in the margin of both Versions, ‘orphans.’

The substitution of ‘Advocate’ for ‘Comforter’ reveals a wealth of meaning in our Lord’s address to the Eleven on that night in which He was betrayed. During His earthly ministry He had been God’s Advocate with men, pleading God’s cause with them and seeking to win them for Him. He was going away, but God would not be left without an Advocate on the earth. ‘I will pray the Father, and another Advocate he will give you, that he may be with yon for ever the Spirit of Truth.’ Not received, because unrecognized, by the unspiritual world, the Advocate would be recognized and welcomed by believers ( John 14:16-17;   John 14:25-26 ). And He would testify to them about Jesus, the unseen Lord, and they would repeat His testimony to the world (  John 15:26-27 ). And He would make their testimony effective, ‘convicting the, world regarding sin, righteousness, and judgment’ (  John 16:8-11 ).

Jesus told the Eleven that it was ‘expedient for them that he should go away,’ since His departure was the condition of the advent of the Advocate ( John 16:7 ); and   1 John 2:1 furnishes a profound commentary on this declaration. Jesus in the days of His flesh was God’s Advocate on the earth, pleading with men for God. The Holy Spirit has taken His place, and performs this office. But Jesus is still an Advocate. He is the Advocate of sinners up in heaven, pleading their cause with God, and, in the language of St. Paul (  Romans 8:34 ), ‘making intercession for them.’

And thus it was expedient for us that He should go away, that we might enjoy a double advocacy the Holy Spirit’s here, pleading with us for God; and that of Jesus in the court of heaven, pleading with God for us. There are three dispensations in the history of redemption, each richer and fuller than the last: (1) The OT dispensation, under which men knew only of God in high heaven; (2) that of the Incarnation, under which the Father came near to men in Jesus Christ and by His gracious advocacy appealed to their hearts; (3) that of the Holy Spirit, under which the Holy Spirit is the Father’s Advocate here, and Jesus ‘our Advocate above, our Friend before the throne of love.’

David Smith.

King James Dictionary [3]

AD'VOCATE, n. L. advocatus, from advoco, to call for, to plead for of ad and voco, to call. See Vocal.

1. Advocate, in its primary sense, signifies, one who pleads the cause of another in a court of law. Hence, 2. One who pleads the cause of another before any tribunal or judicial court, as a barrister in the English courts. We say, a man is a learned lawyer and an able advocate.

In Europe, advocates have different titles, according to their particular duties.

Consistorial advocates, in Rome, appear before the Consistory, in opposition to the disposal of benefices.

Elective advocates are chosen by a bishop, abbot, or chapter, with license from the prince.

Feudal advocates were of a military kind, and to attach them to the church, had grants of land, with power to lead the vassals of the church war.

Fiscal advocates, in ancient Rome, defended causes in which the public revenue was concerned.

Juridical advocates became judges, in consequence of their attending causes in the earl's court.

Matricular advocates defended the cathedral churches.

Military advocates were employed by the church to defend it by arms, when force gave law to Europe.

Some advocates were called nominative, from their being nominated by the pope or king some regular, from their being qualified by a proper course of study. Some were supreme others, subordinate.

Advocate, in the German polity, is a magistrate, appointed in the emperor's name, to administer justice.

Faculty of advocates, in Scotland, is a society of eminent lawyers, who practice in the highest courts, and who are admitted members only upon the severest examination, at three different times. It consists of about two hundred members, and from this body are vacancies on the bench usually supplied.

Lord advocate, in Scotland, the principal crown lawyer, or prosecutor of crimes.

Judge advocate, in courts martial, a person who manages the prosecution.

In English and American courts, advocates are the same as counsel, or counselors. In England,they are of two degrees, barristers and serjeants the former, being apprentices or learners, cannot, by ancient custom, be admitted serjeants, till of sixteen years standing.

3. One who defends, vindicates, or espouses a cause, by argument one who is friendly to as, an advocate for peace, or for the oppressed.

In scripture, Christ is called an advocate for his people.

We have an advocate with the father.  1 John 2.

AD'VOCATE, To plead in favor of to defend by argument, before a tribunal to support or vindicate.

Those who advocate a discrimination.

The Duke of York advocated the amendment.

The Earl of Buckingham advocated the original resolution.

The idea of a legislature, consisting of a single branch, though advocated by some, was generally reprobated.

How little claim persons, who advocate this sentiment, really posses to be considered calvinists, will appear from the following quotation.

The most eminent orators were engaged to advocate his cause.

A part only of the body, whose cause be advocates, coincide with him in judgment.

Holman Bible Dictionary [4]

Old Testament While the word advocate is not found in the Old Testament, the concept of advocacy is found. Abraham intercedes with God in behalf of SodomGenesis 18:23-33 ); Moses intercedes with God in behalf of the Israelites ( Exodus 32:11-14 ); Samuel intercedes with God in behalf of the children of Israel ( 1 Samuel 7:8-9 ). Other examples may be found in  Jeremiah 14:7-9 ,Jeremiah 14:7-9, 14:13 ,Jeremiah 14:13, 14:19-22 and   Amos 7:2 ,Amos 7:2, 7:5-6 . Modern translators often use “advocate” to refer to Job's desire for a heavenly attorney to plead his case even though he die ( Job 16:19 ).

New Testament “Advocate” is the translation often given to the Greek parakletos in   1 John 2:1 , a word found elsewhere only in John's Gospel as a title referring to the Holy Spirit, and there translated “Helper,” “Comforter,” “Counselor,” or “Advocate” ( John 14:16 ,John 14:16, 14:26;  John 15:26;  John 16:7 ). Ancient Greeks used the term for one called in to assist or speak for another, frequently in a court setting. Rabbis transliterated the word into Hebrew, using it to denote an advocate before God. 1John portrayed a courtroom scene in which Jesus Christ, the righteous One, intercedes with the Father on behalf of sinners. Such a portrayal stands in line with Old Testament ideas of advocacy, but supersedes it. In contrast to Old Testament advocates, Jesus is both the one righteous Advocate and the “atoning sacrifice” (NIV) for the world's sins ( 1 John 2:2 ).  1 John 2:1 parallels other New Testament descriptions of Jesus' intercessory role (  Romans 8:34;  Hebrews 7:25 ). See Helper; Paraclete; Intercession; Jesus Christ , High Priest .

R. Robert Creech

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [5]

The word sometimes translated in the Bible as ‘advocate’ denoted a person who came and stood beside someone to help in a time of need. People today usually think of an advocate as one who pleads on behalf of another in a court of law, but only occasionally does the Bible use the word in this legal sense (e.g.  1 John 2:1). In most cases it uses the word in the broader sense of a counsellor or helper (e.g.  John 14:26).

Jesus had been a counsellor or helper to his followers while he was with them, and promised that when he left them and returned to his Father, he would send them another counsellor, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit would dwell with Jesus’ followers, giving them the sort of teaching, guidance and help that Jesus had given them ( John 14:16-17;  John 14:26;  John 15:26;  John 16:7; cf.  Matthew 10:19-20;  Romans 8:26). (For further details see Holy Spirit .)

While the Holy Spirit is within believers on earth, Jesus Christ appears before the Father as their advocate in heaven. Christians need this advocate because of the difficulties they face in a sinful world. Inevitably they will sometimes sin and as a result need God’s forgiveness. Their sin does not cause them to lose their salvation, but it spoils their fellowship with God. In Jesus they have a heavenly advocate who, when they confess their sin, brings their case before the merciful God and asks his forgiveness. Just as Jesus’ death and resurrection was the basis on which God accepted them as his people in the first place, so it is the basis on which God continues to forgive their failures ( Romans 8:34;  1 John 1:9;  1 John 2:1-2).

Another picture of the risen Christ’s work on behalf of his people is that of high priesthood. In this picture Jesus’ work is similar to that of an advocate. He is his people’s great high priest, who understands their needs and appears in the presence of God to plead for them ( Hebrews 7:25;  Hebrews 9:24). (For further details see PRIEST, sub-heading ‘The high priesthood of Jesus’.)

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [6]

( Paraklete ); one who pleads another's cause, exhorts, comforts, prays for another. The Holy Spirit ( John 14:16;  John 15:26;  John 16:7); though our KJV always translates it "Comforter" when applied to Him, and "Advocate" when to Christ ( 1 John 2:1). But all the ideas included in the word apply both to the Holy Spirit and to Christ. For if Christ intercedes with God for us above, the Holy Spirit does so in us below; compare  Romans 8:26;  Romans 8:34 with  Hebrews 7:25.

The Holy Spirit, testifying of Christ within us, answers, as our Advocate before our consciences, the law's demands; He, as the Spirit of prayer and adoption, inspires in us prayers which words cannot fully utter. If the Holy Spirit be named "another Comforter" by Jesus, yet He implies that Himself also is so, as indeed the Holy Spirit is His Spirit; absent in body, He is still present by His Spirit ( John 14:16;  John 14:18). Tertullus (Acts 24) is a sample of the advocates usually employed by clients in the Roman provinces.

Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology [7]

Translation (consistently in NRSV and JB) of the Greek work parakletos [16:2) it is used for Job's "comforters." Clearly the work of the Holy Spirit is more than either of these: the Spirit is more than a "Counselor" and stronger than a "Comforter" (in our modern sense of the word). The Gospel passages certainly mean that the Holy Spirit is Helper, "another" Parakletos [   John 14:16 ), because Jesus had truly been that. The Spirit was promised to remain with Jesus' disciples always (14:16), to "teach" (14:26), to "testify" about Christ and to enable them to testify (15:26), and to "convict the world of guilt" (16:7). Then  1 John 2:1 speaks of Jesus as our continuing advocate with the Father, because we who are sinful find in him the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and thus have our acceptance with the Father.

Francis Foulkes

See also Holy Spirit

Bibliography . J. Behm, TDNT, 5:800-14; G. Braumann, NIDNTT , 1:88-91; L. Morris, The Gospel according to John .

Smith's Bible Dictionary [8]

Advocate. Advocate or Paraclete , one that pleads the cause of another.  1 John 2:1. Used by Christ ,  John 14:16;  John 15:26;  John 16:7, to describe the office and work of the Holy Spirit, and translated Comforter , that is, (see margin of Revised Version), Advocate, Helper, Intercessor.

This use of the word is derived from the fact that the Jews, being largely ignorant of the Roman law and the Roman language, had to employ Roman Advocates in their trials before Roman courts. Applied to Christ ,  1 John 2:1.

Webster's Dictionary [9]

(1): (n.) To plead in favor of; to defend by argument, before a tribunal or the public; to support, vindicate, or recommend publicly.

(2): (v. i.) To act as advocate.

(3): (n.) One who defends, vindicates, or espouses any cause by argument; a pleader; as, an advocate of free trade, an advocate of truth.

(4): (n.) One who pleads the cause of another. Specifically: One who pleads the cause of another before a tribunal or judicial court; a counselor.

(5): (n.) Christ, considered as an intercessor.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [10]

Παρακλητος , a patron, one who pleads the cause of any one before another. In this sense the term is applied to Christ our intercessor,   1 John 2:1 . It signifies also a comforter, and an instructer; and is used of the Holy Spirit,   John 14:16;  John 15:26 .

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [11]

 1 John 2:1 (a) This title is applied to CHRIST in His office of pleading for us before GOD. He pleads for GOD's people in the presence of GOD when Satan accuses them before GOD. He shows His wounded hands and feet as He defends His people before the Judge of all the earth. He shows by the wounds that He paid the debt for the believer whom He represents.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [12]

 John 14:16 15:26 16:7 John 2:1 Acts 24:1

People's Dictionary of the Bible [13]

Advocate.  1 John 2:1. See Comforter.

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [14]

See Paraclete.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [15]

( Παράκλητος , PARACLETE), one who pleads the cause of another; also one who exhorts, defends, comforts, prays for another. It is an appellation given to the Holy Spirit by Christ ( John 14:16;  John 15:26;  John 16:7) (See Comforter)] and to Christ himself by an apostle ( 1 John 2:1; see also  Romans 8:34;  Hebrews 7:25).

In the forensic sense, advocates or pleaders were not known to the Jews, (See Trial) until they came under the dominion of the Romans, and were obliged to transact their law affairs after the Roman manner. Being then little conversant with the Roman laws and with the forms of the jurists, it was necessary for them, in pleading a cause before the Roman magistrates, to obtain the assistance of a Roman lawyer or advocate who was well versed in the Greek and Latin languages (Otti Spicil. Crim. p. 325). In all the Roman provinces such men were found who devoted their time and labor to the pleading of causes and the transacting of other legal business in the provincial courts (Lamprid. Vit. Alex. Sev. c. 44). It also appears (Cic. pro Coelio, c. 30) that many Roman youths who had devoted themselves to forensic business used to repair to the provinces with the consuls and praetors, in order, by managing the causes of the provincials, to fit themselves for more important ones at Rome. Such an advocate was Tertullus, whom the Jews employed to accuse Paul before Felix ( Acts 24:1); for although ῾Ρήτωρ , the term applied to him, signifies primarily an Orator or Speaker, yet it also denotes a pleader or advocate (Kuinol, Comment., and Bloomfield, Recens Synopt. ad  Acts 24:2). (See Accuser).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [16]

ad´vo - kā̇t ( παράκλητος , paráklētos ): Found in  1 John 2:1 , "If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." The Greek word has several shades of meaning: (1) a legal advocate; (2) an intercessor, (3) a helper generally. In the passage before us the first and second meanings are included. Christ in heaven intercedes for Christians who sin upon earth. The next verse declares that He is the "propitiation for our sins" and it is His propitiatory work which lies at the basis of His intercession. The margins of the Revised Version (British and American) and the American Standard Revised Version give as alternative readings Comforter, Helper, Greek Paraclete. Beyond doubt however, "advocate" is the correct translation in the passage in the epistle. The same Greek word also occurs in the Gospel of John ( John 14:16 ,  John 14:26;  John 15:26;  John 16:7 ) referring not to Christ but to the Holy Spirit, to whom Christ refers as "another comforter" whom He will send from the Father. In the Gospel various functions are ascribed to the Spirit in relation to believers and unbelievers. The word in the Gospel is inadequately translated "Comforter." The Spirit according to these passages, is more than Comforter and more than Advocate. See Paraclete; Comforter; Holy Spirit .

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [17]

Advocate, one who pleads the cause of another; also one who exhorts, defends, comforts, prays for another. It is an appellation given to the Holy Spirit by Christ ( John 14:16;  John 15:26;  John 16:7), and to Christ himself by an apostle ( 1 John 2:1; see also  Romans 8:34;  Hebrews 7:25).

In the forensic sense, advocates or pleaders were not known to the Jews until they came under the dominion of the Romans, and were obliged to transact their law affairs after the Roman manner. Being then little conversant with the Roman laws, and with the forms of the jurists, it was necessary for them, in pleading a cause before the Roman magistrates, to obtain the assistance of a Roman lawyer or advocate, who was well versed in the Greek and Latin languages. In all the Roman provinces such men were found, who devoted their time and labor to the pleading of causes and the transacting of other legal business in the provincial courts. It also appears that many Roman youths who had devoted themselves to forensic business used to repair to the provinces with the consuls and prætors, in order, by managing the causes of the provincials, to fit themselves for more important ones at Rome. Such an advocate was Tertullus, whom the Jews employed to accuse Paul before Felix ( Acts 24:1) [ACCUSER].

References