My little children (teknia mou). Tender tone with this diminutive of teknon (child), again in John 2:12 ; John 3:18 , but paidia in John 2:14 . John is now an old man and regards his readers as his little children. That attitude is illustrated in the story of his visit to the robber to win him to Christ. That ye may not sin (ina mh amarthte). Purpose (negative) clause with ina mh and the second aorist (ingressive, commit sin) active subjunctive of amartanw, to sin. John has no patience with professional perfectionists ( John 1:8-10 ), but he has still less with loose-livers like some of the Gnostics who went to all sorts of excesses without shame. If any man sin (ean ti amarth). Third-class condition with ean and second aorist (ingressive) active subjunctive again, "if one commit sin." We have (ecomen). Present active indicative of ecw in the apodosis, a present reality like ecomen in 2 Corinthians 5:1 . An advocate (paraklhton). See on John 14:16John 14:26 ; John 15:26 ; John 16:7 for this word, nowhere else in the N.T. The Holy Spirit is God's Advocate on earth with men, while Christ is man's Advocate with the Father (the idea, but not the word, in Romans 8:31-39 ; Hebrews 7:25 ). As dikaio (righteous) Jesus is qualified to plead our case and to enter the Father's presence ( Hebrews 2:18 ).