May 20, 2012
I John 2:12-14 – A reminder
As we make this journey down the road of discovery there are times where if we are not careful we will forget where we have come from and we will forget all that God has done for us. When this happens we can become prideful and reject what God is doing currently. We can become myopic in our vision and in our goal to become more like Christ.
As only John can do he seems to pause in his writing here to remind his listeners of all that God has done for them spiritually. Remember, John’s writings here are as if he is thinking out loud and this is one of those moments.
1John 2:12-14 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake. I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
It always good to remember where we have come from and the changes that have come. John reminds us of where we have come from and all that Christ has done is us.
In this passage, John uses three terms to identify those to whom he is writing. He uses “father,” “children,” and “young men.” The term “children” is a generic or overall term for the believers. The term father relates to those who are mature in Christ and the young men are those who are growing in their faith.
John reminds his readers of four things that has occurred in them and is a definer of who they are as passionate followers of Christ.
First of all, their sins have been forgiven. One of the tricks of the enemy is to portray our walk with God as if we have not gained any benefit from following Him. Sometimes we do not realize how much we have been forgiven until we look back at our lives to see what He has done in us. The term sin here is a catchall term that means to miss the mark. We are aiming for God and aiming to do what He wants us to do but we miss the mark and fall short of his purposes in us. The idea of forgiveness is the idea that our sin has been sent off, it has been hurled from us, we let go of it. In a legal sense it means to cancel the debt owed.
Secondly, they have developed a personal relationship with Him – They know Him. They did not just have the facts about him but they knew him intimately. The term here means the knowledge of what really is. It is the acceptance of God’s divine love in Jesus and obedience to his commands.
Thirdly, they have overcome the evil one. The term overcome means to win, to defeat. They are victorious in their walk. This is a great testimony to the power of Christ’s love. He has delivered us. This idea of the word overcome serves two purposes. For one, we are reminded that we have overcome much and secondly, we are reminded that ultimately sin, death and the grave will be overcome by the power of Christ.
Fourthly, the Word of God dwelt in them. This is one of the marks of a passionate follower of Christ. One who is passionate about following Christ will know His word. They will know it and abide in it not for information but for transformation. There is a big difference. We can quote the word all day but just because we can quote it does not mean that it has changed us. This idea of the word abiding is also a reminder of John’s statements in the gospel of John. Those who have the word of God dwelling in them discipline themselves to look at life through the prism of the Word of God. We find in the long run that personal weakness is a very fruitful and satisfying place to be.(Paul Pillai, missionary and pastor inIndia).