Growing in Truth
12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name's sake. 13 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. 14 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. 1 John 2:12-14
In verses 12-14, John is speaking to three different groups of believers: children, fathers, and young men. He could be encouraging people based on their literal ages. Within the church, we are blessed to be in community with people of all ages. Nobody is too old or too young to be a follower of Jesus Christ.
However, John might also be talking about “ages” of spiritual maturity, too. “Children” could be new believers, whatever their ages. They might have just learned that God had forgiven their sins by sending His son Jesus Christ to die in our place.
Perhaps the “young men” are those who are still young in their spiritual maturity but not new believers. Maybe they have just begun to understand that evil in the world comes from Satan and that through Jesus they can exercise their power to overcome Satan’s schemes, though they have to keep fighting against his lies and temptations every single day.
And perhaps the “fathers” are believers who are more mature in their faith. Maybe they had heard Jesus’ teachings and witnessed His ministry just like John and the original 12 apostles did as they followed Jesus for three years.
However, no matter how old Christians are, or how long they have been Christians, John desires to encourage ALL Christians by reminding them of these truths! They truly do know God because of the lessons of verses 12-14, which were taught by Jesus Christ himself. In fact, these are encouraging truths that all believers of all ages should embrace.
Questions for reflection and discussion
1. Are you a “child,” a “young man,” or a “father”?
2. How can you gain more spiritual maturity?
Dear God, thank you that you make us a family and help us grow in spiritual maturity. Give us confidence in Your truth, and help us encourage one another. Amen.