Children, Fathers, and Young Men

God’s word for me today is in 1 John 2:12-13 which says:

12 I am writing to you, dear children,
because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.
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.”

John starts with “children” or children in the faith. They have just believed, and John tells them that he’s writing to them because their sins had been forgiven. John is reminding them that they are forgiven because of Jesus; John is reminding them of the Gospel. Then John addresses “fathers” those who are the farthest grown in the faith; John tells them that he is writing to them because they knew who is from the beginning. Fathers know God, and they know the Gospel, so they can give it to the children who are just starting in the faith. Finally John addresses “young men” those who are farther than the children, but aren’t fathers; they have overcome the evil one.

Children have just trusted in Jesus, and they need to be strengthened and constantly reminded that they are forgiven; it’s easy for them to want to work for their salvation; even though they have been forgiven of their sins. Fathers, spiritual ones (although sometimes physical ones are spiritual ones), remind the children that they are forgiven and do not need to work for their salvation.

Young men have grown to know that they are forgiven from their sins, and that is how they have overcome the evil one. They know the Gospel, and they trust in that to save them and help them overcome the evil one. Young men are those who are fighting for the faith; just like a young man on a battle field. You might say that they help to protect the little children from running out into the open and being fired at from our enemy, the devil.

Fathers, as I’ve said, help little children by showing them the Gospel. Fathers love the Gospel and it’s dear to them; so they share it with others. Fathers also instruct young men in how to fight, and they remind them of the Gospel when they start to forget. Fathers also know “the one who was from the beginning” as John says, they have grown close to God and His Gospel that Jesus died to save us.

Even though someone who does not know the Gospel and it’s importance might say that young men and fathers have grown out of the Gospel, which “is just milk for the children”, we know that the Gospel is the meat and the milk. It feeds the children, the young men, and the fathers.

Grace and truth, Charity Cleveland

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