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Summary: After talking ab out being honest about our sin, John seeks to encourage Christians at the various stages of their Christian walk

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Be Encouraged

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Intro

Have you ever had a multigenerational family portrait taken?

Sometimes people have them taken at weddings.

Slide

I find it interesting to look at those types of family portraits.

You get to see all the generations of a family and imagine somewhat what they currently do.

Grandparents

You typically will see the patriarch of the family, Grandma and Grandpa in the center.

They have lived long and done the hard work of raising the family. They have walked and lived and now are able to enjoy the relationships with their children and grandchildren.

Getting together with them,

spending time with them,

dispensing advice to them.

They know what it is to live life and they have walked the walk. They no longer have the same needs as their kids or grandkids.

Adult Children

Then you have their kids. Younger. In their prime. They are working at raising their own families. They are the ones who are out

earning a living,

teaching their kids,

busy with the necessities of their life.

They have the energy and the strength that their parents used to have and are now using that energy and strength to raise up the next generation.

Grandkids

Then you have the grandkids. They are young and don’t yet do a lot of work, but they are enjoying the fruits of the labor that their grandparents have put in and that their parents are putting in.

They get to enjoy the love of their parents while they can be nurtured and grown in the safety of their family.

Each of these generations has different roles and needs during the various stages of life they find themselves in. Grandchildren, those that are younger, don’t have the same needs as their parents or their grandparents, just as those in their prime don’t have the same needs as those that are younger or those that are older.

Different needs at the various stages of life.

Transition

Slide

Well, in the church, we find the same thing. Different needs at different stages of life.

This morning, we are continuing our series called Genuine Faith

and we are going to see that as John has just finished talking about begin honest about sin in our life, he then seeks to encourage the people, but he offers different encouragement to those at various stages of life.

Turn with me to 1 John 2:12-14.

Slide

We are going to learn about how John encourages each group and find

how we might be encouraged at the stage we are in as well as

how we might encourage others at the stage they are in.

As we read this, you may notice that what we read is offset like poetry in your Bible.

And you will also notice that John seems to repeat himself.

What he is doing is writing in a poetic form using a type of writing that is known as parallelism that is often found in Hebrew poetry, such as the psalms. In that form, you will repeat what you just said in a different way or perhaps give a little further information and it is an emphatic way of stating something.

That is what John does in these verses.

As John has just finished talking about being honest with ourselves and with God about sin and some tests to see if we are in the faith, e turns to the church and offers them some encouragement at the stage of their Christian walk they happen to be in to help them be assured of their faith even as they are honest about their sin.

So read with me as we begin.

1 John 2:12-14

Slide

12 I write to you, dear children,

because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.

13 I write to you, fathers,

because you have known him who is from the beginning.

I write to you, young men,

because you have overcome the evil one.

I write to you, dear children,

because you have known the Father.

14 I write to you, fathers,

because you have known him who is from the beginning.

I write to you, young men,

because you are strong,

and the word of God lives in you,

and you have overcome the evil one.

Pray

Ok, we see John address what appears to be 3 types of individuals in this section, children, young men and fathers.

He is not actually talking to specifically children, young men, and fathers, but this is more addressed to people, both men and women, that happen to be at different stages of their Christian walk.

In the patriarchal society that they were in, it was not uncommon just to address things only to the men, but that was meant also for women.

In the church that John is writing to, much like any church that you will find today, you are going to have people that are at different places along their journey and people are going to need different things to encourage them.

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