Summary: Are you a spiritual amnesiac? Do you remember WHO you are and WHO you belong to? John wanted the believers he was writing to... to know and remember WHO they were in Christ!
Date Written: February 18, 2009
Date Preached: February 25, 2009
Where Preached: Oak Park (Wed Evening)
Sermon Series: A Series from 1 John
Sermon Title: Encouragement for the Believer!
Sermon Text: 1 John 2:12-14
12 I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. 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 wicked one. I write to you, little children, because you have known the Father. 14 I have written to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.
Amnesia is a terrible thing. The dictionary defines amnesia as: loss of memory as a result of shock, injury, psychological disturbance, or medical disorder. However, the description ‘loss of memory’ pales in comparison to the reality of loss of WHO you are…
Can you imagine waking up and not knowing where you are, what you are doing there…or worse yet WHO you are… waking up without the knowledge of your own identity.
I have woken up in places surprised and confused because I had forgotten where I was, but quickly the memory comes back to me. But that is still a frustrating, even scary feeling when you wake up and think to yourself, “where am I?”
Now here is something I know all of us can relate to; Have you ever walked into a room to do something and then you FORGET why you came into the room in the 1st place? Isn’t that frustrating? You KNOW that you came in that room for a reason but you just cannot think of what it is…
Now I want you to try to imagine NOT knowing WHO you are! Can you visualize yourself not knowing how old you are, where you are from, what your life was like before, what your life is like now, who your family is, who your friends are…NOTHING… you cannot remember ANYTHING about WHO you are!
Physically, amnesia can be overcome through environmental stimuli, but the emotional scars it can leave are terrifying. If the amnesiac never recovers their memories, all they are left with is the present and living to build some sort of life from NOTHING… they have NO foundation to build it upon… they don’t even know what their own strengths and weaknesses are…
But here is something I want you to think about tonight… what about SPIRITUAL AMNESIA? There are hundreds of thousands of people who have made a profession in Christ, but are walking around in a fog, not knowing WHO they are in Christ, not recalling where Christ has brought them from and simply are at a loss to their spiritual identity.
Unlike the physical version of amnesia, these people are not in this state because of anything physical, but it is a self induced suppression of their own identity that brings them to this state. You see the human heart is deceitful and selfish and seeks only to please its desires. Our enemy also seeks to tear down our walk in Christ and destroy our witness of the Savior. So often, believers fall prey to both of these influences… and fall into a SPIRITUAL AMNESIA!
In our passage tonight John is using some reinforcing encouragements to stimulate the memories of those who have surrendered to Christ to keep them remembering WHO they are in Christ! John does not want these believers to slip into a spiritual amnesia…
When we read these 3 verses we can see John emphasizing with great intensity the fact that he is trying to get across a point to these believers. Six times in these 3 verses we find John using the phrase… “I write to you…because”
John wanted them to know that this letter was not just words, but there was great meaning behind what he was saying, and that if they were to listen to him they would benefit… He was bring encouragement and reminder to these believers who were under persecution and difficulty… they were on the brink of FORGETTING who they were… and where they had come from and John is using this letter to remind them!
As we look at these three verses we can see that John takes a metaphorical approach to his instruction as he has done throughout all his writings. John’s writings are filled with word pictures to illustrate his point and drive home the truth of what he is writing about.
We find in these three verses references to 3 stages of life, 3 seasons of the life cycle. John references childhood, adulthood and the mature years of one’s life. Let’s look at these verses and see what we can pick up to use in our Christian walk so that we NEVER EVER fall prey to the wiles of the enemy and the deception of our own selfish heart.