Summary: maturing in your Christian life
1 John 2:12-17 GROW UP AND GO ON.
Read passage. Prayer. As I said earlier I'm preaching this morning on a subject that I believe is very vital in the life of every Christian.
People around you, the church, and even Jesus Christ himself believes that it's very important that we grow up and go on.
In the epistle of first John there are two words that are a common which we hear over and over. #1.The word know. #2. The word life. Because on the quest to growing up and going on we have to know by personal experience that we truly have life in Jesus. No life; No Growth!! Makes sense!
Salvation or being born again is the getting in spot in becoming a Christian. It is something that is birthed in us by the Holy Ghost. Not something that can be borrowed from your mom or dad. You can’t bargain for salvation because of your works.
And it can be bought by what you give in the church.
All earthly man-made efforts to be a Christian are futile and only generate failure.
Salvation only comes from Jesus efforts on the cross which is for the forgiveness of sin for everyone who will believe. Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.
For everybody who receives this gift, they receive a new birth. And from that new birth you will start growing in Christ. You will not stand still, and you will not go backwards for ever! The Christian life moves and it moves forwards!
I have seen some people take two steps forward and three back, but it does move.
We need to remember that Christianity is not just something we do, but it is a way of life.
And this life has a beginning and it will develop as we live it.
Today were studying 3 truths out of this passage that we need to come to grips with in order to live a Christian life and become the mature people that God wants us to be.
The first thing that has to happen is. #1. AN INTERNAL CHANGE.
The first thing we need to remember is that the Christian life is a growing and progressive life.
We should always be changing and advancing forward in it.
Do you remember the story about Jesus in the Gospel of Luke Where Jesus went into the Temple at 12 years old and begin teaching and blowing the minds of these old scribes and Pharisees with his knowledge?
This is when Joseph and Mary (the one who was highly favored among women) lost God's only son for three days. That story always makes me feel better about my parenting!
But when they found him and brought him back home the Bible says that from that day forward Jesus grew in wisdom and stature. Shouldn't we be growing also?
Now John writes to 3 groups of people in this passage. Children--young men--fathers. Not everybody agrees with this but I believe that these are not 3 specific people groups that he was looking at, but that he is making reference to three stages of Christian development (or spiritual growth) in the life of every believer as they advance in maturity.
V12. He makes reference to little children. V13. He references to little children.
Now even though we see it the same in this passage these are actually two different meanings.
V12. References newborns in general. True believers. He says in there that your sins are forgiven you for his name sake. 1st step born-again. You can't be a child of God without being forgiven.
The first step to natural life is being born as a baby.
And how are babies when they're born? Helpless—squirming—hungry--thirsty.
They don't think, perceive, or reason well. They don't focus well/or know what their hands and feet are for.
And when something doesn't go their way they express themselves in some pretty annoying ways! So we feed them/carry/cuddle/and care for them. But thank God they don't stay babies forever!
And when they start growing they don't want to be grabbed onto and held back. They don't want people to treat them or talk to them like a baby anymore. They start expressing themselves through vocabulary—actions--and attitudes. And if you've been born again you don't need anybody treating you like a baby!
#2 THERE IS AN EXTERNAL CHANGE
#A.V13. This little children = speaks about a child under instruction. Children that are in training pants, learning ABCs, counting, and learning primary colors. These are children who are learning to make sentences that make sense! No more grunts, whines, and two syllable words that you can say without teeth. These are kids that are starting to figure out that there are rules and repercussions. Take a few steps, do small task, and get dressed.