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Summary: The 6th message in this series. John describes three levels of Spiritual Maturity and makes note that his letter is for everyone!

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TEXT: 1st John 2:12-14

TITLE: Little Children, Young Men, Fathers

SERIES: Letters from John

TOPIC: Spiritual growth

OCCASION: Burnside Christian Church, Jan 15, 2011

PROP.: John describes three levels of Spiritual maturity and makes note that his letter is for everyone!

INTRODUCTION: Good morning! Today’s text is 1st John 2:12-14.

Once again, we are studying Letters from John.

And the reason we’ve called this series “Letters From John” is because we are studying letters written by John. There’s just something about letters, isn’t there? Very few things are as comforting and meaningful as a handwritten letter. ESPECIALLY in today’s culture. There are so many ways to communicate that are easier, faster and simpler. Text Messages. Email. Phone call. So to receive a personal letter must mean that there is something special that the sender of the letter had in mind!

Well the same thing could be said of John in his day. There wasn’t a postal service. Pen and paper weren’t in great supply. So for John to take the time and expense to WRITE a letter and to have someone take the letter and deliver the letter…there must be a special reason the writer had in mind when he wrote. And that’s exactly right!

John was writing this letter…this sermon…to be shared among the church throughout Asia minor. John’s desire for Christians scattered all through these churches is for them to be growing…maturing…obeying Christ! The Christ that John saw with his own eyes, touched with his own hands and followed the majority of his life. Now John is over 80 years old…and still his message is the same to those who seek to be Christians -- Know Him. Follow Him…Jesus!

Let’s read our text this morning. 1st John 2:12-14

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.

T.S.: John addresses three groups of people. And with these three groups of people, they are at different levels. Spiritually speaking. He’s not speaking of how many years they’ve been alive; he is speaking about how ’grown up’ they are in regards to their spiritual life.

First John addresses:

I. Little Children - (vs. 12, 13)

Two times in our text, John addresses LITTLE CHILDREN. John often times, addresses his readers as “Children”. That’s nothing new..

(A. John compares his physical age to that of his readers )

In those instances, I believe John is referencing his age as compared to the age of those he is writing to. John is a man in his 80’s and so he is expressing both the relationship of age as compared to those he addresses

but also…

B. John describes the love He has for them

It is true they are his brothers and sisters through Jesus Christ, but John loves and cares for the readers of these letters as a father cares for his children. Much like Paul calls Timothy his Son. There’s a special relationship that exists.

But in our text this morning, John is now addressing “Little Children” Who are these little children? The word used here is different than the word used throughout his letters. This word literally means infant. A small child!

These are those who are new to the faith. John is clearly talking about those who are new Christians! Those who aren’t grown up by any means! And notice what John says is required to become a child in the faith puts it quite plainly. Look at it again in verses 12 & 13

Vs. 12: “I write to you little children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of His name.”

Vs. 13: “I write to you little children, because you have known the father.”

There are Two requirements to be considered a Child of God: You must have your sins forgiven; you must know the Father.

1. You have your sins forgiven on account of His name

It is impossible to be a Christian without having your sins dealt with! This is the message of the cross of Jesus Christ. And there are too many people in the world who desire to have God’s grace without understanding and accepting the cross of His son Jesus. So how do I have my sins forgiven? How do I connect with Christ’s death on the cross?

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