Summary: Admonitions from 1 John to believers.

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“Terms of Endearment”

Several years ago there was a popular movie entitled “Terms of Endearment” and it starred Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, Danny Devito and Jack Nicholson. It was about a mother daughter relationship and it enjoyed critical acclaim. Tonight I’m going to borrow the title from that movie and talk about the relationship between the Apostle John and a group of believers that he loved and wanted to help. As I read through the little book of 1 John, I could not help but notice the many times that the phrase “little children” was used by the apostle to refer to these believers. To me this phrase is a term of endearment and John uses it 9 times in this epistle. I want to see if there is anything we can learn from admonitions found here.

My little children - Ôåêíéá ìïõ͂ Teknia mou. This is such language as an aged apostle would be likely to use when addressing a church, and its use in this Epistle may be regarded as one evidence that John had reached an advanced period of life when he wrote the Epistle. (Barnes)

My little children - Ôåêíéá ìïõ· My beloved children; is the address of an affectionate father to children whom he tenderly loves. The term also refers to the apostle’s authority as their spiritual father, and their obligation to obey as his spiritual children. (Clark)

I. The Advocate

1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:


Mark Roberts wrote of a time when he visited the Capitol as a guest of Congressman John Campbell. As long as he was with the congressman, he could walk freely around the Capitol, entering many areas that were reserved "for authorized personnel only," reserved for members of Congress and their guests. He could enter those places, not because of who he was or because of what he had done, but because of who Congressman Campbell was. The name "Congressman John Campbell" opened doors. So it is when we come before God in the name of Jesus.

Jesus is our mediator (1 Timothy 2: 5), our advocate (1 John 2:1), and our High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16).

Praying in Jesus' name is a recognition that he is our mediator, that we do not deserve an audience with the Father. It is a recognition that we only have authority to come to the Father because Jesus, our High Priest, has prepared the way for us. He died on the cross to save us. It means that we know we are unworthy of approaching the throne of grace on our own without our advocate. The name of Jesus opens doors.

II. The Assurance

1 John 2:12 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake.

13 I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.


So is your sin and guilt getting the better of you?

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