Summary: Sermon series on 1 John

Series: 1 John

Week: Seven

Passage: 1 John 2:12-14

Title: The Three Beautiful Stages of Christianity

Focus: Christian Living

Last Week in Review

Week 5 – PRINCIPLES (Knowing God – Part 1): (1) Keep His Commandments (2) Keep His Word (Conclusion) Walk Like Jesus.

Week 6 – PRINCIPLES (Knowing God – Part 2): (1) Greatest Commandment (2) Genuinely Love (3) Not be a Stumbling Block

TITLE: The Three Beautiful Stages of Christianity (1 John 2:12-14)


There may have been a misunderstanding when the original audience read the letter from John as it would seem that he was unhappy with the Christians because of all the warnings listed in the previous verses. However, John writes to show the people the spiritual resources that they were equipped with. Verse 12 is an introduction as John uses two different words that are translated “children”. The first is “Teknion” which is used only by John in the NT and ALWAYS refers to the entire assembly of believers. The second is a more generic “paidia” which could refer to spiritual children.

SCRIPTURE: “I am writing to you, little children (the assembly), because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake. 13I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. 14I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.” 1 John 2:12-14

OPENING NOTE: There are claims that the passages examined are John’s attempt to divide his readers by sequential age groups. However, other theologians have suggested this sequence is done based on spiritual maturity. For this message we will venture to teach on what is obvious; there are three group: “little children” (teknia), “fathers” (pateres), and “young people” (neaniskoi) and, and in exegetical bible study take these groups at John’s spiritual connotations. I.e. The first group (children) are new converts to the faith, the second group (fathers) are those who were spiritually mature, and the last group (young people) are those who were making progress toward maturity. This is not only in order of the text but also lines up with John’s other teachings in various other books (John’s Gospel, 1, 2, and 3 John, and Revelation).

TITLE: The Three Beautiful Stages of Christianity (1 John 2:12-14)

#1: Those New to the Faith (1 John 2:13b and 14)

• Explanation: Verse 14 lays the groundwork for the “beginners” in the faith. John says, “your sins have been forgiven and so you have come to know the father.” John assurance leads us to venture that these “little children” had come to the faith and were in need of some spiritual affirmation. To understand this assurance one must understand how God views those who are young in the faith in relation to parents. Since He (God) is our heavenly father we learn about how those who are young in the faith should act when entering into a relationship of fellowship with Jesus.

o They must OBEY Their Parents (Exodus 20:11 “Your days will be long in the land God has given you if you do.” Colossians 3:20 “This PLEASES the Lord”)

o They must FOLLOW God (Deut. 6:6-7 “Be taught diligently proper habits and disciplines”)

o They should KNOW they are Children of God (John 1:12 “the RIGHT to become children of God”)

• Illustration: New believers need to learn early to get into God's Word/have a mentor/small group/etc that can help come along side them so they can learn what this looks like when it's happening. We have that at CGC! Even as mature believers, the help of having other mature believers that are watching out for us and helping us see the discipline and/or testing when it is happening is always helpful!

• Application: John affirms that the letter is written so that those young in the faith will know through the letter that his or her sins are forgiven because of Christ’s sake. How do we learn from those young in the faith who are eager to do the work of the Lord and acknowledge all God has to offer.

o Obey like a child! (“Continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:14-15)

o Follow God in discipline (“Do not despise the Lord's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” Psalm 3:11-12

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