Tuesday, June 11, 2013


In John's first epistle, the Apostle wrote to the whole Church, but he specifically mentions three groups of people:  "little children," "young men," and "fathers."  His message to the "young men" and to the "fathers" are contained together in two verses.  To the "young men," he reminded them how they overcame the wicked one through the strength they gained from knowing the Word of God (2:13-14).  To the "fathers," he twice reminded them that they had known Jesus from the beginning (v. 2:13-14).  I believe John was cautioning those who had been believers long enough to have learned God's Word, and those who had actually met Jesus, to be patient with new converts, as they were but babes in Christ. 

On the other hand, John had much to say to the "little children" because the majority of believers have remained babes in Christ.  His letter specifically mentions them eleven times (2:1, 12, 13, 18, 28; 3:7, 10, 18; 4:4; 5:2, 21)!  He wrote:

*  Don't sin, but if you do, Jesus will be your Advocate with God (2:1).
*  Your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake (2:12).
*  You too, have known the Father (2:13).
*  It is the last time: and as ye have heard that Antichrist shall come, even now are there many Antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time (2:18).
*  Abide in Him (Christ); that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming (2:28).
*  Let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous (3:7). 
*  You can tell the difference between the children of Satan, and the children of God, by their behavior and attitude toward one another (3:10).
*  Do not say you love others; show that you love others (3:18).
*  You are a winner, because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world (4:4).
*  You know you are His child when you love God, and keep His commandments (5:2).
*  And don't forget to stay away from idols (5:21).

Notice that these are truths that we need to teach new believers.  Those of us who have been believers long enough to have studied God's Word thoroughly, should already know these things!  And, the "fathers" (I believe he is referring to the elders of the Church), not only should know them, but they should be teaching them (1 Tim 3:2; 2 Tim. 2:2, 24; Heb. 5:12).

Be responsible:  study His Word so you can confidently teach it!

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