Posted by Peter Thompson

I John 2:12-14

Walk in the Light of Growth

INTRODUCTION:  In chapter 1 John says that if we walk in the light as God is in the light we can have fellowship with God.  He has made clear all along that the subject is not salvation, the subject is walking with God after salvation so that you can have fellowship with God.  As John begins v. 12 he uses that term “little children” again.  This is a word in the Greek that is used in the New Testament by teachers to warmly address their disciples.  Here John is addressing Christian people as a whole.  Later in v. 13 he is going to separate them into groups.  He says their sins have been forgiven them in the same verse.  He is writing to Christian people.  The truth is that it is possible for Christian people to slip back into the things they were doing before they were saved.  Then they are walking in darkness and not in the light with God.  They still have eternal life but their fellowship with God is broken.  John writes to these Christians to help them avoid that darkness.  Walking in the light is walking in the will of God.  Doing what God wants with your life.  In order to stay in that light a Christian person must grow. So how do you grow spiritually?

  2. Here John writes to the little children at the end of v. 13 because they have know the Father
  3. This word for little children is different than the one that he used up in v. 12
  4. In v. 12 the word is “teknon”-it means children, but here it is used as a term of endearment to those that are learning from John
  5. Here in v. 13 though the word is “pidion” which means an infant, a small child, one that is immature and not grown to adulthood yet
  6. The emphasis here is on the fact that these people he is addressing are immature
  7. All of the language here suggests that he is not talking about age of the person as much as he is talking about their spiritual condition
  8. These people that John is addressing at the end of v. 13 here are immature Christians
  9. All that can be said of them is that they have known the Father
  10. But that is something great in itself-he is not condemning them but acknowledging that there are some in the group that he is writing to, that have not grown beyond infancy in their faith-they have simply come to know the Father and nothing else yet
  11. These are baby Christians who have just been saved or baby Christians who have not been fed so they have not grown (two ways to be a baby Christian)
  12. They have known the Father-how did they come to this place?
  13. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life and no man comes to the Father but by me.”
  14. So the only way that these people could have come to know the Father is through Jesus Christ
  15. Jesus was talking to Philip in John 14:9 “Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father;…”
  16. To know the Father is to know Jesus Christ
  17. So these people have if nothing else, believed in Jesus and come to know Him
  18. They believed that Jesus died on the cross for their sins
  19. They believed that Jesus rose from the grave
  20. They confessed Jesus as their Lord and master
  21. They have been saved from hell and come into a relationship with God
  22. I want you to understand that this maturity level is not necessarily a bad thing
  23. If you find yourself a new Christian who has just come to know the Father through Jesus Christ
  24. That can be a great place
  25. You are blank slate for God to write on
  26. You have such potential to be everything that God wants you to be
  27. You are beginning a journey that is going to bring wonder and joy to your life
  28. To know your heavenly Father is a great and marvelous thing that will free you up to be all that you were created to be
  29. Maybe you have not come into the relationship with God through Jesus yet
  30. I hope and pray that you will begin your journey of growth with the foundation of Jesus Christ
  31. I hope you will realize that you have broken the law of God
  32. I hope you will realize that the punishment for that is eternal death in hell
  33. I hope you will believe that Jesus died for you on the cross to pay the price for your rebellion against God
  34. I hope that you will believe that He rose from the grave
  35. I hope that you will confess Him as your master and Lord right now today
  36. I hope that you will come to know the Father and be born
  37. Only then can you take the next steps of spiritual growth in your life
  38. LET GOD’S WORD LIVE IN YOU (VS. 13-14)
  39. Another group that John writes to here are the young men
  40. Again, we are not talking about age of the person
  41. But where they are in their spiritual growth
  42. These are people who have been saved for a little while
  43. These are people who have had a chance to grow
  44. In fact look what John says about them
  45. First, He says in v. 13 that they have overcome the wicked one
  46. They have had some trials and some temptations in their lives
  47. And they have beaten Satan
  48. Good for them, how great is that
  49. Satan has tried to trip them up and they have overcome Him
  50. John explains further how they have accomplished this in the next verse
  51. “… ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.”
  52. The word of God abides in them
  53. That is what makes them strong
  54. That is how they were able to overcome the Satan
  55. It is all because the word of God abides in them
  56. The word “abides” means to set up house keeping
  57. This is moving into a permanent place of residence
  58. As opposed to moving around in a tent, the word that is used in scripture for staying somewhere just a little while is sojourn-it is a stranger that is going to move along
  59. This word abide is the opposite of that-it means to put down a foundation, build a house, move your furniture and have a house warming party where all the neighbors come and introduce themselves and bring you cookies
  60. You are moving in and you plan to stay there
  61. Here these young men are living like that in the Bible, they are reading it, studying it, they will continue to read it and study it, it is what their life is all about
  62. They have moved into the word of God and they plan to stay there and it has made them strong, and they have been able to defeat Satan because they are living in the word of God
  63. That is how you grow into a strong young man spiritually
  64. How often do you spend time with the word of God?
  65. Just from time to time and then you move on to the more important things of life
  66. Or do you consider God’s word to be the most important part of your life
  67. Are you visiting the word of God from time to time or are you living in the word of God
  68. If you are a baby Christian, you should not stay that way for long
  69. You should move into the word of God and live there
  70. You should soak up everything that God has to say and begin to apply those things to your life every day
  71. See, it is not good enough just to read and hear what God says
  72. You have to live out what God says, then you will become strong
  73. Then you will overcome the trials and temptations of Satan
  74. The more you do that, the bigger and stronger you will become in your faith
  75. Strong people, who are living in God’s word can overcome anything
  1. So you have your babies that just now are coming to know God, you have your young men and women that are getting strong and overcoming the devil-then there is the fathers
  2. These people have arrived spiritually-not that they are perfect, not that they don’t have any growing to do
  3. But this is where we strive to be as a Christ
  4. Look what John says about these Christians in v. 13
  5. “… ye have known him that is from the beginning.”
  6. And he says that same thing again in v. 14
  7. With the little children or the immature ones John refers to God as Father
  8. The one who is going to feed them, the one that is going to take care of them, the one that is going to nurture them
  9. Here with these more mature Fathers, he refers to God as the one that is from the beginning
  10. They have a greater understanding of God and who He is and what their relationship with Him is
  11. They have lived with God for a long time and they know a lot about God and what God wants for them

Illustration:  When I was a little kid I looked at my earthly father different than I do now.  When I was a kid, I knew my dad would put three square meals a day on the table, I knew that he would protect me when I was afraid of the dark, I knew that he could fix anything for me, I thought everything he did was right.  But now I know my father better.  I know there are sometimes when he struggles, I know that sometimes he needs somebody to lean on, I know that he is a great man that loves the Lord and would do anything for his family.  I know that he loves to build, I know that he would do anything for my mother.  I know that he would do anything for the church he pastors including but not limited to taking a pay cut if they need him to.  I know my father in a deeper way than just what he can provide for me.  I have a relationship with my father now, that I never could have had as a kid because I didn’t understand him then like I do now.

  1. These fathers that John is talking about know God in that deeper way
  2. They spent lots of years as young men living in God’s word, they have overcome Satan time and time again, they trust God with everything, they are committed to the God that gave them life
  3. These people really know God deeply
  4. God’s desire for you is not just that you have eternal life and that you overcome the devil
  5. God’s desire for you is that you have a deep knowledge of Him
  6. His desire is to have a deep relationship with you
  7. Where you understand who He is and what He desires
  8. He wants you to take pleasure in Him and Him to take pleasure in you
  9. That comes only through many, many hours learning about Him, talking to Him, searching the deep things of God in scripture.
  10. I hope and pray that you will stay the course long enough to know the God that is from the beginning intimately like that

CONCLUSION:  Every Christian person who has had their sins forgiven has growing to do.  It is possible even for the most mature Christian to fall back into the things they were doing before.  Even the most mature can come to know God even more.  When you commit your life to growing in the Lord then you are walking in the light, and you won’t have time for that darkness that the world offers.  Your goal is to please God and to do so you must grow in your faith and knowledge of God.  So grow deeper and deeper with Him every day of your life.