I have written to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, And you have overcome the wicked one (1 John 2:14).
Two of the spiritual stages are mentioned here with more explanation. “Young men” are described with three attributes. 1) Being strong. 2) The Word of God abides in them. 3) They have overcome the wicked one.
To be strong is to know where your strength lies—in God—and to know how to use that strength: apply His Blood, apply His Word, and apply His Name. How do we apply these three weapons? With our words backed by our faith. We believe in these three, and therefore they perform for us in strength beyond any natural capacity when we speak.
To get the Word to abide in us we have to literally force-feed it to ourselves. Even if we don’t understand what we are reading, we make ourselves read the Bible.
That Word gets in us and since it is alive it enflames us to speak it out of our mouths right when the Word can produce miracles for us. But it can’t come out to help us if we haven’t put it in there.
As for “Fathers”, their spiritual level is once again listed in the exact words we read in the last verse. Why is this? Remember the repetition rule?
This explanation is important because it is the highest level we can achieve: being a friend of God’s. He is already your friend and He is asking you to be His friend.
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 wicked one. I write to you, little children, because you have known the Father (1 John 2:13).
This verse contains all three stages of spiritual growth. ‘Little children’ have known the Father. God seems to approach us first as our Father. Some, like me, never had a Daddy. I was overjoyed to finally have one who wanted to hold me on His lap without any ulterior motives. I do know Him because I have spent hours with Him, talking and listening.
Those who continue to grow up spiritually are those who reach the age of ‘young men’ (that category includes women). These have overcome the wicked one. Satan is the father of all evil, all sickness, all demonic activity, all lies. How does one overcome the devil? Mainly by using our authority given to us by Jesus Christ, which is commanding Satan to do what we want him to do: stop attacking us and become Jesus’s footstool.
‘Fathers’ (women too) are those who know Jesus Christ as their personal and best friend. Spend time with Him and get to know Him. He already knows you!
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1).
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).
"No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15).
I write to you, little children, Because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake (1 John 2:12).
These next few verses give the clearest explanation of spiritual growth found in the Bible. There are three stages of maturity: little children, young men, and fathers. This verse defines what we achieve in the first stage of maturity. Our sins are forgiven.
When a person is born again, at that moment the dead spirit is removed from the soul and the body and a brand new, squeaky-clean spirit is connected to the soul and to the Spirit of God. In fact, the new spirit becomes the life force of who we are.
The dead spirit carried all the sins the body and soul toted around. But now they’re gone, washed away by the Blood of Jesus and replaced by a holy place called the human spirit where the Spirit of God comes to live.
This new creation has arrived as a spiritual baby and must grow up into the things of God because our spirit being is not designed to hear from the flesh. It’s designed to be in communication with God. Therefore, this new creation has to learn how to live in the holiness of this new pristine state.
In other words, the Spirit of God knows the will of God, the future and everything else. He speaks to your human spirit. Your human spirit knows only what the Holy Spirit says. It has no communication with any other spirit. Your spirit then speaks to your soul and your soul speaks to your body.
Don’t goof it up and let your body or your soul be the dictator of your life because those two do not hear from God. They were not made to give commands.
But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes (1 John 2:11).
Why is God so hung up on darkness? Look. He used the word three times in one sentence. In the Bible repetition indicates importance, not a lack of vocabulary.
Notice the two results of darkness. 1) Not knowing where one is going. 2) Not seeing because of blinded eyes. The one reason for the darkness is hatred of one’s brother. John is not talking about our birth family members; he’s telling us not to hate our brothers and sisters in Christ.
It grieves my heart when my children display hateful behavior to one another. My son has been rather mean to my daughter. As a result she avoids him. And me? I’m stuck in the middle.
I’d much rather have a big, happy family where everyone takes care of everyone else and everybody’s needs are equally met. So I think I know how God feels when His kids are hateful to each other.
God didn’t create life so that evil would draw us to the light. He created life so that love would draw us to the light and evil would draw us to the darkness.
It’s when we love each other that the world becomes jealous and wants what we’ve got.
Anybody can hate. It’s the easiest thing in the world. But love? Love takes action and isn’t easy at all. However, it feels the best because when we love we know where we are going and we see things clearly.
Choose love. Put it to work in your life. Pray for the unlovable in your life and love them anyway. Your love just might change them to be loving people.