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.
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.
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.
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.