This teaching on 1 John 2: 1-13 was given by pastor Barry Forder on 29th November 2020 as part of Calvary Chapel Portsmouth’s on-line family service.
In this 2nd chapter, John continues to explain his reason for writing, firstly ‘that you sin not’, but then assures us that if we do sin as believers, we have an advocate, a legal representative in the courtroom of heaven who will plead our case before the throne of God. On the other side of the courtroom stands Satan, ‘the accuser of the brethren’ (Rev 12:10), who reals off all the lies, adulterous and murderous thoughts, bitterness and more that we are guilty of. But when Satan has finished presenting his case against us, Jesus steps forward and holding out His nail-pierced hands, declares to the courtroom that His own blood was shed on the cross, so that He who knew no sin became all of the sins we have ever committed. In exchange we have been given the righteousness of Jesus – the sinless Son of God. Satan’s case for the prosecution immediately collapses and we are declared ‘Not guilty!’ by Heaven’s eternal court!
John then goes on to remind us that our love for God is being perfected as we walk in His Word:
- A Christian no longer loves sin as he once did.
- A Christian no longer brags about his sin as he once did.
- A Christian no longer plans to sin as he once did.
- A Christian no longer fondly remembers his sin as he once did.
- A Christian never fully enjoys his sin as he once did.
- A Christian no longer is comfortable in habitual sin as he once was.
“The Christian no longer loves sin; it is the object of his sternest horror: he no longer regards it as a mere trifle, plays with it, or talks of it with unconcern… Sin is dejected in the Christian’s heart, though it is not ejected. Sin may enter the heart, and fight for dominion, but it cannot sit upon the throne.” (Spurgeon)
John then highlights 4 stages of our Christians walk:
- 1# Little Children – those who are newly born again – the Greek word Teknia has more of an emphasis on a child’s relationship of dependence on a parent. This is a natural stage of our spiritual growth – but we should not remain here! Paul rebuked the Corinthian Christians that they were still on milk and had not progressed to solid food yet! (1 Cor 3:2). We often laugh as the character and characteristics of a baby – but if they are still behaving the same way when they are a teenager, it’s no longer funny!
- 2# Fathers – those who are spiritually mature – David Guzik comments: “These are men and women of deep, long spiritual standing. They have the kind of walk with God that doesn’t come overnight. These are like great oak trees in the Lord, that have grown big and strong through the years”.
- 3# Young Men – “These are men and women who are no longer little children, but still not yet fathers. They are the “front-line” of God’s work among His people. They are engaged in battle with the wicked one. We don’t send our little children out to war, and we don’t send our old men to the front lines. The greatest effort, the greatest cost, and the greatest strength are expected of the young men. Nevertheless, it is imperative that the older men and women take care and spiritual oversight for the young men and women in a fellowship. Paul told Timothy that the older men should care for and be an example for the younger men and that older women should be an example of godliness to the younger women.
- 4# Young Children – the Greek word John uses here is paidia has more of an emphasis on a child’s immaturity and need for instruction. The formative years of a child’s life are unquestionably important and will shape the kind of person they will be later in life. People young in the faith need good solid Bible teaching and to have a good grounding in scripture. “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word“. (Psalm 119:9). “It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him” (Lamentations 3:26-28).
John then concludes by giving specific admonition to the ‘Fathers’ and ‘Young men’:
“And so I say to you fathers who know the eternal God, and to you young men who are strong with God’s Word in your hearts, and have won your struggle against Satan: 15 Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love these things you show that you do not really love God” – TLB
May you be blessed and encouraged by this study.