by Kenneth O. Gangel


Today’s Scripture: 1 John 2:12-14

Now John switched his focus to three classes of people, people measured not by their relationship to the Lord but by the level of spiritual maturity they have attained (1 John 2:12-14). Almost every church, regardless of size, includes these three kinds of people. God’s Spirit wrote through His apostle to speak to congregations in every century, including ours.

First, John addressed the “little ones,” using titles that speak both of kinship (teknia) and subordination (paidia). These people are young in the faith; their sins have been forgiven “on account of His name.” The metaphor of children emphasizes the biblical doctrine of adoption.

Next John turned to the “fathers,” those who have become mature believers. These are identified as having “known Him who is from the beginning” (v. 13). Lest anyone think John limited this passage to men, the word translated “fathers” here could be rendered “parents” and appears just that way in Hebrews 11:23. Like Paul’s injunction to older Christians in Titus 2:1-3, John expected mature believers to reflect their years of walking with the Lord.

Third, the passage speaks to energetic young men (1 John 2:13) on the way up. They are growing Christians who have overcome the wicked one and have become strong spiritually. New converts become growing Christians who turn into mature saints. No wonder the Bible says the church is like a family.

Think about it: Growing can be a painful process. Our children had some hard lessons to learn before they were ready to move out and be mature and responsible adults. Sometimes the pain was inflicted by the parents, but many times children need to face the results of their own sinful behavior. The joy comes when we get victory over sin and relationships can be restored in joy.


NCCP Ecumenical Ministry – Church of the Risen Lord

University of the Philippines, Diliman Campus, QC


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