Reading the Word
1 John 2:12–17 (ESV)
12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake. 13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. 14 I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one. 15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
Understanding the Word
John uses three terms in these verses to speak to his readers. He uses “little children”, “fathers”, and “young men”. There is some debate if John is dividing his hearers into three groups based on age or if this list designates two groups. If this is the case his words can be summarized as “my little children, both young and old”.
Regardless of how you divide it, John’s point is the same. He is addressing all ages and telling them that because they know God they ought not love the world.
Applying the Word
When a person comes to God there is a life change. Our sins are forgiven and we enter into a new relationship with God, but that is not all. God begins a work in us to change us from the inside out. Our desires and passions change. The things we once loved are not so important to us and the things of God, that were once meaningless, become the most important things. As our love for the things of this world diminish and our love for God grows, we have assurance that God is at work in our lives.
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