1 JOHN 2:12 TRUE CHRISTIANS ARE A PART OF THE FAMILY OF GOD AND GROW INTO CHRIST’S LIKENESS

8Jun

V12 Children- Here it speaks of all believers

Ro 4:7 "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered;

Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,

Joh 19:30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

John 3:7 "Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'

Adopted as sons, John 8, Eph 1

Three levels of Spiritual Maturity

These three groups of people do not correspond to physical age or sex.

Job 32:9 says, “The abundant in years may not be wise.” 

V13 The second series states the highest spiritual experience for each phase

Children – Because you have known the Father…. The word here means a small child.

 These are new Christians that are family because they have been forgiven of their sins, but are not mature enough to deal with satan

Ephesians 4:13 and 14 says something about spiritual babies that’s serious. It says this: “Be no longer children” - verse 14, Ephesians 4 - “tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine by the trickery of men, by craftiness and deceitful scheming.” Now, there’s another thing about children. They’re affectionate and they’re drawn to relationships, but they have no discernment. So you tell your kids, “Don’t talk to strangers.” They’re easily deceived. They’re easily beguiled. They’ll tend to believe anything.

There is a newness of life, there is a wondrous familiarity, personal relationship with God. Little children are more regulated by their affections than their knowledge, isn’t that true? They’re more affected by their emotions, their feelings, than by information.

Some believers live in undeveloped childhood. Though they may be Christians for 20 years, they are still babes in Christ because they spend so little time in the Word of God. If they read the Bible at all, it is not to discover how they can change their lives. They do not connect their problems to the principles of the Word.

Spiritual babes are immature believers. These believers walk more out of fellowship than in fellowship with God. They zig then zag. They do not walk on a straight course of spiritual development. The one thing that characterizes their Christian life is instability. They rarely confess their sin. They close off their sins. They are afraid to face them. They may feel sorry for their sins but they do not genuinely confess them. All Christians at the minimum know God personally.  Children don’t know much.

Young Men – Because you have overcome the wicked one… Those in process toward maturity, sound in doctrine, but not yet seasoned in the living out of the Christian life based on God’s Word. Able to overcome satan

The outstanding characteristic of a growing Christian is that they have victories over the satanic system.

The outstanding characteristic of adolescent Christians is that they know how to battle in the spiritual war. The Devil will try his utmost to put us in a state of spiritual retardation so that we never get to the place of victory. He will do his diabolical worst to keep Christians at the spiritual babyhood level. Some stay at spiritual childhood all their Christian lives. This is the way he works. Growing Christians learn how to ignore Satan’s attempts to brain wash us into believing his lies.

You just have to understand where Satan operates. In 2 Corinthians chapter 11, verses 13 to 15, it says, “Satan is disguised as an angel” of light.” He’s an angel of light. Satan isn’t the one running around making people sin. People sin because of the flesh. Satan is involved in false religious systems. 99.9 percent of Satan’s activity is in false religion. He is a liar and a deceiver. He works in the false systems, the false ideologies of the world. Don’t blame Satan for your sin. Don’t blame Satan for what your flesh is doing.

1Jo 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. 1Jo 5:5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Young Men - Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, And you have overcome the wicked one.

Because you are strong, These young men developed spiritual strength.

God wants us to be as strong spiritually as we are physically. Some of us would land in the hospital if our physical strength were as strong as our spiritual strength. God wants us to be strong in Him.

Joshua 1: 9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Ne 8: 10 “Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Is 40: 31 “But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.”

Is 41: 10 “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you,

Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

Ep 1: 19 “…and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power…”

Ep 3: 16 “…that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man…”

Ep 6: 10 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

Ph 4: 13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Co 1: 11 “…strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy…”

2 Ti 2: 1 “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”

2 Ti 4: 17 “But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. And I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. 18 And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!”

and the word of God abides in you,

The secret of the strength of young men was their knowledge of the Word of God and their ability to apply it to their experience. They did not waste and weaken their lives through sin. On the contrary, these young men disciplined and directed their lives by the allowing the Word to indwell their lives and center their lives in Christ.

Ep 6: 17 “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…”

PRINCIPLE: The basis of victory over sin is the Word of God.

APPLICATION: One of the foundations of Christian living is the application of the principles of the Word of God to experience. This is victory in God’s economy. This is the way to gain victory over the world system.

Ps 119: 9 “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. 10 With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! 11Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You!”

Some people take casual glances at the Word occasionally. They do not consistently see its principles so they cannot apply them to their experience.

1: 6 “… do not practice the truth. 8 … and the truth is not in us… 10 … and His word is not in us.”

Christians who develop attraction for the Word of God grow in the things of God. We must hunger, thirst and develop an appetite for what God has to say.

Dt 6:6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.”

Dt 11:18 “Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.”

Ps 1: 2 “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.”

Pr 7: 3 “Bind them on your fingers; Write them on the tablet of your heart.”

Je 15: 16 “Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.”

Je 20: 9 “Then I said, I will not make mention of Him, Nor speak anymore in His name. But His word was in my heart like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not.”

Job 23: 12 “I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food.”

Jn 15: 7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”

Co 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

And you have overcome the wicked one

V14 Fathers

Fathers – The most mature Christians who have a deep, intimate knowledge of God

Jn 17: 3 “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

1Co 13:11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

A person who takes a maximum number of principles from the Word of God and applies them to his experience along the way is mature. Many Christians refuse to grow up spiritually because they do not want to find the principles nor apply them to their lives.

Christians who truly confess their sins realize that God fully judged sins in Christ. Judgment of our sins occurred 2000 years ago on the cross. Confession accepts this by faith. It is not our emotion about the sin but our faith in what Christ did about the sin that matters to God.

This is when it’s not just warfare about the doctrine. This is when you understand what the hymn writer meant when he talked about being lost in wonder, love, and praise. This is when you get to the point where your soul is exhilarated in the knowledge of God. It’s not the parts anymore, it’s the sum of the parts. And in some ways, you’re back to the relationship again, only it’s fuller and richer and fully informed by sound doctrine, to know the author of that doctrine, to know the God who is behind it. It’s to deeply, intimately know God.

1Co 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.

One characteristic of a spiritual father is that they reproduce themselves. They lead others to Christ. Have you developed enough in the Lord that you lead others to Christ? Have you reproduced yourself in the faith even once?

1 Co 4:15 “For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.”

God characterizes mature believers as having 1) knowledge of the Word of God, 2) wisdom, 3) faith to apply truth to experience, 4) positioning their lives to the principle of grace (Quit pondering the past. In other words, stop dwelling on your past failures and those things that just didn't seem to go right for you.) and 5) maximum structure or discipline in their Christian experience.

2 Pe 3:18 “…but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.”

Once a person becomes a Christian, they become a target of the Devil. The Devil is unscrupulous. He will try to stunt the growth of new Christians. New Christians are more defenseless than at any other time in their Christian lives.

 That is why it is important for a new Christian to get into the Word of God quickly.

1 Pe 2:1 “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”

Mark 8:36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

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