Spiritual Evaluations

I. The emphasis by John is signaled by specifying why he writes.

A. He has written to increase our joy.

1. 1 John 1:4 -- And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.

2. 1 John 2:1 -- My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

B. He has written to stress our love for each other.

1. 1 John 2:8 -- Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.

2. 1 John 2:10 -- He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.

C. He has written to challenge us.

1. 1 John 2:12 -- I write to you, little children, Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.

2. 1 John 2:13 -- 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.

3. 1 John 2:21 -- I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

4. 1 John 2:26 -- These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you.

5. 1 John 5:13 -- These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

II. The “little children” are commended.

A. John uses two terms to speak of “young” Christians.

1. Teknion is used as the general term of relationship.

a. It is an affectionate address used by helpers, teachers etc.
b. It is used in the NT of pupils or disciples.
c. John 13:33 -- Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, Where I am going, you cannot come, so now I say to you.

2. Paidion is used to emphasize “youth” (in age or experience).

a. Matthew 2:14 -- When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:
b. John 4:49 -- Sir, come down ere my child die.

B. John cites two important aspects of faith for “little children.”

1. Their “sins are forgiven” – “for his name sake” (1 John 2:12).

a. Forgiveness is the foundation of our faith and trust in God.
1) Colossians 1:14 -- In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
2) Colossians 2:13 -- And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
b. Psalm 103:10-14 -- He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities.  For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;  As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him.
c. Ephesians 4:32 -- And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

2. They are to “know the Father” (1 John 2:13).

a. Romans 8:15-16 -- For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father.”  The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.
b. Ephesians 5:1-2 -- Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.  And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

3. The “little children” are given other basic teaching by John.

a. 1 John 2:1 -- My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin.
b. 1 John 2:28 -- And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.
c. 1 John 3:7 -- Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.
d. 1 John 3:18 -- My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
e. 1 John 5:21 -- Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

III. The “fathers” are commended.

A. Fathers are expected to know “Him who is from the beginning.”

1. This expectation is repeated twice (1 John 2:13, 14)

2. This expectation assumes both experience and wisdom.

B. Fathers are recognized for two main roles.

1. They are to lead and provide for their children.

a. Proverbs 17:6 -- the glory of children are their fathers.
b. Proverbs 19:14 -- House and riches are the inheritance of fathers
c. 1 Timothy 5:8 -- But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

2. They are to lead others to Christ.

a. Galatians 4:19 -- My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you—
b. 1 Corinthians 4:15 -- For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.

C. Fathers are provided many basic principles in Scripture.

1. Ecclesiastes 7:8 --The end of a thing is better than its beginning; the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

2. Ecclesiastes 7:10 -- Do not say, "Why were the former days better than these?" For you do not inquire wisely concerning this.

3. Psalm 37:25 --I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

4. Psalm 71:18 -- Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come.

5. Psalm 92:13-15 -- Those who are planted in the house of the LORD Shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing, to declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

D. Fathers can remember certain keys for leadership.

1. Maturity, stability and strength are expected.

2. Fathers are to be well taught, and confirmed through experience.

3. Fathers should be full of sympathetic care and heartfelt tenderness.

4. Wrinkled faces should be radiating joy – not cynicism and ambition.

5. Many years should show confidence and exhilaration of vision from the top.

IV. The “young men” are commended.

A. They have “overcome the wicked one” (1 John 2:13).

1.  Must “overcome” (have victory over) the wicked one.

a. Romans 12:21 -- Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
b. Matthew 12:29-30 -- How can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

2. Must overcome the world.

a. 1 John 5:4 -- For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
b. 1 John 5:5 -- Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
c. 1 John 4:4 -- You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

B. They “are strong” (1 John 2:14).

1. The imagery of “battle strength” is often emphasized in Scripture.

a. Psalm 18:39 -- For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.
b. Psalm 140:7 -- O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.
c. Ephesians 6:10 -- Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
d. 2 Timothy 2:-43 -- Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
e. 2 Timothy 4:7 -- I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith

2. God requires active warfare against wickedness

a. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.  (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)
b. The Chief Adversary is Lucifer-the Devil (Matt 13:22-44) – Parable of Tares – “enemy is the devil”

3. God requires absolute victory.

a. Total Recognition of Christ as King (Philippians 2:9-11) – name above every name
b. Total Punishment for All Who Reject Christ (2 Peter 2:4-9) – angels/ the flood/ Sodom; “the unjust reserved for judgment”
c. Total Elimination of all Enemies (Revelation 20:9-14; 21:8) – “lake of fire” (Luke 19:27) – Parable of Pounds – “enemies…slay them before me.”
d. The “Law of Sin” in the flesh must be “captured” (Romans 7:23) – “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh” (Romans 7:18
e. The “Natural Brute Beast” must be “destroyed” (2 Peter 2:12) – “shall utterly perish”

C. They overcome because “the word of God abides” in them (1 John 2:14).

1. Ephesians 6:17 -- And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God

2. Hebrews 4:12 -- For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

3. Hebrews 13:7 -- Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

4. Revelation 20:4 -- I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast . . . and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

1 John


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