1 JOHN 2:12-14
new life with Christ. If a person is truly born again in Christ, then he begins to live and walk in Christ. If he is truly con-
verted over to Christ, then he is a follower of Christ; he focuses upon Christ and grows in Christ.
The point is perfectly understandable to a clear and honest mind: a person who truly knows God follows God. He grows
spiritually; he grows in the knowledge of God and of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The person who truly knows God re-
members his spiritual growth. He has a spiritual growth to remember.
1. Step 1: remember your spiritual growth (v.12-13).
2. Step 2: confirm who you are—your great relationship to God—over and over again (v.14).
(2:12-13) Growth, Spiritual—Maturity—Stages, Spiritual: first, remember your spiritual growth. In the church, in
God’s family, there are various stages of growth. Note: what John is writing applies to every stage of the believer’s
growth. No matter who the believer is, how weak or strong he is, this message applies to him. This is a message for the
1. There are little children, people who have just received Jesus Christ and begun to follow Him. If you are a newborn
Christian, remember this: your sins are forgiven. You are...
• no longer guilty of sin
• no longer to be judged for sin
• no longer to be condemned for sin
• no longer to be punished for sin
You have trusted Jesus Christ as the great Bearer of your sins. You believe that Jesus Christ took your sins upon Himself
and bore the condemnation and punishment for them. You believe that Jesus Christ became your substitute in bearing the
judgment for your sins. Therefore, you are cleansed of sin; your sins are forgiven.
But note why: “for his name’s sake.” God forgives our sins for Christ’s sake. He cleanses us for the sake of Christ far
more than He does for us. God loves us perfectly, yes, but God loves His own Son with a very special love. God’s Son, the
Lord Jesus Christ, is God’s Son by nature. In addition, Christ has obeyed and fulfilled the will of God perfectly. In obedience
to God’s will, He left the glory of heaven and came to this corrupt world to die for our sins. Jesus Christ did exactly what
God willed and ordained; He obeyed God perfectly. Therefore, no person can ever take the place of Christ in the heart of
God. For this reason God has destined that Jesus Christ have many adopted brothers and sisters, many believers who follow
and attach themselves to Him. God has ordained that believers live forever with Christ, worshipping and serving Him
throughout all eternity. This is what is meant by the words “for Christ’s sake.” Because of what Christ has done, for His
sake, God has forgiven our sins. God loves His Son so much that He honors any person who honors His Son. Any person
who believes in God’s Son, who gives his life to Jesus Christ, God will take and do exactly what that person believes. He
does it for Christ’s sake—does it so that Jesus Christ will have another brother or sister to worship and serve Him throughout
all eternity. Our sins are forgiven for Christ’s sake.
The point is this: all believers must remember that their sins are forgiven. But young believers—you who are young child-
ren in the faith—you in particular must remember this. Because you are young in the faith, because you have just recently
left the world and its pleasures and possessions, you are more likely to forget what Jesus Christ has done for you. You must
focus and concentrate upon Jesus Christ, upon the glorious fact that He has forgiven your sins. You must guard against re-
turning to the world and its enticements.
“Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance
to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:31).
“Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you
the forgiveness of sins” (Acts 13:38).
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches
of his grace” (Eph.1:7).
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s
sake hath forgiven you” (Eph.4:32).
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness” (1 Jn.1:9).
2. There are fathers, spiritual fathers, believers who are spiritually mature with a deep and rich knowledge of God.
What is the exhortation to these who have such a deep and rich knowledge of God? To these few who have walked so faith-
fully for so many years, the exhortation is this: remember, you have known God from the very beginning of your conversion,
and you have faithfully and diligently served Him. Day by day you have...
• fed upon the Word of God.
• set aside time for prayer and learned to walk in prayer all day long.
• learned to fellowship and commune with God all day long, striving for an unbroken communion and
fellowship with Him.
• witnessed to the saving power of Jesus Christ.
• been loyal to the church, its members, mission, and ministry.
• committed your life to minister to the needs surrounding you and reached out beyond to the world through
your prayers and gifts.
• given all you are and have to Christ and His mission, meeting the desperate needs of the world.
The point is this: the spiritually mature who have a deep and rich knowledge of God must never forget where they have
come from, never forget how they grew in Christ. They must remember how they grew and came to know the Father so well.
They must remember how they gained such a deep and rich knowledge of God. Remembering and staying focused upon the
Father is the only way a person can finish the Christian race faithfully and receive his reward. The spiritually mature, those
with a deep and rich knowledge of God, must remember and continue to grow in the knowledge of God.
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