Thoughts on 1 John

Little Children, Young Men and Fathers

How do you see or perceive yourself in the faith; a follower of Jesus Christ? It has been my observation throughout ministry to see various levels of maturity and immaturity in the body of Christ as referenced by Paul and the Hebrew writer (I Cor. 3:1-3; Heb. 5:11-14). The inconsistency is influenced by how we often perceive people should be. We logically think that someone who has been a Christian for a long time should be mature in their faith and in their understanding of GOD’s Word. How often is that not true? Then we see someone who is young in age but has a deeper grasp of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ than someone who is older in both age and length of time as a Christian.

John, the elder, is writing about what it means or what it looks like to walk in the light, be an imitator of Jesus. The claims of some did not match up to their behavior. So John, the elder, gives us the bottom line, “Whoever claims to live in Him [abide in Him] must walk as Jesus walked,” (I John 2:6). The Message translation reads, “Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived.” I have found in my own life that usually when the “heat is on,” when I am in a crisis, when I am being tested, that is when my true level of spiritual maturity comes out. Quite honestly it isn’t always a pretty picture. I can look back and see times when I acted very immature as a follower of Jesus; I did not “walk as Jesus walked.”

In the midst of John’s portrayal of what it looks like to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, he comments in poetical form regarding the spiritual blessings we have in Christ Jesus (I John 2:12-14). It is suggested that we are all little children and as little children we can be divided into two groups, either young men or fathers (immature or mature). Immature may indicate a lack of experience in the faith and perhaps needing instruction and mentoring by more mature believers. But most likely John is referring to all Christians in these verses without any classification. All are like little children in that we can regain our innocence by the forgiveness of Jesus’ blood. All Christians are like fathers, full grown, responsible men, who can think and learn a deeper knowledge of Jesus Christ. All Christians are like young men who have the strength to fight the battles of the evil one. Certainly John wants every follower to understand the provisions of the new covenant, (Jeremiah 31:33-34). GOD in Christ has triumphed over the power of darkness. We have the assurance of victory! Praise be to GOD!!

 

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