I John 2:12-14
1. Life is expressed by growth. This is true in the physical and spiritual realm.
2. Living seeds grow to mature plants. Infants, if healthy, grow to mature adults. New
Christians are to grow into Christlikeness.
3. Growth takes time. Are you growing?
4. In I John 2:12-14 John describes the growth of a believer.
Are you growing?
I. THE SPECIFICS OF GROWTH 2:12
A. The Repetition
I am writing…I have written
1.John uses this formula 6 times in order to emphatically state that his message was limited and necessary.
2.We are often in the slow learner class. What we have heard needs repeating.
B. The Relationship
Little children…children is the Greek word teknia.
1.Teknia is ‘born ones’ speaking of offspring regardless of age.
2.John 3 You must be born again. You must be born from above.
3.In God’s eyes only two families exist: Children of God and children of Satan (John 8:39-44)
4.These who are born into God’s family grow, but not at the same rate or consistency.
C. The Reason
1. Because your sins have been forgiven.
*No matter where one is in the growth pattern this is true. My sins are gone!
*The ‘scapegoat’ of the Old Testament could not find its way back home.
2.For His namesake
*It is all for God’s glory. His character is on display.
*It is His grace…His mercy…His power.
Are you growing?
II. THE STAGES OF GROWTH 2:13-14
As long as we are here on earth there will be different stages of growth.
A. Little Children 13c
1.The Greek word changes and is paidia. It is different from little children (teknia) in v. 12.
2.Paidia denotes specifically one still under parental instruction. Such children lack in formation and are in need of care and guidance.
B. Young men 13b, 14b
1. The second stage of spiritual growth takes the believer from an emphasis on the basic relationship to an emphasis on Biblical revelation.
2.There is a deeper devotion to God.
C. Fathers 13a, 14a
1.The third stage of spiritual growth is when believers do not merely understand doctrine intellectually, but have come to know (to know by taking knowledge (ginoska)). Him is (God) as the source of truth and the object of worship and the praise it produces.
2.That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection…(Phil. 3:10)
3.Fathers meditate on His character, on who He is and not on what He does and can do for them.
D. Our concept of Him determines our maturity. We must be convinced that both God and life will maturity. They do more than passively will our maturity; they conspire in every possible way, short of breaking down our wills to make us mature…E.Stanley Jones
1.Little children…We are most alive to what we can receive from Him.
2.Young men…We are most alive by what we can do for Him.
3.Fathers…We are awakened to our calling to be like Him and see life from His perspective.
Are you growing?
III. THE SIGNS OF GROWTH 2:13, 14
The stairway to maturity is a continuous pathway of knowing and doing. God takes the
initiative. He gives man what he needs to know. Man is responsible… for with his will he (or
she) chooses. God only requires us to walk in the light that we have. Man gets stalled
“waiting for God to move.” God has made His last move! He is waiting for us to respond to
what we already know. God is working in us to will and to do of His good pleasure. (Phil.
A. Little Children
1.They are most conscious seeing God is our Father…our sins are forgiven.
2.They rejoice in what they can receive and what they expect to receive from their Father.
3.These live to be ministered unto. They look at Christ’s death as it relates to them…their welfare…their happiness…their blessing. They have a ‘bless me’ attitude.
4.They seek to move God into their center. God is in the role of Savior. This concept is to reach heaven and get others there.
5.The Prosperity Gospel thrives on Little Children…Alive to Blessings…Benefits... and Gifts they can receive.
B. Young men (gender neutral) 13b, 14b
Three things are overshadowing: You have overcome the wicked one…You are strong… The Word of God abides in you.
1.These have moved from the milk of the Word to the meat. They have moved from defense to offense. Instead of running from the Wicked One, they are now victorious over the Wicked One.
2.As a young man it is easy to become occupied with doing more than being. These are
Centered in activity for the Lord.
3.Their Concept of God: He is Sovereign…Master with a strong emphasis on Lordship. God is always crowding us to a fuller understanding of Himself. To move us from salvation and Jesus as Savior took some time and some real spiritual development before we could appreciate His Lordship over our lives. As young men we are confronted with bringing every fact of our lives under His control.
4.God is Savior…YES…But He is Sovereign, Ruler, Lord, Creator. We become engrossed in what we can do for Him! We move to a greater dedication and higher calling.
5.As young men we are not merely interested in getting folks to heaven (although that will always be an essential). Now we want to bring Jesus as our Lord and Master here and now!
C. Fathers 13a, 14a
Fathers…known Him that is from the beginning
1.Fathers see Him in His Fatherhood…His eternal purpose…His eternal desire…His eternal vision.
2.Through an intimate identification we have an expressive relationship. His purpose…
His vision…His desire becomes ours!
3.Father: from the beginning…we are created to have fellowship with Him and be a blessing.
4.Seated with the Father we see as He sees. As a Father He wants many sons into glory.
We participate in His grand theme.
5. (Eph 1:3-4) Paul gives us that eternal perspective. We behold the Eternal Father. We bring Him glory!
6.We see the heart of the Eternal Father:
*Concept determines our level of spiritual development. God has done nothing to become the Father…Jesus has always been the eternal Son.
*His Being overshadows everything: It’s who He is…It’s what He is…It’s all that He is.
*We are not merely instruments in His hands working for Him. We are allowing Him to live and manifest Himself through us. God wants us to be something…The Fruit of the Spirit…LIFE, are not so much SELF effort, but He works through us fulfilling His purpose in the world.
As we LEARN TO BE, God is FREE TO DO…THROUGH US.
BE PATIENT…GOD ISN’T THROUGH WITH YOU YET!!