Know your weapons: the transition point
In our journey here on earth, we face three primary enemies: our sin, the world, and the Devil. We dealt with sin in the first part of the letter. But now, we are in a transition point. John is leading us to face our real enemies: the world (2:15–17) and the Devil (2:18–25). To do so, he must remind us of our position in Christ and the three weapons we will need to achieve victory (2:12–14).
The first weapon: Forgiveness (2:12). It is interesting to notice the order in addressing little children, fathers, and then young men. John is looking back to the already covered ground and looking forward to the battle ahead:
1. Little Children—Forgiveness; ground covered in 1:5−2:2.
2. Fathers—Intimacy (deep knowledge of God); covered in 2:3-11.
3. Young Men—Victory over the Evil One; covered in 2:15-28.
John is reassuring his little children of God’s forgiveness because of their eternal relationship with Him. The assurance of this forgiveness is essential for them to feel confident as they go into battle against the world and the Devil. A good soldier cannot go to battle with the fear that a mistake or two will take him off the front lines.
The second weapon: Intimacy (2:13). The one thing marriage counselors agree upon universally is that a marriage is most vulnerable to attack from the outside when the couple stops spending meaningful time together with each other. Do you think that it is any different with the Lord? In Revelation 2, John talks to the churches which lost their first love. Do you know what his counsel is? Do the first works. Remember your beginnings as a Christian, when you were madly in love with Him. Do not lose the intensity of your intimacy.
The third weapon: His Word abiding (2:14). He gives us a word of encouragement to reassure us of our position in Christ. It is our initial faith that has given us victory over the world (5:14). Now we can go to battle against the world because we already have the victory. Thanks to our position, we are strong. Remember that the Word of God is the soldier’s most important weapon—his first line of defense and his only weapon of offense. When the Devil tempted Jesus, the Son of God’s answer was: “It is written….”
Remember, own, and use the weapons of your faith; victory is guaranteed in Jesus.