1 John 2:12-17

Today’s reading deals with mind-set. We are to keep these things in mind as we go about our day. We are to review them daily to keep them fresh and fixed in our minds.

Reasons for Writing

12 I am writing to you, dear children,
    because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.
13 I am writing to you, fathers,
    because you know him who is from the beginning.
I am writing to you, young men,
    because you have overcome the evil one.

14 I write to you, dear children,
    because you know the Father.
I write to you, fathers,
    because you know him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
    because you are strong,
    and the word of God lives in you,
    and you have overcome the evil one.

 

This portion of the letter is written in poem form, even a song, with verses! Let’s group the verses together:

I am writing to you, dear children,
    because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.

I write to you, dear children,
    because you know the Father.

I write to you, fathers,
    because you know him who is from the beginning. (twice)

I write to you, young men,
    because you are strong,
    and the word of God lives in you,
    and you have overcome the evil one. (this line twice)

Women are not addressed, but such was the culture of the day. What goes for one, goes for the other.

The children are reminded that their sins are forgiven and that they know the Father personally.

The fathers are reminded–twice–that they know the One who is from the beginning, which could refer to the Father, but since the children have been reminded of Him specifically, I think that John is referring to Jesus. We find similar wording in 1:1 concerning the Word of life, which is Jesus.

The young men are reminded that they are strong in the Lord because the word of God lives in them, enough so that they have overcome the evil one. Paul said to “let the word [message] of Christ dwell in you richly” (Colossians 3:16). We would do well to “hide his word in our hearts” (Psalm 119:11).

Speaking of the evil one, we find his tools in the next two verses.

On Not Loving the World

15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[a] is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

The tools of Satan: There are only three listed, but, oh, how effective they are! From GotQuestions.Org:

  1. The lust of the flesh- The uncontrolled desire for what makes us feel good. “Pastor Mark Bubek defines the flesh this way: ‘The flesh is a built-in law of failure, making it impossible for natural man to please or serve God. It is a compulsive inner force inherited from man’s fall, which expresses itself in general and specific rebellion against God and His righteousness. The flesh can never be reformed or improved. The only hope for escape from the law of the flesh is its total execution and replacement by a new life in the Lord Jesus Christ.’” Lust of the Flesh
  2. The lust of the eyes- “Simply put, the lust of the eyes is the desire to possess what we see or to have those things which have visual appeal. This coveting of money, possessions, or other physical things is not from God, but from the world around us. John emphasizes that these physical things do not last; they will pass away. In contrast, the child of God is guaranteed eternity.” Lust of the eyes
  3. The pride of life-  The attitude that we do not need God. “The pride of life can be defined as anything that is ‘of the world,’ meaning anything that leads to arrogance, ostentation, pride in self, presumption, and boasting.” The Pride of Life

We are warned by John that if we love any of these and chase after them, we ignore the love of God in our lives. If we do it without conscience, then we probably do not have the Holy Spirit in us. If we do not have the Spirit, then we are not saved. He is our SEAL unto salvation (2 Corinthians 1:22, 5:5).

Verse 17 tells us to “keep our eyes on the prize.” What is forever is what is important. Let’s keep the main thing the main thing!

Abba, I want to keep my eyes focused on You, so open my eyes to spiritual things. Help me focus on what is eternal and not what is temporal. May I make relationships my main concern, especially those that lead to the salvation of souls. How do I do that? By focusing on You and following You throughout my day. Lead me into all truth, into witnessing situations, and according to Your will for my life. Amen.

 

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