John's Children (1 John 2:12-14)

November 05, 2017 00:32:45
John's Children (1 John 2:12-14)
Covenant Words
John's Children (1 John 2:12-14)

Nov 05 2017 | 00:32:45

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Rev. Christopher Chelpka
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Episode Transcript

WEBVTT 1 00:00:00.960 --> 00:00:04.559 If you remained able to remain standing, please do and let's give our attention 2 00:00:04.679 --> 00:00:12.869 to God's word. Now in First John, continuing our meditations, hearing God's 3 00:00:12.869 --> 00:00:19.309 word to us from first John this morning, Chapter Two, verses twelve, 4 00:00:19.750 --> 00:00:42.130 thirteen and fourteen. So First John, Chapter Two, verse twelve. Let's 5 00:00:42.130 --> 00:00:47.850 give our attention to God's word. I'm writing to you, little children, 6 00:00:48.369 --> 00:00:54.039 because your sins are forgiven for his namesake. I'm writing to you father's because 7 00:00:54.079 --> 00:00:57.719 you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, 8 00:00:57.799 --> 00:01:02.000 young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you 9 00:01:02.119 --> 00:01:06.989 children, because you know the father. I write to you father's because you 10 00:01:07.109 --> 00:01:11.390 know him who was, or because you know him who is from the beginning. 11 00:01:11.989 --> 00:01:15.150 I write to you, young men, because you are strong and the 12 00:01:15.230 --> 00:01:21.260 word of God abides in you and you have overcome the evil one. You 13 00:01:21.340 --> 00:01:25.420 may be seen. So I've struggled a little bit with this, not a 14 00:01:25.459 --> 00:01:29.739 little bit, a struggle a lot with this sermon this week, and I 15 00:01:29.819 --> 00:01:34.930 want to explain why. On the one hand, there is this very simple 16 00:01:34.170 --> 00:01:41.810 and very important truth. I'm it's not complex, it's very wonderful and it 17 00:01:41.969 --> 00:01:46.010 touches on some of the most basic and fundamental things of who we are in 18 00:01:46.090 --> 00:01:51.359 our faith. It's a very comforting passage and I think that the first hear 19 00:01:51.480 --> 00:01:55.200 is of this letter would have been comforted by it, and even immediately so. 20 00:01:56.840 --> 00:02:00.920 The trouble is is that as this passage comes to US folks in the 21 00:02:00.000 --> 00:02:07.430 twenty one century who aren't familiar and used to this kind of stylized language, 22 00:02:07.950 --> 00:02:13.270 aren't familiar with the ways and which it's written, there's a lot of questions 23 00:02:13.389 --> 00:02:17.219 that we end up asking that end up sort of confusing us away from the 24 00:02:17.379 --> 00:02:23.259 point and from the assurance. You might imagine at all beautiful home that once 25 00:02:23.500 --> 00:02:30.129 stood with this large welcoming lawn, guests would sort of walk through up to 26 00:02:30.210 --> 00:02:37.289 the House easily and smoothly. But with neglect the yard becomes overgrown and cluttered 27 00:02:37.330 --> 00:02:40.330 until it's such a mess that you really have to give a machete and kind 28 00:02:40.330 --> 00:02:46.120 of whack your way through it until you can get yourself into the house. 29 00:02:46.199 --> 00:02:50.919 The House hasn't changed at all, but it's become difficult to get inside. 30 00:02:50.919 --> 00:02:53.599 I don't want to make a bigger deal out of this than it is, 31 00:02:53.840 --> 00:03:00.150 but I think in some ways this passage is like that for us why does 32 00:03:00.189 --> 00:03:05.550 he address only men? Are these ages metaphorical or are they not? Why 33 00:03:05.590 --> 00:03:09.389 does he repeat himself almost exactly and then in other places not so exactly? 34 00:03:10.789 --> 00:03:16.300 Why doesn't he address other people? Or is he addressing people? Who is 35 00:03:16.379 --> 00:03:21.259 he addressing? And how are we to understand these things? What is the 36 00:03:21.580 --> 00:03:24.379 reason for this language of because how are we to understand that? There's a 37 00:03:24.379 --> 00:03:29.409 lot of things that I think maybe would have been easier to hear in a 38 00:03:29.530 --> 00:03:34.810 more oral culture, in a culture that was familiar with this kind of way 39 00:03:34.930 --> 00:03:38.530 of writing and a certain context in he was riding in. I don't think 40 00:03:38.530 --> 00:03:43.800 the original here is would have been troubled quite as much as perhaps we are 41 00:03:43.800 --> 00:03:46.840 at the same time. So what I recognize as we have to do a 42 00:03:46.879 --> 00:03:51.120 little bit of Weed whacking, we have to do a little bit of digging 43 00:03:51.159 --> 00:03:55.990 before we can get to the gold. But at the same time I don't 44 00:03:55.990 --> 00:04:00.830 want to spend all of our time interpreting and going through with a fine tooth 45 00:04:00.949 --> 00:04:05.110 comb all the details and then walk away without a sense of the assurance and 46 00:04:05.789 --> 00:04:13.300 comfort and hope that God has given to us. So we'll do our best 47 00:04:14.379 --> 00:04:15.379 and I want to and I put it this way, so that we might 48 00:04:15.540 --> 00:04:19.699 write up front, keep in mind what it is that we're after to hear 49 00:04:19.899 --> 00:04:26.649 what God's Word is saying. John is telling us God's Elder Apostle is here 50 00:04:26.810 --> 00:04:30.209 riding to these Christians and by a spirit, writing to us as well to 51 00:04:30.810 --> 00:04:36.689 reassure us, to tell us some things that are true about ourselves. We 52 00:04:36.850 --> 00:04:43.319 want to keep that in mind. But let's do a little weed whacking first. 53 00:04:45.360 --> 00:04:49.199 What about the repetition? What's going on here? You might break this 54 00:04:49.360 --> 00:04:54.829 passage up into two stanzas if you think about it like poetry. If these 55 00:04:54.910 --> 00:04:58.910 sets of three. He says I'm writing to you little children in verse twelve, 56 00:04:58.949 --> 00:05:01.470 then in verse thirteen he says I'm writing to you father's and then I'm 57 00:05:01.550 --> 00:05:06.180 writing to young men. And then we have the same set of three at 58 00:05:06.220 --> 00:05:10.860 right after that, starting at the end of verse thirteen. I write to 59 00:05:10.899 --> 00:05:15.379 you children, I write to you father's, I write to you young men. 60 00:05:15.699 --> 00:05:20.730 So we have a parallelism here, a symmetry that's going on. Why? 61 00:05:21.850 --> 00:05:27.850 Well, there's all kinds of different reasons that parallelism is used. Some 62 00:05:28.050 --> 00:05:31.290 scholars have broken this into many, many different categories and ways of seeing this. 63 00:05:31.930 --> 00:05:36.800 But most simply, you could simply say it's emphasis of some kind or 64 00:05:36.839 --> 00:05:43.800 another. It's emphasis, sometimes it's elaboration, sometimes it's clarification, sometimes it's 65 00:05:43.800 --> 00:05:46.079 strengthening it in one way or another. And but that's what he's doing here. 66 00:05:46.160 --> 00:05:50.670 He's emphasizing this point. It never hurts to say things again, does 67 00:05:50.750 --> 00:05:56.990 it? It never hurts to say things again, does it? It emphasize 68 00:05:57.310 --> 00:06:00.790 this, doesn't it? It has a way of impressing the point, and 69 00:06:00.870 --> 00:06:05.339 we're used to this. If you watch children's television shows and you listen to 70 00:06:05.660 --> 00:06:09.819 good preachers, or hopefully you listen to good preachers, you'll get this a 71 00:06:10.019 --> 00:06:14.300 lot kids. We're going to be talking about the letter a today, the 72 00:06:14.379 --> 00:06:16.379 letter A. It's a great letter and that's what we're going to be talking 73 00:06:16.420 --> 00:06:21.610 about, the letter all right, it doesn't feel repetitious when you're watching it, 74 00:06:21.689 --> 00:06:25.649 if there's enough variation in those kinds of things, but there's a kind 75 00:06:25.689 --> 00:06:30.129 of impressing that happens so that when you walk away you're clear, it's understood. 76 00:06:31.129 --> 00:06:33.240 Now that's, I think, hard for us to get a little bit 77 00:06:33.279 --> 00:06:38.000 from this passage if we're taking it in these small chunks, which we've been 78 00:06:38.040 --> 00:06:41.759 doing as we've been going through this letter, but as if you read it 79 00:06:41.879 --> 00:06:45.439 as a whole, what you have is that, very early on in the 80 00:06:45.480 --> 00:06:48.629 letter, not many weeks into it, but early on. Then in the 81 00:06:48.670 --> 00:06:55.829 letter Paul, or sorry, John, addresses his audience directly again. He's 82 00:06:55.870 --> 00:07:00.550 already done it once at the beginning of chapter two. After his introduction, 83 00:07:00.670 --> 00:07:04.060 he says, my little children, I am writing these things to you so 84 00:07:04.180 --> 00:07:08.980 that you may not sin. It sounds familiar, doesn't it sounds like our 85 00:07:09.139 --> 00:07:12.620 passage. And in fact throughout the letter he's going to do this again and 86 00:07:12.740 --> 00:07:16.089 again. So, for example, in verse eighteen of Chapter Two, he 87 00:07:16.170 --> 00:07:20.730 says, children, it's the last hour and I have something to tell you, 88 00:07:21.089 --> 00:07:25.129 and he tells them some other things. Or in Verse Twenty Six of 89 00:07:25.250 --> 00:07:27.769 this or I'm sorry, twenty the aid of this chapter, he says, 90 00:07:27.970 --> 00:07:33.279 and now little children abide in him. But this happens other times. He 91 00:07:33.399 --> 00:07:39.120 also uses the word in addition to little children. And another example, verse 92 00:07:39.160 --> 00:07:44.949 seven of Chapter Three, he also uses the Word Beloved, beloved in chapter 93 00:07:45.110 --> 00:07:48.629 four, Verse One, do not believe every evil spirit or little children, 94 00:07:48.629 --> 00:07:53.470 and verse four of Chapter Four, little children, you are from God and 95 00:07:53.550 --> 00:07:59.259 you have overcome them. That is the antichrists in the world beloved in verse 96 00:07:59.339 --> 00:08:01.620 seven of Chapter Four. Beloved, let us love one another, for love 97 00:08:01.740 --> 00:08:05.740 is from God. He continues this pattern all the way through the end. 98 00:08:05.779 --> 00:08:11.220 He can continually comes back to when he sort of holds holds their faces and 99 00:08:11.300 --> 00:08:15.050 says, little children, Beloved, I'm writing to you, I'm speaking to 100 00:08:15.129 --> 00:08:20.250 you. He's being very tender even the very last verse of the Book. 101 00:08:20.290 --> 00:08:28.560 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. This elder apostle, when I say 102 00:08:28.639 --> 00:08:33.399 elder, I mean that he's at the end of his life. He's been 103 00:08:33.440 --> 00:08:39.679 an apostle for a long time. This elder apostle is riding to these Christians 104 00:08:39.759 --> 00:08:45.549 in a very difficult situation. They have people that have left them, that 105 00:08:45.669 --> 00:08:52.350 have seceded from the church and have gone out and taught new things, advocated 106 00:08:52.549 --> 00:08:58.779 for new things, lived their lives saying that they're Christians but but not being 107 00:08:58.940 --> 00:09:05.019 so. This has happened since the very beginning, but and it happens today 108 00:09:05.820 --> 00:09:11.090 and it's always disruptive. Whenever this happens in any church and any close knit 109 00:09:11.210 --> 00:09:16.009 community, you end up asking yourselves really difficult questions. Who Are we? 110 00:09:16.850 --> 00:09:20.129 What do we believe? How do we make sense of their time with us? 111 00:09:20.370 --> 00:09:24.399 How do we make sense of the fact that they're a way, they're 112 00:09:24.480 --> 00:09:26.840 calling us to come with them. What do we believe about that? How 113 00:09:26.879 --> 00:09:35.039 do we understand this separation? John's addressing them in this in this the circumstances. 114 00:09:35.080 --> 00:09:41.750 He's giving them these tests, he's giving them hard things. For example, 115 00:09:41.789 --> 00:09:46.870 he says in chapter two whoever says he abides in him, that is 116 00:09:46.950 --> 00:09:48.870 in Jesus, ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. 117 00:09:50.149 --> 00:09:54.019 He gives other things. Whoever says this is a two verse, for whoever 118 00:09:54.100 --> 00:09:58.419 says I know him but does not keep his commandments is a liar and the 119 00:09:58.539 --> 00:10:03.580 truth is not in him. They probably had particular people with names. When 120 00:10:03.620 --> 00:10:09.090 they hear John Saying this, yeah, I know him, he said that. 121 00:10:09.330 --> 00:10:13.450 He says I know Jesus, but he doesn't keep his commandments, John 122 00:10:13.570 --> 00:10:20.129 says he's a liar. So John is having this very intense time of teaching 123 00:10:20.169 --> 00:10:26.919 through this letter, but he brings into it a continual reminder of who they 124 00:10:26.960 --> 00:10:33.080 are. He encourages them and then, and that's what we have in particular 125 00:10:33.159 --> 00:10:39.669 here in Chapter Two, verses twelve through fourteen, he's emphasizing this point, 126 00:10:39.710 --> 00:10:43.350 he's repeating this point at the here, at the beginning of his letter, 127 00:10:43.389 --> 00:10:46.230 he's sort of sitting on it for a minute so that they will be very 128 00:10:46.309 --> 00:10:50.460 clear that, despite these difficult things he's saying, despite these hard things, 129 00:10:50.539 --> 00:10:56.980 there's he's saying, despite this situation that they're in, he wants them to 130 00:10:56.139 --> 00:11:01.620 know that he's treating them as Christians. He believes they are Christians, he 131 00:11:01.860 --> 00:11:07.490 knows that they are Christians, and so that's how he puts it. I'm 132 00:11:07.529 --> 00:11:13.929 writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his namesake. 133 00:11:13.649 --> 00:11:18.250 And then again, I am writing to you, children, because you 134 00:11:18.529 --> 00:11:22.519 know the father. This is something that is true of you. He says. 135 00:11:22.799 --> 00:11:26.480 You are, as he says in other places, beloved, beloved, 136 00:11:28.039 --> 00:11:33.669 loved of God. So that's what's going on here with the emphasis, and 137 00:11:33.750 --> 00:11:37.590 that's why we have the kind of repetition. It's a way for the Christians 138 00:11:37.629 --> 00:11:43.470 who heard this letter to walk out and remember and have it in their minds 139 00:11:43.549 --> 00:11:46.539 and have it in their hearts with a lot of clarity on this point. 140 00:11:48.779 --> 00:11:56.019 Now. Second who is he talking to here? He's talking to the whole 141 00:11:56.220 --> 00:12:03.210 congregation, as you've seen, when he or the whole of his audience, 142 00:12:03.490 --> 00:12:09.570 men, women and children, when he writes little children over and over, 143 00:12:09.610 --> 00:12:13.370 as we've seen them this book. He addresses them in this way, going 144 00:12:13.450 --> 00:12:18.480 back and forth between these terms, beloved children and little children. He keeps 145 00:12:18.519 --> 00:12:22.879 addressing them in this way, and not just the small people, but all 146 00:12:22.000 --> 00:12:28.240 the people. As I said, John is an elder apostle. He understands 147 00:12:28.320 --> 00:12:33.590 his role. He is this spiritual caretaker of these people. They are to 148 00:12:33.710 --> 00:12:39.230 him as children are to a parent. That's how he addresses them, with 149 00:12:39.350 --> 00:12:46.379 a kind of authority but also a kind of tenderness. I'm riding to you, 150 00:12:46.539 --> 00:12:50.500 little children, because your sins are forgiven for his namesake. This is 151 00:12:50.620 --> 00:12:56.139 helpful because this tells us this is not John and John. When John Identifies 152 00:12:56.220 --> 00:13:01.009 these groups, we read children, fathers and young men. He doesn't intend 153 00:13:01.129 --> 00:13:07.289 for us to make hard and fast distinctions between these things, because when he's 154 00:13:07.330 --> 00:13:11.330 sang little children, he's talking to us all. If we don't understand that, 155 00:13:11.409 --> 00:13:16.080 we get down some odd rabbit trails. We ask questions like well, 156 00:13:16.200 --> 00:13:18.879 is it just children who sins are forgiven, and just fathers who know him 157 00:13:18.879 --> 00:13:22.919 from the beginning, just young men who have overcome the evil one? How 158 00:13:24.000 --> 00:13:26.350 do these work together? Why are they separated in all these sorts of things. 159 00:13:26.950 --> 00:13:30.870 We're not intend to read it like that. It's not intended to be 160 00:13:30.990 --> 00:13:33.870 read like that. He's addressing all of us, his little children, the 161 00:13:33.990 --> 00:13:39.029 people that he's addressing this way throughout the letter, and he says, I'm 162 00:13:39.070 --> 00:13:41.659 riding to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his, 163 00:13:41.740 --> 00:13:48.340 nay namesake. I write to you children because you know the father. Well 164 00:13:48.379 --> 00:13:50.460 then, what about this other pair, the fathers and the young men? 165 00:13:52.740 --> 00:13:56.009 This is a little bit more difficult for me to answer, but I think 166 00:13:56.049 --> 00:14:01.129 what's going on is he's addressing as he addresses this whole group and he's talking 167 00:14:01.210 --> 00:14:05.970 about who they are as those who are identified in Christ. He'd also, 168 00:14:05.330 --> 00:14:11.919 in a way, not singles out, but highlights those that are mature and 169 00:14:11.000 --> 00:14:16.440 those that are coming into maturity. There's a kind of extra assurance that comes 170 00:14:16.919 --> 00:14:22.120 to those who are who have lived longer, or especially those who have lived 171 00:14:22.240 --> 00:14:28.190 longer in Christ, those who are mature in the faith. There's a blessing 172 00:14:28.230 --> 00:14:33.230 that comes from simply seeing God's experiences, or, sorry, experiencing God's work 173 00:14:33.750 --> 00:14:39.139 again and again and again, seeing his faithfulness over and over and over. 174 00:14:39.179 --> 00:14:43.139 As we come into maturity in our faith, and then, as we even 175 00:14:43.179 --> 00:14:48.820 come into a greater maturity, is as father's, as those that are leaders 176 00:14:48.899 --> 00:14:54.529 and capable of teaching others. We have an ability, we have an extra 177 00:14:54.610 --> 00:14:58.009 degree of assurance, and that's what John Highlights here, because that's what he's 178 00:14:58.049 --> 00:15:05.250 talkinging about. He's saying father's you know him who is from the beginning, 179 00:15:05.289 --> 00:15:09.039 in your experience, in your knowledge, you who are older in the faith, 180 00:15:11.080 --> 00:15:15.480 not just men but women too, you have a sense of who he 181 00:15:15.639 --> 00:15:20.320 is. This is old knowledge for you and it's it's knowledge of someone who 182 00:15:20.360 --> 00:15:26.629 is very old, very very old one, who even doesn't have a beginning 183 00:15:26.669 --> 00:15:31.509 himself. And to young men, those who have overcome the evil one. 184 00:15:31.629 --> 00:15:37.779 This is again true of all of us, and John Intends this very specifically. 185 00:15:39.379 --> 00:15:41.059 If you have your bibles, you can flip over to chapter five and 186 00:15:41.139 --> 00:15:52.250 listen to what he says to everyone. Chapter Five, verse one. Everyone 187 00:15:52.289 --> 00:15:58.289 who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone 188 00:15:58.370 --> 00:16:03.450 who loves the father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we 189 00:16:03.610 --> 00:16:07.559 know that we love the children of God when we love God and obey his 190 00:16:07.639 --> 00:16:11.000 commandments, for this is the love of God that we keep his commandments. 191 00:16:11.080 --> 00:16:15.720 In his commandments are not burdensome, for everyone who has been born of God 192 00:16:17.039 --> 00:16:22.549 overcomes the world, and this is the victory that has overcome the world our 193 00:16:22.669 --> 00:16:26.070 faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that 194 00:16:26.190 --> 00:16:33.019 Jesus is this Christ. Jesus is the son of God. This is true 195 00:16:33.100 --> 00:16:37.379 if you're six years old or sixty six years old or a hundred and six 196 00:16:37.460 --> 00:16:45.460 years old. Everyone who believes knows God. Everyone who believes has been born 197 00:16:45.620 --> 00:16:53.889 of God, everyone who believes has overcome the world. So John writes not 198 00:16:55.049 --> 00:17:00.370 to make hard and fast distinctions between these groups, but to speak to us 199 00:17:00.409 --> 00:17:06.440 as his little children, even those who are older, even those who consider 200 00:17:06.559 --> 00:17:11.559 themselves as strong and in their prime, they are to him as little children. 201 00:17:11.279 --> 00:17:15.789 And he speaks to us all and reminds us of some very, very 202 00:17:17.109 --> 00:17:25.029 important things. So what does he remind us of? Let's get into the 203 00:17:25.109 --> 00:17:33.420 house. John reminds us first that our sins are forgiven for his name's sake. 204 00:17:34.059 --> 00:17:41.420 As I said, so simple, so true, so foundational to who 205 00:17:41.619 --> 00:17:48.730 we are. Let's talk about what is the essence of being a Christian? 206 00:17:48.890 --> 00:17:56.369 What's essential, what's fundamental? Mental that your sins are forgiven because of or 207 00:17:56.730 --> 00:18:06.200 for his name's sake. This is put simply here and expounded in many other 208 00:18:06.279 --> 00:18:11.039 places in God's word. We've even read here in John that Christ, Jesus, 209 00:18:11.079 --> 00:18:15.789 is the one who came into the world. Chapter two, verse two. 210 00:18:15.589 --> 00:18:21.069 He is the propitiation for our sins, meaning he's the one who turns 211 00:18:21.190 --> 00:18:26.109 away God's wrath and not for ours only. John says, before the sins 212 00:18:26.140 --> 00:18:32.339 of the whole world, Jesus is the one who turns away God's wrath, 213 00:18:32.460 --> 00:18:41.099 because Jesus is the one through whom our sins are forgiven. Apart from before 214 00:18:41.220 --> 00:18:45.009 we become children of God, every single one of us are like orphans, 215 00:18:45.809 --> 00:18:51.490 separated from him. We have no right to his blessings, no right to 216 00:18:51.609 --> 00:18:56.160 his love, no right to his power or his strength or his protection. 217 00:18:56.119 --> 00:19:00.440 We are we have no right to claim anything from his inheritance, no right 218 00:19:00.599 --> 00:19:03.799 to belong to him, to to pray to him, to seek him. 219 00:19:04.799 --> 00:19:11.150 Know, before we are adopted and justified by God, we are children of 220 00:19:11.230 --> 00:19:15.390 Wrath, sons of disobedience, to use language we heard earlier from Paul. 221 00:19:17.710 --> 00:19:22.829 We are enemies of God and on the long side of him, on the 222 00:19:22.910 --> 00:19:30.819 wrong side of history. On the wrong side of judgment. But when we 223 00:19:30.940 --> 00:19:37.180 become little children of the heavenly father, we become those who are in his 224 00:19:37.460 --> 00:19:45.210 household, under his protection and have the rights to a great inheritance that has 225 00:19:45.210 --> 00:19:49.529 been earned for us by Christ. That all happens, and only happens, 226 00:19:49.650 --> 00:19:56.920 because the sins that separated us from him I've been forgiven, that God's wrath 227 00:19:57.079 --> 00:20:03.759 has been turned away and his shining face of glory and grace and kindness is 228 00:20:03.440 --> 00:20:10.029 turned toward us, not only having our sins forgiven, but being named and 229 00:20:10.230 --> 00:20:15.589 declared righteous because of Jesus. This is what it means to be little children, 230 00:20:15.630 --> 00:20:19.509 and that's why John writes in this way. He doesn't write so that 231 00:20:19.670 --> 00:20:25.900 we can. He doesn't say I'm writing to you little children, because your 232 00:20:26.099 --> 00:20:30.539 sins are forgiven for his namesake. Is a way to mean that we can 233 00:20:30.619 --> 00:20:34.890 become little children or that somehow, if we do certain things, we can 234 00:20:36.450 --> 00:20:41.250 receive this word. No, he writes to us as little children because these 235 00:20:41.490 --> 00:20:48.369 things have happened. If you are a Christian, your sins are forgiven. 236 00:20:48.849 --> 00:20:56.400 To make a deep breath, relax in that, have peace, for there 237 00:20:56.480 --> 00:21:02.119 is no condemnation for those who were in Christ Jesus. The second thing he 238 00:21:02.240 --> 00:21:07.309 says to us is that we know him who is from the beginning. We 239 00:21:07.509 --> 00:21:12.509 know him who is from the beginning. This knowledge of God is a very 240 00:21:12.589 --> 00:21:21.220 significant thing. To Know God isn't merely to know about him, but it 241 00:21:21.380 --> 00:21:26.180 is to know him in an intimate and personal way. It's to know him 242 00:21:26.299 --> 00:21:30.380 as he loves us. We speak. So, for example, looking chat, 243 00:21:30.380 --> 00:21:33.410 I will read this again, chapter two, Verse Four. Whoever says 244 00:21:33.490 --> 00:21:37.890 I know him but does not keep his commandments is a liar. You can 245 00:21:37.930 --> 00:21:41.490 go back and listen to that sermon for more on this. The point is 246 00:21:41.690 --> 00:21:45.730 is there's a way in which we know of people and then there's a way 247 00:21:45.730 --> 00:21:49.160 in which we know people that were connected to them and we care about them 248 00:21:49.200 --> 00:21:55.200 and we love them. Do you know God in that way, in that 249 00:21:55.400 --> 00:22:00.240 careful way, in that loving way? Does he know you in particular? 250 00:22:00.950 --> 00:22:07.430 Do you know Jesus Christ, who's reveals to us God himself so that we 251 00:22:07.509 --> 00:22:11.430 may know him well? John says, yes, I'm riding to you because 252 00:22:11.589 --> 00:22:17.259 you do know him who is from the beginning. He says the same thing 253 00:22:17.299 --> 00:22:21.420 in verse fourteen, because you know him, Him who is from the beginning. 254 00:22:22.579 --> 00:22:26.140 The last thing he says is that I writing to you, young men, 255 00:22:26.339 --> 00:22:32.210 because you have overcome the evil one. The parallel to it is because 256 00:22:32.250 --> 00:22:36.809 you are strong and the word of God abides in you and you have overcome 257 00:22:37.730 --> 00:22:41.730 the evil one. This is a significant aspect of what it means to be 258 00:22:41.809 --> 00:22:48.119 saved by Christ. He didn't only forgive our sins, he rose as victor 259 00:22:49.200 --> 00:22:56.799 over Satan, over the grave, victor and King and conqueror. John is 260 00:22:56.880 --> 00:23:02.990 about to say after this, this this careful assurance and reminder that there are 261 00:23:03.109 --> 00:23:07.269 dangers in this world, a world that is passing away. In Chat, 262 00:23:07.349 --> 00:23:11.750 in Verse Eighteen of Chapter Two, he's going to say, children, it 263 00:23:11.869 --> 00:23:15.900 is the last hour and you have heard that antichrist is coming. So now 264 00:23:17.140 --> 00:23:22.180 many antichrists have come. He's telling them watch out. He tells them that 265 00:23:22.299 --> 00:23:27.529 some of them were even among them. There are these dangers, there are 266 00:23:27.730 --> 00:23:33.849 people that are trying to deceive them, he says in Verse Twenty Six in 267 00:23:33.009 --> 00:23:37.970 Chapter Five, he talks about overcoming the world. As I read earlier, 268 00:23:37.049 --> 00:23:41.119 everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world, and this is the 269 00:23:41.200 --> 00:23:48.200 victory that is over thecome the world. Our faith, when we are saved, 270 00:23:48.519 --> 00:23:52.400 when we are born of God, when we are adopted as his children, 271 00:23:52.440 --> 00:23:59.309 when our sins are forgiven, we are also conquerors or, as Paul 272 00:23:59.430 --> 00:24:03.589 puts it, more than conquerors, through Christ, Jesus, who saves us. 273 00:24:04.750 --> 00:24:10.220 This is a remarkable thing because these Christians, just like us, are 274 00:24:10.299 --> 00:24:15.740 in a context where there's pressures, external pressures trying to deceive, trying to 275 00:24:15.940 --> 00:24:22.339 trick, trying to harm them, anti Christ's people that are anti Christ, 276 00:24:22.500 --> 00:24:30.089 and trying to take them away from Christ, their savior, their internal pressures, 277 00:24:30.369 --> 00:24:33.849 sins. Chapter two again, verse one. I'm writing these things to 278 00:24:33.930 --> 00:24:38.039 you so that you may not sin, but if anyone does, and we 279 00:24:38.200 --> 00:24:44.559 have an advocate with the father, Jesus Christ, the righteous, that's because 280 00:24:44.640 --> 00:24:49.720 in Christ we are overcomers, we are conquerors, more than conquerors, when 281 00:24:49.759 --> 00:24:56.589 he rows of victorious and even on the Cross, he put to shame all 282 00:24:56.670 --> 00:25:03.750 the powers of this world and Satan, the evil one himself. Well, 283 00:25:03.789 --> 00:25:07.140 if that's true of Jesus Christ, which it is, and if we are 284 00:25:07.180 --> 00:25:11.740 united to him, that it means it's true of us as well. To 285 00:25:11.900 --> 00:25:15.059 be a Christian means that we are no longer in slavery, it means that 286 00:25:15.140 --> 00:25:19.500 we're no longer in bondage and no longer. It means we're no longer helped 287 00:25:19.859 --> 00:25:26.210 captive to the bondage of the will, but instead we are set free towards 288 00:25:26.410 --> 00:25:33.650 the obedience of God, keeping the commandment's loving and walking in him. We 289 00:25:34.960 --> 00:25:44.599 are strong. There's a kind of Trinitarian pattern of what John says from the 290 00:25:44.680 --> 00:25:48.039 end of thirteen, in this last, our second stanza, I might say. 291 00:25:49.230 --> 00:25:52.910 He says, I write to you children, because you know the father, 292 00:25:52.230 --> 00:25:56.869 speaking of the father, God, the father. I write to you 293 00:25:56.990 --> 00:26:00.869 father's because you know him who is, from the beginning, someone John has 294 00:26:00.910 --> 00:26:04.220 spoken about a here and in his Gospel as Jesus Christ, the son of 295 00:26:04.339 --> 00:26:07.299 God. And then I write to you, young men, because you are 296 00:26:07.339 --> 00:26:11.059 strong, the word of God abides in you and you have overcome the evil 297 00:26:11.140 --> 00:26:17.220 one. This happens because of the spirit WHO's working in us. We abide 298 00:26:17.460 --> 00:26:22.650 in God, because God is in us. He is ruling in us, 299 00:26:22.730 --> 00:26:26.089 he is reigning in us, he is uniting us to himself and has united 300 00:26:26.130 --> 00:26:33.400 hims us to himself in such a way that we are overcomers. We have 301 00:26:33.720 --> 00:26:37.160 overcome the evil one. This is hard to believe sometimes, of course, 302 00:26:38.319 --> 00:26:44.559 when temptation is pushing, pushing, pushing, and it feels like there's no 303 00:26:44.759 --> 00:26:51.829 escape. When sin full thoughts creep in again and again and again, when 304 00:26:51.910 --> 00:26:56.950 darkness clouds are understanding in our minds, or we are attacked from outside and 305 00:26:57.069 --> 00:27:03.500 attacked from within our communities, it seems as though the devil is strong and 306 00:27:03.700 --> 00:27:10.660 he is Peter says, he prowls around like a roaring lion waiting for someone 307 00:27:10.740 --> 00:27:15.099 to a devour. The fact that we are overcomers doesn't mean that we take 308 00:27:15.220 --> 00:27:19.769 Satan and the evil that he does lightly, but it also means that we 309 00:27:19.849 --> 00:27:29.329 don't despair. It is strength because we have overcome in Christ. This is 310 00:27:29.450 --> 00:27:33.240 what it means to be a Christian. It's to Walk Strong and upright and 311 00:27:33.480 --> 00:27:40.119 bolden him and in Christ and before God the father, because our sins are 312 00:27:40.160 --> 00:27:44.589 forgiven and we have nothing to fear. There's no more condemnation, because he 313 00:27:44.670 --> 00:27:49.150 has revealed himself and made himself known to us and cares for us, and 314 00:27:49.349 --> 00:27:56.710 because this work is continually ongoting, ongoing God and his word, abiding living 315 00:27:57.109 --> 00:28:08.619 in us. We have overcome the evil one. When you're a parent, 316 00:28:11.019 --> 00:28:15.730 sometimes you have to have difficult conversations with your children, and I'm not talking 317 00:28:15.849 --> 00:28:21.009 just about those times where everyone's upset and crying and angry. I'm talking about 318 00:28:21.009 --> 00:28:26.049 those difficult conversations where that go on for maybe some time, that really touch 319 00:28:26.839 --> 00:28:34.480 the heart, both yours and theirs, conversations with tears, conversations that touch 320 00:28:34.599 --> 00:28:44.190 on things like fear, loneliness, discouragement, death, abandonment. When you're 321 00:28:44.190 --> 00:28:48.069 a parents, sometimes you have to have conversations with your children the require you 322 00:28:48.150 --> 00:28:53.630 to say hard things that make your children come face to face with their sinful 323 00:28:53.710 --> 00:29:00.859 nature's and with our sin filled world. These are conversations that my parents had 324 00:29:02.019 --> 00:29:07.259 with me and I'm thankful for them. But I remember that as a child, 325 00:29:07.500 --> 00:29:14.289 there would be these moments in these long, teary conversations where I would 326 00:29:14.289 --> 00:29:22.210 be reminded that everything was going to be okay because of love. We're telling 327 00:29:22.289 --> 00:29:26.640 you these things, Sun because we love you. We're telling you these things 328 00:29:26.759 --> 00:29:32.559 because God loves you. We're having this conversation because things are wrong and there 329 00:29:32.680 --> 00:29:37.480 is a problem, yes, but we're also having this conversation because there is 330 00:29:37.640 --> 00:29:42.630 something right, there is something firm, there is something truthful and solid that 331 00:29:42.710 --> 00:29:49.829 always allows us to have hope. This is the kind of conversation that John 332 00:29:49.950 --> 00:29:56.180 is having with these Christians. It's the kind of conversation that God is having 333 00:29:56.339 --> 00:30:02.900 with us. What does it mean when people abandon the faith, when they 334 00:30:02.900 --> 00:30:07.890 say they love but do not, who claim to be Christians but lie and 335 00:30:07.130 --> 00:30:12.369 hurt and abandon the good news that they have heard and seemingly once believed? 336 00:30:14.930 --> 00:30:18.450 These are the kinds of questions he's dressing, addressing as an elder apostle to 337 00:30:18.490 --> 00:30:25.160 these younger Christians in and around Ephesus, whom he knows, whom he loves. 338 00:30:26.400 --> 00:30:30.240 And now the kinds of things that he'll continue to address as he goes 339 00:30:30.319 --> 00:30:37.549 on in the letter, as he gives more explicit and direct instructions about various 340 00:30:37.750 --> 00:30:42.950 things. But for the moment he takes his little children upon his knee and 341 00:30:44.150 --> 00:30:48.390 speaks to them about who they are. He reminds them he's not saying these 342 00:30:48.589 --> 00:30:57.380 things as tests because they aren't Christians, but because they are Christians. This 343 00:30:57.619 --> 00:31:07.130 portion of God's word this morning is about assurance, reassurance. It reinforces in 344 00:31:07.250 --> 00:31:11.329 our minds and in our hearts the most basic truths about what it means to 345 00:31:11.410 --> 00:31:17.849 be a Christian, about what it means that you or a Christian. Are 346 00:31:17.930 --> 00:31:23.960 you a Christian. If so, then hear these words. And if you 347 00:31:25.039 --> 00:31:29.960 are in a place this morning where you feel you've been having some difficult conversations 348 00:31:30.160 --> 00:31:33.269 with your heavenly father lately, that there are things that are going on in 349 00:31:33.390 --> 00:31:37.829 your life right now that are not good, things that are difficult to bear, 350 00:31:38.509 --> 00:31:41.710 maybe even things that you know, with your father in heaven is not 351 00:31:41.910 --> 00:31:47.460 pleased with in your life, then let him speak to you this morning and 352 00:31:47.700 --> 00:31:55.500 remind you of his love. Quiet yourself and allow God to press pause so 353 00:31:55.619 --> 00:32:00.460 that he can remind you who you are, you who have trusted in Jesus 354 00:32:00.619 --> 00:32:06.650 for your salvation, that he can remind you that the whatever difficult things he's 355 00:32:06.690 --> 00:32:10.569 doing in your life right now, whatever ways he's challenging you, teaching you, 356 00:32:12.210 --> 00:32:15.759 trying you, that they are not happening so that he can so that 357 00:32:15.839 --> 00:32:22.880 he can see if you're worthy, but because you've already been made worthy on 358 00:32:22.000 --> 00:32:29.680 the Cross of Christ. Beloved. Hold onto these truths, know your father, 359 00:32:29.880 --> 00:32:32.950 who has given you this love through his son, and have hope, 360 00:32:35.190 --> 00:32:39.990 because you have overcome the evil one, you will overcome the evil one. 361 00:32:42.269 --> 00:32:42.910 Let us pray

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