A Timely Word for Fathers and Young Men

I am writing to you, little children,
    because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake.
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.
I write to you, children,
    because you know the Father.
14 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 abides in you,
    and you have overcome the evil one. – 1 John 2:12-14

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Water Lily | Mercer Botanical Gardens | June 2018

A man came into my office several years ago and wanted to know if he “had to go through confirmation instruction” in order to join our church. He had been confirmed years ago, and had been attending another church for some time. He wanted to join the church but didn’t want to go to a class to do so. Whether there ought to be a class or not, the question reveals a fundamental idea: Once I’ve gone through confirmation I don’t need to study the Bible any more.

John writes to young men, to fathers, and little children (which may actually refer to all the people to whom this letter is addressed; this is a term of endearment for John). Make no mistake, however, about the pointed word to fathers and young men. The reasoning may not be obvious, but the exhortation is clear: John was writing to them all. They are being called on to pay attention and heed his word to them.

Our status and identity as God’s children does not remove us from the need to hear what John is saying. If you’re strong, have been delivered from the evil one, have been forgiven, and have known Jesus from our earliest years, you are a proper recipient for God’s word. John is saying that he is writing to those who are of the household of faith.

Some people believe that when you get through confirmation instruction, you graduate. That’s all you need to know about God and Jesus, they suppose. The strong and the weak need to hear God’s word. We never outgrow the need for teaching, correction, reproof, training in righteousness (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16).

Are you still learning?

1 comment
  1. Yes! There are AMAZING things to learn from HIS Word and MUCH to see of HIM in HIS world! – all tools for learning. What a gracious God; what a precious Savior! Thank you Jesus for your undeserved presence in our lives.

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