1st John 2: 12-14
1 John 2:12-14 “I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of His name. I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, dear children, because you have known the Father. 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.”
John has been warning his readers the perils of the dark and the necessity of walking in the light. Now he says, that in every case their best defense is to remember what they are and what has been done for them.
Since they believe: no matter who they are, their sins have been forgiven. No matter who they are, they know Him who is from the beginning. No matter who they are, they have the strength, which can face and overcome the evil one.
The man who is a forgiven man, the man who knows God, the man who remembers that he can draw on a strength beyond his own strength has a great defense against any temptation by simply remembering who he is and what Christ did for him.
There are three gifts from God mentioned here: the first is forgiveness. In verse 12 some Bible translations say, “I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of His name.”
Remember in Bible times the name described the nature of a person. And the names often were changed in the Bible: Simon became Peter, Jacob became Israel. So John is assuring his readers of forgiveness because we know the nature and character of Jesus. We know Jesus is the image of God and what we see in Jesus we know must be the same in God.
We see Jesus’ sacrificial love and patient mercy so we can be sure we are forgiven.
The second gift is increasing knowledge of God. And knowing isn’t just intellectual. It’s personal; as a friend. In Genesis “to know” is the most intimate of all relationships.
The third gift is victorious strength. Jesus doesn’t speak in general about conquering evil. He speaks about conquering the evil one. He sees evil as a personal power, which seeks to defeat us and to seduce us and to seduce us away from God. A commentator wrote that we all know there are some people in whose presence it is easy to be bad and some people in whose presence it is necessary to be good. When we walk with Christ, always remembering Him, always conscious of His presence with us, we are walking with the one in whose company we can defeat the assaults of the evil one.