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Read Introduction to 1 John

 

“I have written to you, fathers,

 Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.

I have written to you, young men,
Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you,
And you have overcome the wicked one.”
 
John reiterates his point without repetition but with variations. 
I have written to you, fathers
John makes his appeal to mature leaders based on their fellowship with the Lord.  This is one of the reasons he writes the epistle of 1 John, under the direction of the Holy Spirit. 
Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
The “fathers” came into an enduring experiential knowledge of God from the “beginning.”  John adds nothing new about the “fathers.”  John did not need to say anything new for they “knew Him.” 
PRINCIPLE: 
God’s goal for every Christian is to move them to maturity in Christ. 
APPLICATION: 
Some people know the Lord but do not live in fellowship with Him.  They follow Him at such great distance that no one recognizes that they belong to the Lord.  Others come to a point of maturity (not perfection).  They have grown up in the Lord.  They reproduce themselves. 
Some Christians stay in perennial infancy.  They never grow in grace.  They catch every spiritual disease that comes down the pike.  They never develop but remain spiritual pigmies for their entire Christian lives. 
2 Pe 3: 18 “…but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.”
Once a person becomes a Christian, they become a target of the Devil.  The Devil is unscrupulous.  He will try to stunt the growth of new Christians.  That is why it is important for a new Christian to get into the Word of God quickly.
1 Pe 2: 1 “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”
New Christians are more vulnerable than at any other time in their Christian lives.  After we do our spiritual obstetric work of leading someone to Christ then we do our pediatrician work of helping baby Christians to develop in the things of the Lord.  Whenever we hear the sounds of new Christians in the maternity ward, we do not leave them lying alone in their cribs.  We move them on toward maturity by helping them to understand how to apply the principles of the Word consistently and persistently to experience.
The primary kind of nourishment that God gives for the soul is the Word of God.  Habitual appropriation of truth to experience brings a person to maturity.
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