1 John 2:12-14 Growing In Christ

by | Sep 29, 2023 | 1 John, New Testament

Ray Stedman– The curse of the church has always been immature Christians, Christians who never grow up, Christians who cease their progress soon after beginning the Christian life. It reminds one of that familiar story of the little boy who fell out of bed. When his mother asked what happened, he said; “I don’t know, I guess I went to sleep too close to the place I got in.”

  • We don’t want to start the Christian life and then soon after, fall asleep.
  • We need to move on to maturity.

I. Little Children Vs. 12, 13c

A. Born Into The Family Of God V. 12

1. They come to faith via God’s truth.

a. Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
b. John 1:12, 13 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

2. People are born into the family of God. Not an earned position. John 3:1-7

B. Forgiveness Of Sins V. 12

1. Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins…

C. Know The Father V. 13c

1. Galatians 4:6, 7 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

D. Spiritual Growth Needed

1. 1 Peter 2:2 “…as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”
2. Colossians 1:28 “…Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.”

II. Young Men Vs. 13b, 14b

A. Spiritual, But Not Yet Mature (Fully Mature)

1. Young men are men who are growing into maturity.
2. They are no longer babies, but they are not yet fathers.

B. They Have Overcome The Wicked One

1. They have come to realize that the battles of life are not against people, but against Satan. They realize that spiritual battles require spiritual commitment.
2. Ephesians 6:10-13

C. The Word Of God Abides In Them

1. They have gone beyond the newborn Christian, and they feed on God’s Word.
2. Now God’s Word abides in them, dwells in them.
3. It is more than something they nibble on from time to time.
4. It dwells in them, and has become part of the fabric of who they are.

a. Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

5. The young man that is growing is one who’s heart responds to this searching power of God’s word.
6. They understand how God’s word is a discerner of their thoughts and intentions.
7. They respond to the searching truth of God’s word.
8. They are spiritually alive, but not yet spiritually mature. That takes time
9. They are not yet mature like a father, but their course is set, and w/time, they will become mature w/fatherly wisdom, and mature judgment.
10. There is a process of growth that can only be accomplished by time, effort, mistakes, recovery, & perseverance. Maturity will happen, if they stay on course.

III. Fathers Vs. 13a, 14a

A. What A Father Looks Like

1. Know- ginosko “coming to know by experience.” A Christian father is one who has come to know, by long experience, the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. Regarding the Christian faith, one cannot be called or considered a “father” unless he has had a life with Jesus over a long period of time.
3. Philippians 3:10 that I may know Him & the power of His resurrection, & the fellowship of His sufferings.
4. Over the years, by following Jesus, their life has grown in godliness in every area

B. Some “Father Age” Saints Are Not Fatherly

1. A person may be a Christian for many years, and yet not be a “father”.
2. A relationship with Christ which does not go deep will not produce maturity.
3. Turn to Hebrews 5:12-14
4. Some older saints’ lack of maturity is a direct result of shallow, inconsistent fellowship with Jesus. They may even have much head knowledge of the Bible, but they don’t allow God’s word to abide in them, direct them capture them, direct them. They can teach the truth, but they rarely live the truth.
5. Reversing the trend- If you are an older saint that realizes you have not matured over the years, you can begin to move toward maturity today.

a. Be like the young men who have the word abiding in them.
b. Realize that there is no “quick fix” that produces Christian maturity.
c. Feed on God’s word, pray, have faith, worship, serve, say “no” to sin, etc.
d. The formula/process for spiritual growth is the same for everyone.

6. If a child tells his father, “Daddy, I want to grow up and be big and strong, just like you”, the dad can give one of two answers. Which one is correct?

a. Son, try hard to grow. Think about it all the time. Make every effort to grow.
b. Son, eat well, rest, exercise, and stay away from bad stuff, and you will grow.

7. The older saint needs to learn to “put away” childish things.
1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

a. You may be an older saint that needs to “put away” childish things.
b. Attitudes, lack of discipline, selfishness, complaining, self centeredness.

8. Putting away childish things & allowing God’s word to abide in you will produce maturity, whereby the older saint will be blessed & a blessing.