The Four Stages of Growth in Grace [Part 1]
Are you ready for some good news?
You are a child of God, forgiven and infinitely loved.
Today’s Text: “I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake. 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. 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. Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:12–15, ESV)
Commentators are divided over exactly who John is addressing here, but it seems to me most instructive to consider four assurances we have as Christians. These can represent seasons or stages of our growth in the gospel.
The passage begins by saying, “I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name's sake.” The whole image of what it is to be a Christian is to be a child of God. From the biblical perspective, not everybody is a child of God. Everybody is a creation of God, made in the image of God, with infinite value regardless of what they believe, but being a Christian is about becoming a child of God. Little children, as John says, are the ones that know that their sins are forgiven for His name’s sake.
It is one of the most beautiful and blissful revelations that anyone could ever receive. No matter how deep or wide the mistakes of your life, in Jesus Christ there is a way to be forgiven! It is the weight of the world lifting off of your shoulders. It is the end of self-condemnation and shame.
No matter how long you walk with the Lord, it never grows old to just know your sins are forgiven and that you can just be close to Him. It’s a wonderful thing to be held in the arms of a God Who has forgiven you, Who loves you just because you are His. Let’s celebrate the little children in the faith. They know their sins are forgiven for His name’s sake. There is no meaning to Christianity if you don’t see this: God loves you, and in Jesus Christ He has made the way for you to be a child of God. And that’s the gospel!
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