The apostle John, himself a father in Christ, in his first epistle addresses the children of God (1 John 2 :12). He addresses them in dividing them in three distinct groups: the fathers (v. 13, 14), the young men (v. 13, 14-17) and the little children (v. 13, 18-27). It is not a question of physical age but rather of spiritual growth and maturity. He addresses each group twice.
To the fathers, he practically repeats the same words while to the young men he adds a few more exhortations and finally much more for the little children. In verse 28 he resumes his address to all the children – regrouping fathers, young men and little children.
The fathers have attained a certain maturity and need only to continue in their knowledge of Him that is from the beginning. Among the particular dangers these face, there is the hardening of heart, of becoming insensitive to others and to become proud of our wisdom – a form of pride of life.
The young men are characterized by their attachment to the Word of God and by this they will eventually become fathers themselves. The great danger for these is the love of the world which offers their overflowing energy all sorts of attractions. The lust of the flesh will have to be particularly guarded against and fought without reserve.
For the little children, these are in danger of being tossed to and fro by winds of doctrine; they are to guard against antichrists, men active within Christendom denying the Father and the Son. But the anointing from God, His Spirit, is the One Who must teach us and not mortal fallible men. They are also susceptible to the lust of the eyes just as little children are before all the shines and tingles.
The family of God needs Fathers; they bring stability, maturity and wisdom.
The family of God needs young men; they bring energy, enthusiasm and support.
The family of God needs little children; they bring joy, simplicity and refreshment.
May the Lord Jesus grant us to mutually value each other and to benefit by what each brings to the family while being still vigilant and aware of the dangers lurking around us.
NOTE: All Bible references are from the King James Version unless otherwise specified. All unsigned material is in the spirit of Ecc. 12:11. Send all correspondence, comments, suggestions to: email@example.com
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