John’s desire was to help Christians. He was the last apostle to die and wrote this right before his exile to Patmos. It had been more than half a century since he had walked with Jesus. The Lord inspired him to write that regardless of age, the level of comprehension, individual circumstances in life—rich or poor—God’s Word is for us all. Kids sometimes surprise us by how much they know of God’s Word.
The theme of I John is love and faith but it’s also about overcoming. Every year it gets rougher. John said these things are written to us to let us know that we’ve overcome in the past and we can now. Victory for the Christian is set. It’s not that one day we’ll get the victory. Sure. One day we’ll get victory over this body. But as a believer we can overcome now and continue to do so. If we follow the Lord’s direction we will be able to overcome. Jesus said in this world we will have tribulation. He was getting ready to die when he said this to his disciples. He told them to be of good cheer because “I have overcome the world.” The victory was already his. He overcame; that lets us know we can too.
I John 2: 12 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. 13 I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. 14 I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. 15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.
Because we trust in Jesus Christ, our sins are forgiven. John was writing because they had overcome and reminded them nothing had changed with God. What he wrote before was still true. We have a today Bible! It will be a tomorrow Bible. Sometimes I think I’ve forgotten a lot of it but when I need scripture it comes to me. We are stronger than we think. Don’t let the devil intimidate you. Remember he tried to do that during the temptation of Jesus; he preyed on the physical weakness of Jesus as this time. Jesus overcame by the Word. Don’t believe the lies. John said for us to wake up. Give ourselves a kick and go for a second wind.
In verse 14 John said “I have written” meaning past tense and “you are strong” meaning present tense. We can draw strength from last Sunday and the weeks before that today. We’re able to come tonight. We’ll make it! It doesn’t matter what the devil throws at us. We are strong. By our faithfulness we’ll be overcomes—guaranteed! We can do it!
Look at verses 16-17 again. This is simple. Don’t give in to the devil. This world will pass away. Do the will of God and you’ll live forever. That alone is our victory. Plus and minus nothing: God and his Word make us overcomers. Do your best. Don’t be intimidated by the devil. Let’s stand together and we’ll reign forever with him.