Knowing God - 1 John 2:12-14
Passed From Death to Life
The Word of God says in John 17:3, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” We must keep this objective ever before us in our daily lives and in our study of God’s Word. The knowledge of God is man’s greatest knowledge. We come to know the true and living God through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. I trust you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour. There is nothing on earth anymore important. So many people say they they know Him, yet they do not live like they know Him.
The Bible says in 1 John 2:12-14, “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake. 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. 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.”
In the 13th verse, the Bible says, “I write unto you, fathers, because ye have know him that is from the beginning.” Verse 14 says, “I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning.” Take special notice of the phrase, “…ye have known him.” We need to understand that this is is written to all who know the Lord. In verse 12, the human penman of this epistle says, “I write unto you, little children….”
This expression will be repeated. In verse 13 he says, “I write unto you, fathers…” Again in the same verse he says, “I write unto you young men…” I want you to note these expressions—“fathers” and “young men.”
John is covering everyone in a local assembly. This has nothing to do with gender. He is writing about the stages of Christian development and growth. All the ladies can see themselves here also. When he speaks of little children, he is speaking of boys and girls; when he speaks of young men, he is speaking of young ladies as well as young men; when he speaks of fathers, he is speaking of ladies who are mature in the Lord just as much as he is speaking of men who are mature in the Lord.
The issue here is whether or not we truly know the Lord. There is a special emphasis on knowing Him that is from the beginning. I would like for you to understand that people who truly know God make a difference in this world.
Let us take note of a conversation between Moses and God. The Bible says in Exodus 33:12-17, “And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth. And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.”
This is probably the greatest passage of Scripture on biblical separation in all the Bible. Here we learn what separates us and makes us different. What is it that makes you different from other people on this earth? What is it that makes your children different? What is it that makes some young men and fathers different from other young men and fathers? God says, “My presence shall go with you; My presence separates you.” The presence of God makes people different.
The conversation continues in verses 18 and 19, “And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.”
In other words, God said, “The way I am going to show you My glory is to show you My goodness.” Those of us who know that we have experienced the goodness of God have seen God’s glory. God’s glory is all around us in His goodness.
People say that Moses was a mighty leader. He was the man God used to lead the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage; but the thing that made Moses a mighty man was that Moses knew God. When you read your Bible, you are going to find out that people who make a difference are people who know God.
2 Timothy 1:12 says, “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”
You may ask, “How did one man accomplish all that Paul accomplished? How was he able to do what he did with his life?” The secret is revealed to us here. It is the same open secret that is found in the life of Moses. Paul said, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”
Do you know the Lord? There are millions of people all over the world who say that they know the Lord, yet their lives give no evidence of that claim.
The book of 1 John is written to Christians. Christians are in this world, but not of this world, and they are going to face the same kind of tragedies and heartaches that everyone else in this world faces. They will experience great trials like everyone else.
“Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men” 1 Corinthians 14:21.