April 7 – Inclusive Experience

“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.” – 1 John 2:12-13 (ESV)

It seems best to view John’s division and categories to be referring to all who would hear this letter read. Each experience attributed to them is appropriate to the category named. As one of God’s “children,” we have experienced forgiveness through grace from our heavenly Father. As “fathers,” we have had an experience that connects us to eternity past, since we have known Him who is always from eternity with no beginning. (In the light of 1 John 2:3–6, this indicates we have a true relationship with God.) As “young men,” we have engaged in spiritual warfare and have overcome the evil one, Satan. Here again in verse 2:3 the word “Him” could refer to either God the Father or God the Son; the difference does not appear to be important to John. His readers as we are, know God and therefore we know both the Father and Son. Thought of in this way, the sequence “children,” “fathers,” and “young men” is meaningful. We know what it is to have sins forgiven and to have fellowship with God the Eternal One. As a result we are like vigorous young men who have defeated satanic assaults through Christ Jesus.


April 5 – Only Way to the Only God

“ And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” – Mark 13:13 (ESV)

There are consequences to perpetuating the name of Jesus. We know the honor and respect God’s name deserves, the same for the name of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. The Father sent the Son, Jesus, to earth to live a human’s life as a human and experience the life of the people He created. He encountered temptations and all physical effects that we encounter. But Jesus did all this without sin. He followed His Father’s will in every action, every thought, and every word. When His time on earth was coming to an end Jesus spoke to His disciples. The hate of the enemies of Christ was building to a climax to kill Him. He said that they too would experience that hate. Why? Because when they proclaimed their faith in Him and the Gospel message the world would turn on them. They were to be His sent ones – Apostles and in obedience to their call, the world would hate them because they proclaimed the name of Jesus. Not only the Apostles but all of us who follow Jesus as the only Way to the only God will also be hated for the name of Jesus.