The Family of God is Secure
As John wrote this letter to point out the errors of false teaching, he also wanted to assure the true believers that they were safe in God. Those who want to be closest to the Lord have a heightened conscience and often feel themselves to be the greatest failures. So John was quite direct and emphasised his commendation of them by repeating the reasons for his confidence in their faith.
The 'children' may have been all his readers, or those who had just started the Christian life. The key to beginning in Christ is to know that His death enables every sin to be forgiven. With sin no longer a barrier, the new believer can get to know Father God. The basis of the 'fathers'' confidence was not in their wisdom or service but that they had developed a deep relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
The 'young men' are the hope of every community, with their energy and courage. But the first sign of spiritual maturity is a determination not to be defeated in temptation, and to apply the armour of God as spiritual protection every day (Ephesians 6:10-18). This is only possible as they pay close attention to God's Word, knowing what the Lord is saying and living it out in obedience. It is the only route to spiritual strength.
Modern day believers are enticed to find security in many other 'spiritual' things. Children like to play and some believers want to use God's gifts as toys and not tools. Some fathers think they should be the wise authorities in the church and community. But Jesus is Head of the church (Ephesians 1:22), and to know Him is wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30). Young men like to exhibit their strength; but if they cannot be disciplined to master temptations according to the Word, they are weak. Whatever our age or stage in the faith, our primary security does not lie in ourselves and what we do, or in what others think of us, but in our relationship with Father God through the Lord Jesus Christ.
© Dr Paul Adams