by Neil Anderson


April 23

OVERCOMING THE EVIL ONE
 
1 John 2:14 
I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one
 
First John 2:12-14 describes three levels of Christian growth in relation to sin. The first level is compared to "little children" (verse 12). Little children in the faith are characterized by having their sins forgiven and possessing a knowledge of God. In other words, they are in the family of God and have overcome the penalty of sin, but they haven't grown to full maturity.
 
The second level is "young men" (verses 13, 14), those who have overcome the evil one. These are aggressively growing believers who are strong because the Word of God abides in them. They know the truth and how to use it to resist Satan in the battle for their minds. They are no longer in bondage to uncontrollable habits, and they have resolved the personal and spiritual conflicts which keep many Christians from experiencing freedom in Christ. They are free, and they know how to stay free.
 
The third level is "fathers" (verses 13, 14), those who have developed a deep personal knowledge of God. Their faith is securely founded on a close, intimate, loving relationship with God which is the goal of our spiritual growth. What about your faith? Are you a "child," a "young man" or a "father"? Is it your daily goal to grow to maturity in your faith? Have you overcome the evil one?
 
Having challenged us to combat sin's power in our lives through a commitment to growth, John goes on to describe the avenues through which Satan tempts us: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life. We will consider these avenues over the next few days.
 
Prayer: Heavenly Father, please shake me good if I become stagnant , stale or static in my spiritual growth. I want to grow into Your image of me.

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