Read - 1 John 2:14
Message - Alan Burke
How can I know that I have forgiveness in Christ, how can I know that I have assurance in Christ and how can I have strength in Christ? Well here John tells us. You could be forgiven for thinking that John’s loosing his memory, after all he literally repeats what he has just said to those who are mature christians (fathers), he’s like a broken record, repeating what he has taught them already. But it’s not that he was loosing his memory or that he is a broken record but that what he has said to them is so important. He literally repeats it word for word to emphasises what he has just said. It’s like he saying; You know him who is from the beginning, you know this, don’t forget it, if I have to say it a thousand times I’ll say it again, because you know him who is from the beginning. This is how you have forgiveness and assurance.
But in turning to speak to the young christians (young men) he reminds all believers of the strength that they have in Christ. Believers are to remember that we are strong in the faith when the word of God abides in us, when it lives in us. It is not the strength of one’s youthfulness, that is not the real strength anyone has for even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength (Is 40:3-31). Think of a ship that is loosed from its moorings, that drifts along with the prevailing currents, well unless the word of God is central to our lives and the church, in all that we do, unless we preach Christ crucified we will find ourselves like that ship loosed from its moorings, drifting along with the prevailing currents. It has happened to many other places and will happen to us unless we hold to the biblical truth and convictions that we have with enthusiasm, for the gospel isn’t just good news it is great news, it is a balm for the soul, and when we know it this is how the true light shines.
How do we grow in our strength and grow into maturity in our faith, simply it is when the word of God abides in us. Nothing is more important to your spiritual health as the ordinary means of Grace, the way in which we grow, have knowledge of forgiveness, assurance and strength is though the word of God, when it is read and preached and by the sacraments and prayer. These are the things God has given us to keeps us from errors, His word acts as our rule and guide in all that we believe and how we live, it is the word of God that should be the main thing, it is the thing that gives us strength, so look to it every day, read it, think on it, pray to him who reigns over all and you will grow more and more into the likeness of Christ. We have knowledge of forgiveness, assurance and strength only by doing it in God’s way.
What is the chief end of man?
Man’ s chief end is to glorify God, (1 Cor. 10:31, Rom. 11:36) and to enjoy him for ever. (Ps. 73:25–28)