This Week's Focus Passage

1 John 2:12-15 ‘I write unto you, my little children,…fathers,,,,,,young men.’

1 John 2:12-15 ‘I write unto you, my little children,…fathers,,,,,,young men.’

I write unto you, my little children, because your sins are forgiven you, for his name’s sake. I write unto you, fathers, because ye know him who is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the evil one. I have written unto you, little children, because ye know the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye know him who 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 evil one. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Some writers have insisted that verses 10 and 15 are the pylons of the bridge formed by verses 12-14. That is to say, that, He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is no occasion of stumbling in him, is bridged with, If any man love the world, the love of the father is not in him; verses 10 and 15 forming the support, or the pylons that support this span. We are reminded of something that was a huge engineering feat in the 1950’s in the state of Michigan. The Straits of Mackinac being a formidable five mile strait separating the lower peninsula of Michigan from the upper peninsula; the Mackinac bridge was built, being completed in November, 1957. Supported by its pylons and its suspension, it provides a safe passage from one side to the other. We are informed, as to what pylons are, that “Bridge pylons rest on a foundation that begins deep in the ground below the surface of the water. A system of cables is attached to each side of the bridge and then to the pylons, which transfers the entire weight of the structure through the foundation and into the ground.”

It may be suggested that justification, adoption, and sanctification, constitute the pylons for John’s bridge, with the Word of God providing its’ suspension cables. Are we able to distinguish these pylons in the midst of our focus passage? Where may we see the ‘pylon’ supporting justification? Justification is in large measure based upon the teaching of forgiveness because being justified is not to be separated from being forgiven. One illustration from Scripture should satisfy. It is that to be found in the account commonly referred to as ‘The Pharisee and the Publican’ from Luke 18:9-14. It speaks truly and deeply about those who justify themselves—the Pharisee—and those whom God justifies—the Publican. We may recall the boasting of the Pharisee of all his own marvelous works, thus accounting himself justified in his own sight. The behavior of the Publican which follows is of one falling down before the face of Almighty, Holy God, and begging for mercy to be granted. It seems, however, in this tax collector’s words that there is not clearly to be found any reference to justification. His words speak of his sinfulness and need of forgiveness. After the Pharisee had argued, I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all, the eyes of our ears are turned to witness the Publican, of whom we are told:

But the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote his breast, saying, God, be thou merciful to me the sinner. I say unto you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled; but he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

It is conspicuous from the passage that the publican was not necessarily asking to be justified, but that he might have the mercy of forgiveness for his sins; for he was THE sinner. He humbled himself as such a sinner, and was exalted with forgiveness and justification. He went down to his house justified; down to his house forgiven. Here we see represented for us the undeniable and unbreakable relationship between forgiveness and justification. And both come from the Father of mercies in whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

The second ‘pylon’ is seen in sanctification; in the sense of the word to mean being set apart; set apart to overcome the evil one. When God sets apart His people; that initial sanctification, they are set in stone; they are pillars of support being founded upon The Rock, Jesus Christ. Being set in Christ from before the foundation of the world is being set in The Rock; the immovable Stone. That is the reason they are strong and able to overcome the evil one. It is not their strength, but the strength of our Champion; Golgotha’s Victor. We can do nothing apart from Him, but through Him we can do all things. This is, then, the second ‘pylon’ adding its support to the bridge that John has set before us.

The third ‘pylon’ is the ‘pylon’ of adoption spoken of by the apostle who leaned upon the breast of Christ at the table. This ‘pylon’ is sometimes hidden just below the surface of the water, but is recognizable when John speaks of them as being known as ‘they that know the Father.’ James reminds us in James 2:19, when he says to his readers,

Thou believest that God is one; thou doest well: the demons also believe, and shudder.

Yes, even the demons believe that God is One, but you, true believers in Jesus Christ, believe that you have not only received forgiveness, justification, sanctification, both from the foundation of the world as well as progressive sanctification through God the Holy Spirit by the Word of Truth, but you have also received the Spirit of adoption whereby you may cry, Abba, Father. The demons may believe that God is one, but you have been made, unto God, his sons and daughters. While there is only one reference to ‘sons and daughters’ in the Word of God, it being found in the New Testament’s 2 Corinthians 6:17-18 where Paul is actually citing the O. T, Hosea 2:1, saying, And I will be to you a Father, And ye shall be my sons and daughters. He is actually making reference to a passage in Hosea where Jehovah says to the prophet; Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi [my people]; and to your sisters, Ruhamah [that hath obtained mercy]. Brothers and sisters, Love not the world!

David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church


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