RECENTLY I HAVE BEEN THINKING about 1st John 2:12, which says, “I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.”
I am discovering far more in those words for me and my relationship with God than I would have initially thought. Four things have spoken into my heart which I believe will be helpful to you.
1. John is writing to me: True, John wrote these words almost 2,000 years ago to a group of followers of Jesus who are all dead. Yet because John was inspired by God, that does not matter. What John wrote to them is as applicable to me today as it was to them. So I am trying to read his words not as if they were in a textbook, but as real words intended for me today in my life and my relationship to God.
2. John loves me: When John writes the words “dear children”, he is showing me he cares deeply for the followers of Jesus he is writing to. He sees himself as their spiritual father. This means everything he writes to those Jesus followers so many years ago he says out of love. That also means as I read the words today, John is writing them to me out of love. John does not know me. Has never met me. Yet he writes his words to me as one who loves me.
3. My sins are forgiven: What an amazing statement! John is saying the sins of the people he is writing to all those years ago have been forgiven. Now step back for a moment. How can John say that? Because they are followers of Jesus. So the good news for me today is if their sins were forgiven 2,000 years ago because they were followers of Jesus, then my sins are forgiven today because I am a follower of Jesus. And…your sins are forgiven today if you are a follower of Jesus. Great news!
4. My sins are forgiven through Jesus: When John writes “On account of His name”, he is referring to Jesus. This is how we know our sins are forgiven. Through faith in Jesus.
Acts 16:31 records the words of Paul and Barnabas to the jailer who wanted to know how he could be saved, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…”
Great words for you and I today as we serve Jesus.