The best, or most comprehensive passage outlining God’s process for growth is found in 1 John 2:12-14. John, writing to the church at large, states,
“I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake. I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I have written to you, children, because you know the Father. 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.”
Children need to know that they are truly forgiven of their sins because of the name of Jesus (Jesus’ reputation requires he forgive when we seek Him), and that we know who our “daddy” is. That is, we are not the child of the world, the devil, religion, or any competing philosophy, but we are the children of God. This knowledge provides the child of God acceptance and security, the foundation for future growth.
In time, all children are to grow in responsibility, characterized by John as young men. Young men must be overcomers (meaning they will face battles mainly within the self) by having the Word of God abide (intimate understanding of Christ and the Word) in them so that when temptations and trials come, they can overcome as Christ did through the Word of God.
Our goal is maturity, described by John as fathers. Fathers have a unique relationship with Christ. They know him, not as children do, by identification but by experience. As Paul stated, “That I may know him, in the power of his resurrection, and in the fellowship of his suffering, being conformed unto his death (Philippians 3:10).” Fathers know God’s works, but also his ways. They are not perfect, but sufficiently mature to help others on their journey in Christ.
As you read this book, I trust you will be able to utilize this information to bring about necessary changes within your own walk with God, and to become truly the man or woman of God that you desire to be.
Dr Stan DeKoven