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Sep 9, 2018
"I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake. I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that 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 wicked one" (I John 2:12-14).

There are seven stages of spiritual growth . . .

- "Babes"

"And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ"
(I Corinthians 3:1)

"Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby" (I Peter 2:1-2)

- "Little Children" (I John 2:1).
- "Children of God" (Galatians 3:26).
- "Child" (Ephesians 4:14).
- "Young men" "Fathers" (I John 2:13).
- "Elders" (I Peter 5:1).
- "Aged" (Philemon 9).

Now all these are stages in Christian growth, and you can study these out on your own . . . but it may help you to realize that not everyone you minister to is of the same age spiritually. A person might have been a Christian for 40 years and still be a babe.

Preachers should realize this truth and leave some cookies on the bottom shelf for the children, and some things on the top shelf for the spiritual giraffes.

It is hard to cover the entire gambit of things on an online message board, but simply, John in I John 2 is saying that there are stages of spiritual growth. In this case, there are 'little children', 'young men' and 'fathers.' You don't get to become a 'father' without going through the others stages. There are no shortcuts in the spiritual life. When you are born again you are a 'babe in Christ' and you have to have milk - but you can't stay on milk - this is obvious as one reads further in I John 2 of the deceptions of the spirit of Antichrist. There comes a time when you must learn to grow up as a Christian. Not only that you might teach others, but also to keep you from being deceived.

How do I control my thought life?
How do I overcome when the devil comes against me?

The Bible has an answer to that. How do I build a wall against those deceptions?

"Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established" (Proverbs 16:3).

It is when we get idle and start thinking the thoughts that we shouldn't be thinking about . . . that's when the problems come up.

"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds)" (2 Corinthians 10:3-4).

What are those strongholds?

"Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled" (II Corinthians 10:5-6).

You will NEVER . . . NEVER overcome the flesh! but you can overcome the wicked one, in this particular sense, and you are able to grow by overcoming the temptation. These 'young men' did. They became strong because the Word of God abided in them - and they have overcome the wicked one. In the Tribulation they overcome by the blood of the Lamb, but here the Word of God abides in them.

"And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure (*) will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will" (II Timothy 2:24-26).

(*) Peradventure . . . A reference that if a man will receive the instruction, God will give him a break - but if he rejects it . . . God will not give him a break.

In order to avoid the snare of the devil, a man must receive the truth and they have to receive the instruction, otherwise they will not be able to recover themselves out of the snare of the devil. The devil can get control of an individual when that guy opposes himself, because he will not believe the Scripture and he will not accept instruction from the Word of God. It is the Word of God that abides in that individual that causes that individual to be delivered. That is why it is so vitally important for you to take the Word of God as it stands and to receive that instruction - and that is why these men have overcome the wicked one in I John 2:14, because the Word of God abides in them.

We became a powerful force to be reckoned with and you become a living epistle, or a walking Bible . . . we ARE the only Bible that many people will ever read. Some people will never read any kind of Bible whatsoever, so it is important that the Word of God abide in you - and that you become strong by that Word of God so that you can become a living testimony for Jesus Christ.


Senior Member
Sep 4, 2013
Ok................if that works for you.......good.......


In my opinion, spiritual growth is a continues walk with the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. Can it be marked by "stages?" Maybe.......maybe not.

I once heard a Pastor preach that the Beatitudes were the various stages of spiritual growth.

I guess, as long as we are striving to grow, and walking with the Holy Spirit, we'll be ok.