1 John 2:12-14 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name's sake. 13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. 14 I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
Verses 2:1, 12 teknon (Greek) 'child, offspring,' can refer to a person of any age for whom there is a special relationship of endearment and association - 'my child, my dear friend, my dear man, my dear one, my dear lad.' The context determines the nuance of meaning. In this passage, John uses the word “teknon” as a word of endearment for the Christians he is writing to.
The Apostle John is writing to the entire Church addressing them as “children” or “my dear friends”. John desires the Church to know that their sins are forgiven in Christ for His name’s sake. Jesus is completely loving and completely just. In order for Him to be forever with the people He loves, Jesus paid the penalty for their sins by dying on the cross to satisfy His justice. All who receive His pardon from their sins by repenting of their sins and believing the gospel (Mark 1:15; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 10:9) can be with Jesus forever.
John then writes to the fathers (grown ups), young men (the Greek word John uses identifies a child over the age of puberty) and children (the Greek word used is “pideon”, not “teknon”; pideon means a child under the age of puberty). John wants us to know he is addressing all in the Church – adults, almost adults, and children. What he says to each applies to all.
The believers in the Church know Jesus, who is from the beginning. In Revelation 1:8 Jesus is identified as the One “who is and who was and who is to come.” John writes to believers who have overcome the evil one by faith in Jesus (see Hebrews 2:14-15). John writes to believers who know the Father (see John 14:7 where Jesus states that if we know Him, we know the Father). John writes to believers who are strong and have the word of God abiding in them.
As we look at the believers of all age groups in our local church, would John say the above to them? Each father and mother is to be making sure their household knows the above. Each elder in the local church is to make sure his local church knows what John writes in verses 12-14 above. Evaluate your family and local church. What needs to be done to be able to write to them as John writes to the Church in 90s AD?