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  Bible Question:  What is the meaning of "know the Father" in 1 John 2:12-14? It says the children know the Father. Is this the same intimate knowledge of the father that is described at the beginning of the verse or is it describing something else?
 
Bible Answer: The apostle John under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote 1 John 2:12-14 which reads as follows:
 
  I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are 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. (NASB) 1 John 2:12-14
 
This passage is about spiritual growth in the Christian life. It speaks of little children, young men, and fathers. Little children are immature spiritually, while fathers are the most mature.
    Little Children. There are two descriptions of the children, the young men, and of the fathers. Is this important? In order to answer this question lets make a chart of the different descriptions.
 
  Maturity Description Passage  
  Little children "your sins are forgiven" 1 John 2:12  
    "you know the Father" 1 John 2:13  
  Young Men "overcome the evil one" 1 John 2:13  
    "you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one." 1 John 2:14  
  Fathers "you know Him who has been from the beginning" 1 John 2:13  
    "you know Him who has been from the beginning" 1 John 2:14  
 
     First, we find that little children are said to have their sins forgiven. This is how any Christian starts. We become Christians when our sins are forgiven. When this happens, we are not only little children in a spiritual sense; we also know who is our father. One of the marks of a new Christian is that they want milk.
 
  . . . like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation . . . (NASB) 1 Peter 2:2
 
They are happy with spiritual milk and not with meat.
     Second, the Holy spirit uses two different words for "little children" in the 1 John 2:12-14 passage. The first word is TEKNON, and the second one is PAIDION. The first word has the idea of a very young child, while the second one is about a baby. Now if we put it all together, here is the sense of the passage. There are two things that are true about an immature Christian. His/her sins are forgiven. Even though they are young in the Lord, he/she knows God the Father, too, just like a baby knows its father. Even a baby knows his/her father but not as he/she will later in life.
     
 
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