“I am writing…I wrote…”
First John 2:12-14

Here, in the midst of discussions about being light and love as God is light and love, John takes time to remind his readers who they are. Repeatedly in the NT, we see declarations of identity. I wonder how much of our fear and wrong-headedness stems from our inability—or, frankly, refusal—to recognize our identity. We excuse ourselves so easily. That’s just how I am. I’m only human. In truth, God has made us to be new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17). This is not some futuristic wishful thinking. It is present reality. So, here in this passage, John stands upon a mound and declares:
  • You are forgiven.
  • You know the One from the Beginning.
  • You have conquered the Evil One.
  • You have known the Father.
  • You are strong.
  • The word of God remains in you.
The next phrase holds the command that brings us short:
“Do not love the world…” (2:15)

With all our “I can’t help myself” excuses taken away, what is left? The only thing left is that we, as lovers of God, actually choose to love the world instead. John exposes our duplicity. But—and this is HUGE—he also gives us the tools to choose rightly. He tells us who we are. When we know it, it is enough.


“Unless otherwise noted Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”


  1. PHM has come to save the world!!!
    Find Out More...

  2. I don't want to turn on comment moderation, but I will if I need to.

    Just so you know.

  3. Great stuff! As if by happy coincidence, I've been helping somebody this week over an issue that boiled down to identity. Do I believe what the latest pop-quiz reveals about my character or do I believe who Jesus redeemed me to be?

    I think the answer is: both! Kind of. I recognise my current character. I'm not in denial. But I don't have to accept it if it's contrary to my redeemed identity in Jesus. So I BELIEVE in, place my TRUST in, and receive genuine FAITH in, my redeemed identity in Jesus. Then instead of striving to work on my character, which in all likelihood leads to discouragement and guilt, I instead proclaim the truth in faith, cast my gaze on Jesus, and ... relax (doesn't it say somewhere in Hebrews that faith rests?)

    Sometimes I think we're overly critical of ourselves when we should instead be focussing on Jesus in whom we receive our true identity. He didn't come to condemn. He came that we might have life to the full. When we focus on Him, gaze upon Him, converse with Him, and adore Him, we really do change, in ways that are otherwise frustratingly impossible to us.

    We can come into all that is promised in the scripture that you've illuminated for us. Thank you :-)

  4. I tell ya, I think God is doing a bit of pounding on this topic. Tuesday at college bible study, we looked at the examples (positive and negative) Paul gives Timothy to show him who he is. So, here I'm studying two very different books (1 John and 2 Timothy) and yet the same thing comes up. Makes one ponder.

  5. I just realized...maybe "pounding" is not a good term when mixed with the notion of resting in about "intensely wooing"?