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Becoming a Spiritual Father

By Joe Boot/ June 19, 2016

Series  1 John: Walking in the Light

Context  Westminster Chapel Toronto

Topic  Theology

Scripture  1 John 2:12-17

God has revealed Himself as Father. Human fathers are to reflect God's protection, provision and spiritual care toward their children.

  1. John exhorts us to Christian maturity so we may influence others to grow and develop to spiritual adulthood.
  2. Our culture is hungry for father figures. Faithful fathers and spiritual fathers are urgently needed in the church today.
  3. John addresses his readers as “little children,” assuring them that their sins are forgiven by the efficacy of Christ’s blood.
  4. Fathers in particular need to teach godliness to their children, that the next generation may hold fast to the faith.
  5. Fathers speak powerfully to the nature of God Himself simply by their presence and faithfulness.
  6. God has revealed Himself as Father. By their example human fathers teach either positively or negatively about God as Father.
  7. John says we can know that we have fellowship with God, that our sins are forgiven, and that we belong to Christ.
  8. Youth is a time when we are strong, vigorous, and bold; it is also a time when we face strong temptations from the Devil who wishes to ruin us.
  9. The only way to be strong and to overcome temptation is to have the Word of God reside in us (1 Jn. 2:14).
  10. The church is strong when the young people are ready to deploy their vigour of youth for the kingdom of God.
  11. The key to victory over the evil one and fruitfulness in the Christian life is to abide in God’s Word.
  12. Fathers provide, protect, and teach their children. We’re to reflect the fatherly heart of God to our children.
  13. Our children are shaped by who we are and what we are like.
  14. As we progress in the faith over the years, we are equipped to help others mature in their faith.
  15. To abide in Christ is to walk in the light and to obey His commandments.
  16. John warns us not to love the godless system of this world; godless rebellion, sin and Satan are passing away.
  17. This does not preclude godly love for the good creation, and participation in God’s redemptive purposes for the world (cf. John 3:16).
  18. We are warned against temptations to sin in the areas of lust and pride. Lust is sinful desire for created things; pride is foolish and misplaced glory in one’s self.
  19. The sinful system of this world is a corpse, soon to be buried.
  20. The person who does the will of Christ abides forever.

Application Questions:

  1. What is the importance of fatherhood in the church and in society at large?
  2. Identify characteristics of God’s fatherhood which human fathers should model for their children.
  3. How can we overcome temptation and Satan according to this passage?
  4. What does it mean to abide in God’s Word?
  5. In what sense are we not to love the world?

Sermon Notes