For His Name's Sake
1 John 2:12-14
I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake.…

Living in the joy and light of the Divine Fatherhood, the Apostle John had come to regard all disciples of Jesus as children; and as the beauty of a child is in its childhood, its littleness, its unassertiveness, its dependableness, the apostle seems to have a delight in speaking of the disciples of Jesus as little children, remembering doubtless the little child that Jesus took and set in the midst of those disciples who were wrangling about greatness and place and position. I think there is much of instruction, and no little of comfort for us if only we will try and see things as the Apostle John sees them. He acknowledges the dark fact of sin, the bright fact of forgiveness, and the brightest of all facts — that forgiveness is based on the relation which Jesus Christ has established between Himself and us. One is weary of hearing of secular education as a cure for the sinfulness of man's nature. I am sure that an eloquent writer of our day is right on this — that if the influence of the outpoured life of Christ were withdrawn from our world, sins would not only increase incalculably in number, but the tyranny of sin would be fearfully augmented, and it would spread among a greater number of people. It is a new disposition, a new heart which man needs, and the outpoured life of God in Christ is necessary to produce that; as necessary to produce it as the outpoured radiance of the sun is necessary to produce the fruits of the earth by which our physical nature is sustained. Therefore it is that the Apostle John goes far deeper than to connect the forgiveness of sin with repentance for sin; he connects it with the relationship we sustain to Christ and the relationship He sustains to us. Some one asks — why is it necessary that Jesus the Christ of God should put Himself into the relations towards us which have been established, in order that the Everlasting Father may forgive sins? Why cannot He say to the sorrowing man, "I forgive you," and have done with it?

1. There are reasons in His own nature. When God undertakes to forgive sin He pledges Himself to rescue the forgiven man from his sin. In a word, He undertakes to regenerate his nature, to renew it so that he shall eventually live the unsinning life. And in order to that, Jesus Christ and His work are necessary.

2. There are reasons in the nature of man. To forgive a sinner and leave him to the helplessness which has come from his sin is only half forgiveness. Man needs to be brought into such an understanding of God and into such a love of God that he will hate to sin against Him. In order to that, Christ Jesus and His sacrifice of Himself are necessary.

3. There are reasons, too, in the Divine government. It must be made universally evident that there is no righteous reason for rebellion against God on the part of any.

(R. Thomas.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake.

WEB: I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake.

Christians as Little Children
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