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The First Epistle Of John by Augustus Neander

1 John ii. 14

As we naturally repeat what we earnestly desire to impress upon others, John now reiterates what he has just said, with some additions serving to illustrate and enforce it, and to prepare the way for the exhortation which is to follow. He had already said, -- I write unto you; and he now repeats, emphatically, what he had just written. |I have written unto you,| he adds, as much as to say: There let it stand! That which I write unto you, is now written. It is final. Nothing other have I to say to you; this you must receive, as said to you once for all. |I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.|

It must be for a special reason, that John satisfies himself with a single address to the children; while he feels it necessary to enforce by repetition what h he has said to those of maturer age, with whom more is depending upon their own personal agency. To what he had first said to the youth, he here adds something more; as in their case it might be needful to show How they had overcome the Evil One. It is superior strength by which victory is attained; and consciousness of strength is natural to youth. But this is apt to be connected with self-confidence, now first developed into activity, with a conscious ability to meet all dangers, to overcome all hindrances, to triumph over all enemies in one's own strength. But this self-confidence and self-reliance, will, if unsustained by strength from a higher source, soon fail in the conflicts of life and be put to shame. The Apostle directs them to another ground of confidence, another source of strength. While he reminds the young that they are strong, he at the same time indicates whence this strength is to be derived, wherein it must have its root, viz. that divine word already received by them and faithfully adhered to and applied by them; that word, fast rooted in their hearts and abiding there as an ineradicable principle. In the divine word, therefore, whose vitalizing power is the life of their spirit, lies their strength. Already, through the might of this divine word, have they virtually overcome the power of evil; in this word, which no other power can withstand, is the victory given them. We may translate, |abideth among you,| or |abideth in you.| The sense is the same. It cannot abide among them collectively, unless it has been received individually into the heart.

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