1 John 2:14 I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one. (ESV)
“Young men” is the vocative masculine plural form of the noun neaniskos (νεανίσκος), which is referring to the males in the Christian community in the Roman province of Asia who were younger than forty years of age but not a teenager.
“Because” is the conjunction hoti (ὅτι), which is employed with the indicative mood of the verb eimi to form a direct object clause which means that this clause is the direct object of the verb graphō.
This would indicate that John is affirming with the younger men in the Christian community in the Roman province of Asia that they were strong.
“You are strong” is composed of the following: (1) nominative masculine plural form of the noun ischuros (ἰσχυρός), “strong” (2) second person plural present active indicative form of the verb eimi (εἰμί), “are.”
The verb eimi means “to possess certain characteristics,” which is identified by the nominative masculine plural form of the noun ischyros, “strong” which indicates that these young men possess the characteristic of being strong.
The adjective ischuros means, “to be powerful spiritually.”
“And the word of God abides in you” defines specifically the previous affirmation that the younger men in the Christian community in the Roman province of Asia were strong.
“The word of God” is composed of the following: (1) articular nominative masculine singular form of the noun logos (λόγος), “the word” (2) articular genitive masculine singular form of the noun theos (θεός), “God.”
The noun logos means “word” and refers to John’s apostolic teaching which communicated the gospel.
The noun theos refers to the Father which is indicated by the word’s articular construction which in the New Testament commonly signifies the first member of the Trinity unless otherwise indicated by the context.
The genitive articular noun tou theos functions as a genitive of source meaning that this word “originates from” God.
“Abides in you” is composed of the following: (1) preposition en (ἐν), “in” (2) dative second person plural form of the personal pronoun su (σύ), “to you” (3) third person singular present active indicative form of the verb menō (μένω), “abides.”
The verb menō means, “to live, to reside” since the word pertains to continuing in a particular state or condition or activity.
The dative second person plural form of the personal pronoun su means “all of you” but is used in a distributive sense emphasizing no exceptions and refers to the men in the Christian community who were less than forty years of age but not teenagers.
The word is the object of the preposition en which is functioning as a marker of location indicating that the souls of these young men is the location in which the Word of God is resident.
“And you have overcome the evil one” presents the result of the previous assertion that the young men in the Christian community were strong because the Word of God was resident in each of them.
“You have overcome the evil one” is composed of the following: (1) second person plural perfect active indicative form of the verb nikaō (νικάω), “you have overcome” (2) articular accusative masculine singular form of the noun ponēros (πονηρός), “the evil one.”
The adjective ponēros means “the evil one” referring to Satan and the verb nikaō means “to be victorious over.”
The perfect tense of the verb nikaō is an intensive perfect, which is used to emphasize the results or present state produced by a past action.
The present state are these younger men in the Christian community in the Roman province of Asia who were younger than forty years of age experiencing victory over Satan in spiritual combat.
The past action is that of these younger men were obeying the Word of God, which was communicated through John’s apostolic teaching which communicated Jesus Christ’s Spirit inspired commands and prohibitions.
1 John 2:14 I am presently writing to each one of you children that each of you know the Father experientially. I am presently writing to each one of you fathers that each of you know experientially the One from eternity past. I am presently writing to each one of you young men that each of you are strong. Specifically, the Word originating from God is resident in each one of you. Consequently, each of you are victorious over the evil one. (My translation)
In the third affirmation, John asserts that the young men in the Christian community in the Roman province of Asia were strong.
He then gets specific by identifying what he means by this assertion and he defines being strong as having the Word of God resident in them.
“The Word originating from God” is used in the objective sense for a doctrine, which is communicated by instruction and refers to divine revelation communicated by the Spirit through the teaching of the Old Testament prophets, the Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles and prophets.
This divine revelation is now permanently set down in writing in the original languages of Scripture.
The primary characteristic of these younger men is that they were actively engaged as soldiers of Christ Jesus and had been experiencing victory in spiritual combat over the kingdom of darkness by utilizing the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
For all his power and hatred against God and man, Satan can be resisted and made to flee (Jam. 4:7), but only by the strength of God made available to all believers because of their eternal union with Christ and the Word of Christ (Eph. 6:10-18).
Victory or defeat in spiritual combat is gained by the application of power and the withdrawal of the inferior force.
When we apply the Word of God, which is alive and powerful, then Satan and his armies will withdraw because though powerful, their power is inferior to God’s Word.
By asserting that these younger men were strong because of obeying the word of God, John is affirming that they, like the older men, were walking in the light or in other words living their lives according to the standards of God’s holiness which are reflected in the Word of God.
The last affirmation in 1 John 2:14 presents the result of the fourth and fifth affirmations and asserts that these young men were victorious over Satan in spiritual combat.
This echoes the second affirmation in 1 John 2:13 since they are identical.
No doubt, John asserts that they were victorious over Satan as a result of rejecting the false doctrine taught by the proto-Gnostic teachers.
By asserting that these younger men were strong because the Word of God was resident in them so that they were victorious over Satan, John was affirming that they were walking in the light.
This means that they were living their lives according to the standards of God’s holiness and which standards are reflected in His Word.
By way of review, 1 John 2:12-14 contains six affirmations and not eight since two are repeated.
Two are addressed to the entire Christian community and one is addressed to the older men in the Christian community but three are addressed to the younger men in this community.
The first affirmation is addressed to the entire Christian community and asserts that their sins were existing in the present state of being forgiven for their benefit based upon the merits of the name of Jesus Christ.
This implies that they were confessing their sins to the Father when necessary, which is what he reminded them of in 1 John 1:9.
Thus, this first affirmation is directed at John’s teaching in 1 John 1:5-2:2, which emphasized the critical importance of the confession of sin in order to be restored to fellowship with God.
The second affirmation asserts that the older men in the Christian community knew Him who was from eternity past experientially which is a reference of course to fellowship with Jesus Christ who John asserted in 1 John 1:1 was from eternity past.
The third affirmation asserts that the younger men in the Christian community were presently existing in the state of experiencing victory over Satan and the kingdom of darkness.
The fourth affirmation maintains that the entire congregation knew the Father experientially.
The fifth affirmation repeats the second affirmation but from the perspective of the Christian community and asserts that the older men in this community were presently existing in the state of knowing Jesus Christ experientially.
The sixth, seventh and eighth affirmations are all addressed to the younger men in the Christian community.
The sixth asserts that they were presently strong and the seventh maintains that the Word of God existing in the state of abiding or living in them.
The eighth and final affirmation repeats the third affirmation that they were presently existing in the state of experiencing victory over Satan and his kingdom.