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Living For What Will Last (1 John 2:15-17)
Sermon Notes
Sunday, 21 July 2013 00:00

This week we considered 1 John 2:15-17.

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Believers must not love the world as a whole, neither should they love any of its sinful components.
A Christian can easily delude himself into thinking that he does not love the world at all when, in fact, he is deeply attracted to one or another of its sinful aspects. For example, he may deplore the world’s immorality and moral depravity while maintaining a deep drive to acquire material things. If, however, the Christian does love the world or the things in it, he does not love God, his heavenly Father. John says: We cannot love God and the world at the same time!

16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.
The entirety of the world’s constituent elements can be summarized under three categories:
(1) lust of the flesh ~ includes every illicit physical activity (things that the flesh craves)that appeals to the sinful hearts of men. Includes immorality, drunkenness, gluttony.
(2) lust of the eyes ~ whatever is visually appealing (whether it be a person or a thing) but not properly ours to desire or obtain is included in this category. Think covetousness here.
(3) the pride of life ~ The Greek word for pride (alazoneia) means “arrogance or pretentiousness such as one sees in a person who boasts about self, possessions, or accomplishments.” The word of life (bios) does not so much suggest intrinsic life (zoe ~ which John always uses to refer to eternal life), but rather “life” in its outward features and manifestations. Taken together these two Greek words combine to suggest the idea of “boastful pretension in earthly matters.”
Taken together, these three categories skillfully sum up the totality of the allurements this godless world system has to offer.

17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
And the world is passing away, ~ Not only is the world system morally opposed to God, it is transient. Moses recognized this fact and invested his life accordingly as it tells us in Hebrews 11:24-26 ~ 24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.

The world has only a brief existence within time and is destined to disappear when God’s purposes are realized on earth. This recalls 2:8 ~ “the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.”
and the lust of it; Of course, once the world no longer exists as an entity morally and spiritually opposed to God, none of its illicit experiences will continue to exist either.

By contrast ~ but he who does the will of God abides forever. We might have expected this to have been stated in an impersonal way to contrast it with the world and the lust of it, by some such statement as “obedience to God’s will lasts forever.”

Instead, John stresses that it is by our obedience to God’s will that we establish an eternal identity that outlasts the present world system.
Whatever my occupation on this present earth, however skilled I have become, none of these designations will survive the present age.
But there is an eternal permanence to the character and activity of a person who can be identified as one who does the will of God.
It may be said that such a person abides forever.

John has mentioned “the abiding life” in 2:6 and it is a prominent theme in this book about fellowship with God, and so it is likely that there is a reference here to THAT KIND OF a life.
We have been told that the “abider” walks as Christ walked (2:6), so that the permanence of the one who does the will of God is inseparable from the Christ-likeness which such a person has achieved during our stay here on earth in this present life.

As we shall see, 2:28 talks about our experience at the Bema Seat Judgment, where the eternal worth of our earthly Christian lives will be assessed (1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Cor. 5:10).
Spiritual recognition and commendation at the Bema is an obvious component n the enduring recognition of the obedient Christian throughout eternity.

As with Abraham, whose obedience earned him the title “the friend of God” so too we may earn that title (John 15:14).

 

 

 

 

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