Summary: Part 4 in a study through the book of 1 John...
“Love for This World”
Text: 1 John 2:12-17
Last weeks message the writer John, focused on those that said they loved God but hated their brother. We looked three reasons why Christians should love one another:
1. God has commanded us to love 1 John 2:7-11
2. We have been born of God and God’s love lives in us. 1 John 3:10-24
3. God first revealed His love to us. 1 John 4:7-21
In this section of Scripture, John points us to the main idea that as Christians, we should not love this world.
First, Christians should not love this world…
I. Because of What The World Is
· The New Testament word world has at least 3 different meanings:
1. It refers to the physical world as in Acts 17:24; “God, who made the world and everything in it,…”
2. It also means the human words as in John 3:16; “For God so loved the world…”
3. This word that is used here is used to name our enemy; an invisible spiritual system that is opposed to God and Christ.
· We often use the word “world” in the sense of this system. A news anchor may say; “We bring you the latest in the world of sports.” The world of sports is not some separate planet; it is an organized system, made up of a set of ideas, people, activities and purposes.
· I like how Warren Wiersbe explains this world; “Behind the world of sports, politics and even finance is an invisible system we cannot see; and it is the system that keeps things going.”
· This world in this passage of Scripture is referring to Satan’s system for opposing the work of Christ here on earth.
· In John 12:31 Jesus called Satan “the prince of this world,” and he has an organization of evil spirits working with him to influence the affairs of this world.
· Unsaved people, those outside a personal relationship with Christ, belong to this world. In Luke 16:8 Jesus calls them “children of this world.”
· A Christian is a member of the human world and lives on this physical world but a Christian does not belong to the spiritual world that is Satan’s system and opposition to God.
· My dear Christian friend, when you placed your faith in Jesus Christ, when you received forgiveness for your sins, you got a new home outside of this world.
· As the old hymn said; “This world is not my home, I’m only passing through…”
· And if it were not for the presence of the Holy Spirit living within us, we could not make it through this journey.
Second, Christians should not love this world…
II. Because of What The World Does To Us
1 John 2:15-16; “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. 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.”
· Last message I closed by giving some of the results of showing Christian love. Doing the will of God is a joy for those living in the love of God.
1. We will be living in the light...living in fellowship with God and with others.
2. We will not stumble nor become a stumbling block to others.
3. We will grow spiritually and progress towards Christ likeness.
4. Love produces joy.
· Doing the will of God is a joy for those living in the love of God.
· But hear me, when a believer loses his enjoyment of the Father’s love, they find it difficult to obey the Father’s will.
· Now, here in this passage of Scripture John identifies 3 traps that the world system uses toward Christians.
1. Lusts of the flesh
2. Lust of the eyes
3. The Pride of life
· When the Bible speaks of “flesh” it is not just referring to our physical body; it is referring to the sin nature of man.
· Flesh is the nature we receive in our physical birth; spirit is the nature we receive when we are born again.
· 2 Peter 1:4 tells us that when we trust Christ as Savior, we become “partakers of the divine nature.”
· God has given each of us certain desires, and these desires are a good thing. Hunger, thirst, weariness, and sex are not evil within themselves.
· There is nothing wrong with eating, drinking, sleeping, or having children but when the flesh takes over they become sinful desires.
· Hunger is not evil, but gluttony is; thirst is not sinful but drunkenness is; Sleep, praise God, is not sinful but laziness is; sex is God’s precious gift, when used correctly within the bonds of marriage; but when used wrong, it becomes immorality.