Summary: sermon 4 in first John series
Love God or Enjoy Life – Is this our choice?
Turn with me this morning to 1 John 2:15-17.
Last week we finished reading about the encouragement that John was giving to different maturity segments of the church. He knew that life is difficult sometimes and wanted to point out a few things to the people of the church that they should be encouraged about.
Now John makes a bold statement about loving the world and how that is incompatible with loving the Father.
15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For everything in the world-the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does-comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
As we start to look at this verse, we need to remember that John is writing to
encourage the church and to
refute some things that the false teachers were claiming.
If we recall from a few weeks ago, he was refuting the claim that
these false teachers did not sin
nor did we have to worry about sinning.
Some of what he is refuting here may be there claim as to how to really enjoy life and to live it to the full.
As we read this, it is important for us to understand what John is talking about when He says “world.”
In the Bible the word, “world” is used in several different ways.
It is used to describe God’s creation.
The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (from New International Version)
The world system
Meaning the principles and things that are taught in the world that is said to be real living.
It is in this third sense that “the world” is being spoken of that we are not to love.
And this text is basically saying
don’t love the world system and what it teaches and what it stands for.
For all the things the world says will bring enjoyment, and it lists 3 things
He says those things are
not from the Father.
They are temporary and fleeting and
ultimately don’t do anything for you for the long term, but bring harm. But following the Father and doing what He says will bring real living.
Now to some people, the way they perceive this causes a problem for them.
World Not so bad
Because they may think, the world’s system is not that bad. In fact, I enjoy many things in this world.
World is bad from mouth – Can’t tell by living
Others may say, the world system is bad and it is wrong and I don’t love it, but you may not be able to tell that from watching their life.
World system is bad – not full of Father’s love
There are others who say that the world system is bad, but there life doesn’t appear to be full of the Father’s love. It appears sometimes that they not only hate the world, but hate people.
Is it really possible to not love the world and Love God and enjoy life?
Or is our choice really either Love God or enjoy life?
Today, we are going to look a bit more closely at this passage of Scripture and see what it is teaching us in practical terms and see if that is true to reality.
Then we are going to see what God teaches and if that really brings joy to our life.
So what does this text say about what the world says about enjoying life?
According to the text
The world says you will enjoy this life by Pleasing Yourself
For everything in the world-the cravings of sinful man
The cravings of sinful man.
Some versions translate this “the lust of the flesh.”
This is the physical things that we desire to please us in our bodies.
Things like food and drink and sex, etc.
The world says if you just pursue what you want, when you want it, and fill yourself with all that you desire, you will be happy.
God says that is not true.
Going on, it tells us
The world says you will enjoy this life by Loving yourself
16 For everything in the world-the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes