Summary: In this concluding section concerning light & love, God has an important warning. We are warned that there is no place for both God & the world in our lives (Mt. 6:24). You cannot love God & love the world. One reason we are not to love the world is be
1 JOHN 2: 15-17 [LIFE, LIGHT & LOVE SERIES]
A group of first-graders had just completed a TOUR OF A HOSPITAL, and the nurse who had directed them was asking for questions. Immediately a hand went up.
“How come the people who work here are always washing their hands?" a little fellow asked.
After the laughter had subsided, the nurse gave a wise answer:
"They are ‘always washing their hands’ for two reasons. First, they love health; and second, they hate germs."
In more than one area of life, love and hate go hand in hand. A husband who loves his wife is certainly going to exercise a hatred for what would harm her (Ps. 97:10, Rm. 12:9). God wants those who love Him to hate sin.
In this concluding section concerning light and love, God has an important warning. We are warned that there is no place for both God and the world in our lives (Mt. 6:24). You cannot love God and love the world. One reason we are not to love the world is because of what the world does to us through sin's fountains.
One of the most difficult duties for a Christian is to live in the world without the world living in him. How can this be accomplish? How can you have a vital relationship with Christ and continue living in the pressures of the work-a-day world? It's not easy. The world has its system of values and ideas about success and its enticing temptations that are in sharp contrast to the Christian life. To defend yourself you need to be aware of how the world is getting into you, robbing you of your vital spiritual energies. For if these access points, these fountains are left unchecked and unguarded they pour a sin into a believer’s lifestyle.
What are sin's fountains? From where do your temptations come? In what way has the world entered your thoughts, plans, and goals? In what ways have your desires to triumph in the world opened the door for the world to triumph in you? To what degree are you faithful to Christ in the world? We each need to evaluate our relationship with the world because Jesus said we are to be in the world but not of the world, for the world is passing away.
The three points of the message are:
I. FAITHFUL TO THE FATHER, 2:15.
II. FOUL FOUNTAINS, 2:16.
III. THE FUTURE FINISH, 2:17.
Christians are to love God and love one another, but verse 15 commands us not to love the world or its things. “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
The New Testament word world (cosmos) has at least three different meanings. It can stand for the physical world, the earth (Acts 17:24). It can mean the human world, or humanity (Jn. 3:16). Or it can mean as it does here the world system controlled by Satan. It is the invisible spiritual system opposed to God and Christ. This world system is Satan’s domain (1 John 5:19).
[The world in our text is Satan's system for opposing the work of Christ on earth. It is opposite to what is godly, holy and spiritual. 1 John 5:19 says, "We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one." Jesus called Satan "the prince of this world" (John 12:31). The devil has an organization of evil spirits (Eph. 6:11-12) working with him and influencing the affairs of "this world."
Just as the Holy Spirit uses people to accomplish God's will on earth, so Satan uses people to fulfill his evil purposes. Unsaved people, whether they realize it or not, are energized by "the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (Eph. 2:1-2)
Unsaved people belong to "this world." Jesus calls them "the children of this world" (Luke 16:8). When Jesus was here on earth, the people of "this world" did not understand Him, nor do they now understand those of us who trust Him (1 John 3:1).] A Christian is a member of the human world, and he lives in the physical world, but he does not belong to the spiritual world that is Satan's system for opposing God. "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you" (John 15:18).]
Anything that tends to draw us away from God would be included in its worldly system. Many Christians think that if they do not commit gross sins or engage in certain legalistic taboos, they are not of the world. But it's possible to avoid such practices entirely and yet be worldly. Believers can become so preoccupied with making money, gaining a reputation, or participating in sports or recreational activities that these pursuits become all-consuming. When we get attached to the transient things of this life, we are bound to this world, and we make no progress in our Christian growth.