Summary: In this 7th sermon in the series, John describes worldly living. He gives a DESCRIPTION OF THE WORLD, tells us what to DO WITH THE WORLD, and finally gives the DESTINY OF THE WORLD.
TEXT: 1 John 2:15-17
TITLE: The way of the world
SERIES: Letters from John
TOPIC: Worldly living
OCCASION: Burnside Christian Church, Jan 23, 2011
INTRODUCTION: Good morning! Our text is 1st John 2:15-17 today. We are still continuing in the sermon series: Letters from John. If you’re new with us today, allow me to catch you up. These three letters are written by John. At the time John writes these letters, he is the last living apostle. That means that he saw everything that Jesus did. That means that he had his feet washed by Jesus. That means that he saw Jesus die on the cross. That means that he saw Jesus rise from the dead!
John is now an old man. He is in his 80’s. And he now has the task of being the over-seer of several churches throughout Asia Minor. His main purpose for writing these letters is to ensure that these churches stay on track. That they remain focused .
You may have noticed that for the past few weeks, John has really been hammering this idea of being a SPIRITUAL ADULT. To grow up. To mature. It kind of all started back in 1st John 2:3. John was giving us the measure of what it means to walk as Jesus walked.
Well in our text today, John continues in this vein of Spiritual maturity!
Let’s read our text this morning
1st John 2:15-17
15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
PARENTS: Have you ever had a sick feeling in your gut because your son or your daughter was making a poor decision that in the end would ultimately hurt them? And you pleaded with them and your urged them to change their direction and their mind.
Then you can fully understand John.
T.S.: In our text today - John has the heart of a parent as he is urging and pleading with his children in the faith, to be on the lookout for the WORLD.
First, John talks about
I. The Description of the World (vs. 16)
You would think that the world that John was living in was so much different than the world that we find ourselves living in. I mean, John lived nearly 2000 years ago!
But what we will discover is that what was in the world is what is STILL in the world. It hasn’t changed that much!
And Satan uses the things of this world to distract, disrupt and paralyze God’s people from growing up in their faith!
Let’s read it again. Verse 16 - “For everything in the world - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life - comes not from the Father, but from the world.”
3 things in the world…
A. the lust of the flesh - Let’s call it CARNALITY.
It makes perfect sense that FLESHLY living is included in worldly living. The flesh and the spirit are always at odds. They are in perpetual conflict! You see, living according to the Spirit is Godly living.
And you know you are living according to your flesh if you become fixated on satisfying your PHYSICAL NEEDS.
You see, our bodes have many needs or desires (food, sex, love, shelter, clothing). And these needs and desires are not wrong. However these needs can transform into WORLDLY LIVING if they are taken to the extreme. For example, the need for food when taken to the extreme is gluttony. Or again, the God-given desire for sex becomes fornication when it is taken to the extreme and instead of having a meaningful, God given sexual relationship with your spouse, you have casual sex with whomever, whenever.
Instead of being led by the Spirit, you are controlled by your flesh! “If it makes me FEEL good - I’m gonna do it!” When you are living by the Spirit and not the flesh, you understand that your purpose I this life is not to satisfy what makes you feel good, but instead to do the will of your Heavenly Father!
But then John talks about
B. the lust of the eyes - let’s call it COVETOUSNESS
Covetousness is part of worldly living as well. This world is filled with things that glitter and shine. Advertisers understand this concept all too well. If a company can convince you that life is greener on the other side of the fence -- that your life will be enhanced and enriched and flat out BETTER if you had their product, then they have achieved success!