Exploring 1 John Session 10 1 John 2:15-17

Exploring 1 John Session 10 1 John 2:15-17


In our 10th exploration of 1 John we are going to examine what John means by the world, the three characteristics of living in the world, and the freedom that is ours when we do what God wants.  If you have missed previous teachings you can find them in a video, audio, and manuscript form on our website www.hbcc.life or in video on YouTube channel HBCC LIFE.

1 John 2:15-17 (MSG)
Don't love the world's ways. Don't love the world's goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.

In the gospel of John, he wrote that God loves the world.  “This is how much God loved the world He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life” (John 3:16 (MSG).  John writes “Don’t love the world…”  This might be confusing if you are a strict literalist.  This is why we need to learn to interpret the Bible correctly, trying to gain an understanding of what the author wrote, the meaning of what was written had for the original audience so that we can discern the applicable truth behind the words.  In the Gospel, the world is the creation that God willed into existence.  From Genesis, we know that the world created is very good (Genesis 1:31).  But here in the letter, the world refers to what humanity has created apart from God.  In the world God created, humanity enjoyed a right relationship with God, each other, the earth, and we can infer one’s very self.  When the Adam disobeyed God when the Adam used “his” free will to do what “he” thought would be best for “him” the result is the world we have today (Genesis 3:23).  A world broken and encumbered by sin, the world we live in today is not the one intended by God (Romans  8:19). The world John in writing about in the letter is the one in which people disregard the authority of God and instead they do what seems right for themselves. 

We know that humanity's greatest problem is estrangement with God, the result of Adam’s disobedience. Estrangement is a relational word describing a situation in which there once was a healthy, thriving, mutually beneficial righteous relationship between two people which now as disintegrated into something more adversarial.  Two that walked together no longer do so.  The cure for estrangement is reconciliation. Reconciliation is the restoration of the way the relationship is meant to be, a return to righteousness.

The good news of the gospel is that Jesus has made an atonement for the sins of the world and by acknowledging that we are a part of the problem, sinners who deter, damage and destroy good relationships; believing that Jesus can forgive us of our sins and correct our wrong way of being; committing ourselves to be followers of Jesus and asking God to accept our faith in His provision if atonement we can be reconciled to God, to others, to the earth and ourselves (Colossians 1:9-20).  It is our way back to the garden (Isaiah 46:10).

2 Corinthians 5:18 (NIV)
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation

One we are reconciled to God we are empowered to grow in our relationship with Him through our desire to obey and serve; which in turn helps us to live right with others, treating them with respect and out of our abundance meet their needs.  Reconciled we start to live as God has always intended for us to live. Have you been reconciled so that you can be in the world but not part of it?  If not, today is a good day to seek reconciliation for as we will see, the world apart from God is going to pass away, and if you are in the world that passes you’re going to be a “gonner” too.  Today you can end your estrangement and start living a new life by acknowledging, believing, committing, and asking God to bring you into the light.  I want you in the light.  Decide today, choose today (Joshua 23:14-15, John 1:12).

Those who have not chosen to be reconciled to God live in a relational estrangement characterized wanting everything their way, wanting everything for themselves, and wanting to appear important.  These three desires are also known as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life; three motivations that lead to sin.  There are three characteristics of living by the ways of the estranged world. In estrangement to God, His authority to rule, to guide, and to direct our lives is rejected.  Instead, we place ourselves in the position of authority. We replace God with egoism.  Egoism loves self more than anything else.  Egoism is the self-centered exclusively on yourself. Egoism is doing what you want, when you want, to whom you want, regardless of the circumstance.  Egoism is being your own authority, you are judge, the one who declares right and wrong, good and evil, it is up to you to determine what is best and what is not, and you judge according to your appetites.  Egoism, living for yourself, is walking in the dark.  As you indulge your egoism it further isolates you from God and others, and from the earth, from the person God created you to be, your darkness gets darker.  Your relationships become a means to an end, that end is getting what you want. The world that the estranged build is the world John is writing against.

The world John is writing against is the one created by everyone wanting their way, wanting everything for themselves, wanting the respect and admiration of others.  In that world people live dominated by the senses; if it feels good do it, if it looks good get it, image is everything, the person who dies with the most toys wins. How much is enough? “Well, just a little bit more.” Do unto others before they do unto you.  Survival of the fittest, to the victor, goes the spoils, just do it.  If you got it flaunt it. Trophy spouses, fancy cars, prestigious addresses, designer clothes, luxury vacations, membership only, being cool, fitting in, all well ingrained in the ways of the world on the high side of that life. 

Addiction, divorce, promiscuity, abuse, injustice, oppression, insecurity, crime, threats, being bullied, extorted, the doors of opportunity closed, discouragement, trapped, squalor, poverty, are on the low end of living the ways of the world.

Capitalism, socialism, communism, monarchy, dictatorship, all usurped by the ones in power who enrich themselves by the oppression others, the elites looking down on the serfs.  Kings and peasants, Lords and peons, the haves and the have-nots; you do realize you can’t have the haves without also having the have nots? [Mark 14:7]  If you find ones sitting on thrones you will also find ones sitting in the gutters.  Power plays, vote for me and I’ll set you free, but it’s the old bait and switch.  “Might makes right.”  “He who has the gold rules.”  He who has the most guns steals the gold.  “Just another day for you and me in paradise.”

The world the estranged create is full of lies, injustice, and propaganda for all. broken promises, false narratives, misdirection, and chaos are the norm. I am sure you have heard of the conspiracy theory that the world is run by a secret cabal: the Illuminati, the Skull and Bones Society, the Bilderberg Group, Reptilian humanoids, or the Rothchilds.  Let the Bible clue you in about who's really behind the world of the estranged.

2 Corinthians 4:4 & 11:14 (NIV)
“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers…” “…Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”  

Yeah, “the devil made me do it” with egoism as the devil’s ally.  You may not believe that there is such a malevolent being, but the scripture reveals that there is a spiritual enemy waging war against humanity (Revelation 12:17). The father of lies (John 8:44), the murderer from the beginning’s agenda is to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10); the ruler of the kingdom of the air.

Ephesians 2:1-3 (NIV)
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts.

This estranged world is the one disciples of Jesus are not to be enamored with.  The ways that estranged people live in this world are not the ways of the disciple of Jesus. If the Holy Spirit reveals that you are caught up in a way of the world then 1 John 1:9it. 

1 John 1:9 (NIV)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

There is no future for those living estranged. “The world and all it’s wanting, wanting, wanting are on the way out (1 John 2:17 (MSG), “The world and its desires pass away… (1 John 2:17 (NIV).  “…the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining” (1 John 2:8 (NIV).

The way of the disciple, walking in the light, is accomplished by loving God and loving others.  This kind of life is a reconciled life, empowered by the Holy Spirit.  As we rid ourselves of the ways of the world we mature, we shine. Here is the hope we have: “whoever does what God wants is set for eternity”  (1 John 2:17 (MSG).  “who does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:17 (NIV).  I want you in the light.

John has told us not to love the world, the world of the estranged.  The disciple of Jesus is not to embrace its ways, it’s values, it’s desire.  Refrain from loving the world where egoism determines what is right and what is wrong. A world ruled by the senses, which champions the indulging of cravings in everything from food to sexual impurity.  In this lifestyle estranged from God, one covets what one sees.  Tossed and twisted by the latest fad, the newest fashion, buying into the flashiest fable there is a perpetual hunger for more, a continual want for something else. In the estranged world of darkness, those trapped long to be seen, to be paid attention to, to be noticed, they long for the spotlight to be on them.  People give up their individuality for the applause of others.   John is telling us discipleship is incompatible with embracing a world that promises paradise but delivers a prison.   Instead of loving the world, love God, love others, this is the way to freedom, to liberation, to deliverance. The path of reconciliation with God leads to becoming the person that God intended for you to be, someone who loves and is loved, a person who knows joy and inner peace, contentment, and hope, an individual who lives a significant life. 

I want you in the light. Get yourself reconciled to God.  Ask the Holy Spirit to help you discern any ways of this passing world you are tripping over and 1 John 1:9 them.  Get right or get left.  Remember the truth that brought you to faith in Christ. Get into the congregation.  Don’t forsake the gathering of the faithful. Get cleansed, stay cleansed, and shine.  Love God and Love Others, be the overcomer.

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