Do This-Don’t Do That-#Three All verses from NKJV – The New King James Version (unless otherwise stated).
Has the ability of Christians to think Scripturally to behave spiritually disappeared? What part of this verse didn’t we understand?
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22
James is exhorting us to listen and hear the word with understanding, in order to do what God says. There are three verses, in 1 John, which are perplexingly difficult to hear and understand. It is a verse; we can deceive ourselves with, if not heard and understood properly.
“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. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:15-17
What is being said here?
- We are told, not to love the world or the things in the world.
- We are told, if we love the world, the love of the Father is not in us.
- We are told, the world has,
- Lusting flesh,
- Lusting eyes,
- And prideful life.
- We are told, these three things do not emanate from God.
- We are told, these three things are of the world.
- We are told, the world is passing away.
- We are told the lust of it (the three things) are also dying.
- We are told, those who obey Gods will, shall live forever.
Does the introductory verse fifteen seem strange to you considering John 3:16?
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Do verses sixteen and seventeen seem perplexing considering John 3:17?
“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
Therefore, what in the world are we not to love? Is there a lusting flesh thing walking around? Is there an eye of lust roaming the earth like a satellite? Is there a group of lions known as the pride of life roaring about all? Is it the natural world filled with its wonders? Perhaps, the animals are destroying us with their lusting flesh and eyes? Maybe, the trees are causing problems with their statures of pride? Many people worship the earth and trees and animals. This is idolatry and doesn’t answer the question, what in the world are we not to love?
Maybe the clue is found in these words, “For all that is in the world?” What or who are the “all,” the “all”, in the world, concerning the lusts and pride in it? Let us examine the whole sentence. “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.” Perhaps, ellipses in the original Greek had not been inserted in the translation? Maybe scholars will disagree with me. I am also cognizant of Gods warning not to add to the Word, Revelation 22:18. However, I think an omitted word, by John, because contextually it is understood, if admitted would explain the “all” perfectly. Let us insert a word which may have been understood by the early readers of 1John 2:16. “For all that is in the world HAVING—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.” The word, have, solves the mystery of the “all” in the world. Why does this solve it? The solution of the word, have, shows us who has possession of, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. The answer is not amusing. The answer is you and I, and all humans have the nature of sin expressed in the three ways of lusting flesh, eyes and pride! This is not of the Father but is of the world, the sinful world of rebellious mankind. This is something no one should love. We should not love the sin of prideful, lustful rebellion of the world of humans. Yes, we should not love our nature of sin. God does not love this nature and activity of sin. John said, this worldly activity is not of the Father. Therefore, He does not love it. Paul said, God hates this in us.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” Romans 1:18
We know; God loves the world, which is us. He does not love what we are and do. He loves us by taking into His Son the whole of human nature and sin. He pours out His wrath on Jesus and not on us! He condemns Christ for our love of the world of sin. He does this, so we may be saved through Jesus. In this, we are moved out of the world of sinning and darkness and into the world to the love of God and light.
“He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13-14
Therefore, we are commanded not to love the world or the things in it! Now in this understanding, we are to be doers of 1 John 2:15-17. Paul was incredulous over Christians who love the world of their old sins and do not love the forgiveness from it in the light of Christ.
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” Romans 6:1-2
Consequently, knowing God forgives sins through Christ, shall we continue to love the world deliberately, thinking, God’s grace is okay with it. Perhaps, we don’t understand two facts?
- Our behavior of loving fleshly lusts, looking with our eyes to fulfill the lusts and being prideful about it, is not the nature of God.
- God has a burning wrath towards this behavior.
Since we don’t understand these facts, we ignore the warning of doing the word by not loving the world of our sinful nature. We are, at best, poor hearers of the word.
The test to find out if you are just a hearer of 1 John 2:15-17, is simply to see if you love the world by condoning and practicing those things which are not of God. Take the test and see if you believe God’s grace will continue to abound over those who practice the things of the world.
“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21
Well, if you or I love any of these behaviors and practice them, we are not doers of the word. We are lovers of all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life! It is one thing to fall in the battle against these sins, but to love them, commit them and condone them as something God loves is another thing!
The Apostle of love, John gives a very harsh warning and command in his first epistle. Although he speaks it in a loving manner, his warning is very serious. He also, expects Christians to hear and obey his word. Modern-day confessors of Christ must stop loving their old-world ways and do the word of God.
If we hear and do, John promises us, “He who does the will of God abides forever.” Church return to the love of God. Ya think we would?
©Guy Peter Calandra-Author of the Inside Word-Download today on Kindle, Nook or Google Playbooks.