Love Not the World - 1 of 3

by Wayne Barber

Wayne BarberDo not love the world nor the things in the world," John writes in 1 John 2:15. He continues: "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 and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever."

Isn't it amazing how quickly, when it comes to loving the world, we can point an accusing finger at others? But, there are three fingers pointing back at us! My Mom used to say "it's like the pot calling the kettle black."

You see, we look at the world around us and we can see so quickly their godless ways and self-centered lifestyle. But, have we taken a good look at how we live our lives as believers? You see, the way one goes about living his life says more about his theology, which is his view of God and of His ways, than anything else he does or says.

John wants us to understand that when we walk in fellowship with Christ we no longer walk as the world walks. The world lives in the darkness of human reason. Human reason involves the world's wisdom and therefore requires the world's resource to accomplish its fleshly goals.

An example of this kind of living the world's way would be the church of Corinth. Paul had to set them back on track when he wrote his first recorded epistle to them. They were so enamored with the world's way of thinking and living that Paul had to say: "And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God..." [Paul says in effect, "I did not use any method that would cause you to remember the method rather than the Word of God."]..."For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God" (1 Cor. 2:1-5).

He went on to say:"For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God" (v. 3:19). You see, the whole paradigm of the way we do things changes when we walk in fellowship with Christ. To walk in fellowship with Christ is to walk in His divine revelation, which begins by our accepting His Word-inspired, inerrant, and infallible-as our authority. We humble ourselves and lay down our own human reasoning before Him when we yield to "His Word" in our daily lives. The hindrance to walking in fellowship with Christ, or walking in His light, which is the theme of 1st John, is always the world-its way of thinking and of living.

"Do not love the world nor the things in the world." The word for "not" in the Greek is the relative word me, which means either stop doing something, or do not start a habit of doing something. Here it seems to carry the meaning of "don't even start loving the world." The word for "love" is agapo. It involves the choice of one's will towards doing something! It involves way more than one's feelings, in that it is the choice one makes to give his loyalty and find his joy in something, no matter the cost. The word "world" is ksmos in the Greek. In our text it refers to the way the world thinks!-their system of values; their priorities; their godless beliefs. It encompasses all they do that excludes God in their thinking.

Now, this humanistic system appeals to all of our flesh! But, we must be advised that it is controlled by Satan himself: "We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one" (1 John 5:19 19).

We, as believers, were delivered from this world and its "dark" way of thinking and living, into the Kingdom of God! Paul says in "For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son" (Col. 1:13).

The world around us is waiting to see Jesus living in us. They are tired of just "us." When we love what they love and live the way they live, they see us as one of them instead of HIS. How are you living today?

In the coming articles we will explore this passage and see how we, as believers, are to live!

Wayne Barber is senior pastor of Hoffmantown Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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