Saturday, March 02, 2024

The Vision (3.1.24): All that is in the world


Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on 1 John 2:12-17.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world (1 John 2:16).

The apostle exhorts his hearers, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world” (1 John 2:15a). By “the world [Greek: kosmos]” he does not mean the created order, or the people within it, but the fallen world as it sets itself up against Christ and his kingdom.

John proceeds to describe three things “that are in the world” in particular that are especially devious in deflecting and turning one’s attention away from Christ and his kingdom and toward the god of this world.

First, the lust of the flesh. This refers to fleshly cravings. God has given us lawful desires, but Satan causes those lawful desires to overflow their proper boundaries. Even as believers we have those remaining corruptions within us, and the lust of the flesh entices us. So Paul counseled in 1 Corinthians 6:18, “Flee immorality.”

Second, the lust of the eyes. This can take many forms including avarice, greed, and materialism. The barn-builder in Christ’s parable in Luke 12 was consumed with this lust and wanted to build for himself bigger barns to hold his possessions, but the very night he gained his desire, the Lord said to him, “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee” (v. 20).

Third, the pride of life. This has been described as “Boasting in one’s acts and resources”” (RH KJV Study Bible). Do we point more to ourselves and our supposed accomplishments or do we point toward Christ? Peter admonished, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6).

These things are not of the Father, but of the world, John says (v. 16b).

The last word in v. 17 is that the world “passeth away” along with its inordinate desires or lusts, but the will of God abideth forever. To which do we want to hitch or join our lives? That which is here today and gone tomorrow, or that which will never pass away?

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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