1 John 2:15-17 Choose Well What You Will Love

by | Sep 29, 2023 | 1 John, New Testament

I. Love Versus Lust

A. We Have A Choice

1. V. 15 “Do not love…”. Literally- “Stop loving the world”.

a. We are told to choose to “not love” the world.
b. We have a choice & the ability to either love or not love the world.
c. A Christian may say, “I can’t help but love the world”, but that is not true.

2. V. 17 “And the world is passing away, and the lust of it…”

a. There is an attraction to the world that is called “lust”.
b. There are many things that cause lust (passionate craving) to grow in us

B. What is Love?

1. agapao- a love called out of one’s heart by the preciousness of the object loved. A fondness, an affection for an object because of its value. It is a love of approbation, of esteem.
2. God didn’t esteem the corruption of humanity as precious, but He esteemed the lost people living under this corrupted world system as precious.

a. 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.
b. God loved the lost people of planet Earth, and sent His son to save them.

3. Demas embraced the thinking, values, & ways of corrupt humanity.

a. 2 Timothy 4:10 for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world…
b. He esteemed the world system as more precious than God, & left God.
c. NOTE- Loving the world isn’t just an action, but an attitude.

C. What Is Lust?

1. dictionary.com– a passionate or overmastering desire or craving: a lust for power.

2. Originally, it could be a lust for good things or bad things.
3. Lust is different than love:

a. Biblically: Love gives sacrificially, while lust seeks only to satisfy itself.
b. Lust embraces an illusion of satisfaction that is imagined. Love sees things/people clearly for what/who they are, & embraces them anyway.

4. Being passionate about life isn’t wrong. Passion that is distorted is wrong.

a. Hunger and enjoying food isn’t wrong; gluttony is.
b. Enjoying wine isn’t wrong; drunkenness is.
c. Sleep is a blessing; laziness and slothfulness is a sin
d. Sex is God’s gift when used rightly; when used wrongly, it’s immorality.
e. The world system appeals to God given desires and distorts them.
f. The Christian must not take his cues from the world’s way of thinking.

II. What Will You Love?

A. The World?

1. World- kosmos. Not the planet, but the world system on the planet

a. Trench- Kosmos -“the spirit of the age,” the Zeitgeist (tsart’-gaist): “All that floating mass of thoughts, opinions, maxims, speculations, hopes, impulses, aims, aspirations, at any time current in the world, which it may be impossible to seize and accurately define, but which constitutes a most real and effective power, being the moral, or immoral atmosphere which at every moment of our lives we inhale, again inevitably to exhale.”
b. See quote from www.zeitgiest.com: “A Synopsis”

B. The “Big Three” Of The World

1. The lust of the flesh- passionate craving that finds its origin in the flesh of man. The life is governed by the desires that come from the flesh, & are found by satisfying the flesh, i.e., sex, gluttony, substance abuse, etc.

a. Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells…
b. John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing.
c. Philippians 3:3 have no confidence in the flesh…
d. Romans 13:14 make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

2. The lust of the eyes- passionate craving for possessions & visual gratification.

a. The life is governed by the desire for things, though material possessions never fully satisfy. The person moves from one ‘thing” to the next, hoping for satisfaction.
b. NOTE- This lust is a trap, whether we obtain the desired object or not.

3. The pride of life- vainglory. A vain assurance in one’s own resources which leads to independence from God. Trusting only in one’s own abilities.

III. The Final Outcome Of What You Choose To Love

A. Why Not To Love The World

1. V. 15- If you esteem the world system as precious, you will love it, & serve it & sacrifice for it, & you will not have the love of the Father governing your life.

a. It is impossible for a man to be ruled by two passions.
b. Jesus made reference to this:
Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

2. The world is passing away & you will one day stand before the Eternal God.

a. Not only is the world system passing away, but Earth will pass away, and you as an individual will pass away.

i. There will be a judgment for the Unbeliever and the Believer.
ii. The Believer will be rewarded for things done in faith.
iii. The Unbeliever judged for their sins & for rejecting God’s light.

b. At that moment, how smart will it have been to live for that which passes?
c. Nelson Bible Commentary- “To be consumed w/this life is to be unprepared for the next. Wrong to invest our lives in what will not last”.
d. When a bank is breaking, wise people don’t make deposits into it. When a foundation is sinking, wise builders don’t continue to build.
e. Insidious aspect about lusting after things in this world system is that they always promise more than they give, & always have bad consequences.
f. V. 17- Loving the world not only affects your response to the love of God, but it affects your obedience to the will of God.

B. What Is God’s Alternative? V. 17b

1. “…but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
2. Turn to John 6:26-29
3. Believe- believe in, cling to, rely upon.
4. To believe in Jesus is to abide forever. Long after this world system, popular opinions, & current trends pass away, the Christian will abide with God forever.
5. Missionary Martyr Jim Elliot- “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”