7/24/11 1 John 2:15-17
Leader: Pastor Biebert
Meeting Time: 8:00 AM & 10:15 AM
LOOKING FOR LOVE IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES
1 John 2:15-17
John probably wrote these last of the New Testament’s letter from Ephesus. Christians groups in western Turkey were the first to delve into them. It quickly became obvious these were inspired writings. We even have evidence of study and explanation of John’s Gospel from as early as a.d. 150. John warned that to love and respond to God, we must stop acting from the motives that reflect the world’s value system.
What does John mean when he refers to “the world” (2:15)? James uses it the same way (4:4).
Kosmos (“world”) in Greek can mean the universe itself, the planet on which we live, or mankind. When John uses this world, he’s referring to humanity since it infected itself with sin. This world, John says later (5:19) “is under the control of the evil one.” Society’s values and attitudes do not come from God.
What’s wrong with adopting the world’s value system (2:15)?
Divided loyalties don’t work for Christians. Responding one moment out of love for God and the next second turning to society’s attractive temptations is an insult to our Savior. When a believer quits enjoying the Father’s love, he finds it hard to do what the Father wants. We want to make a clear-cut commitment to do what God wants rather than what everyone else is doing.
What’s the difference between “God’s love” and what society offers (2:15)?
Responding to the Father’s love (your personal devotional life), and doing what the Father’s wants (your daily conduct)—these are two tests of giving in to public sentiment. A Christian may stay away from questionable pastimes and unsavory places and still love the wrong things. Materialism isn’t a checkbook thing. It’s an internal wiring thing.
Evaluate: Society specializes in things people can see (2:16).
God has given programmed urges into humans. There’s nothing wrong with these urges. Hunger, thirst, weariness, and sex are gifts from God. Hunger is not evil, but gluttony is. Thirst is not evil, but drunkenness is. Sleep is a gift of God, but laziness is a sin.
How does verse 16 explain what John means by “the world”?
Satan uses three tools to trap Christians: the lust (desire) of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16). He used these tools on Eve back in Eden: “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food [the lust of the flesh], and that it was pleasant to the eyes [the lust of the eyes], and a tree to be desired to make one wise [the pride of life], she took of the fruit” (Gen. 3:6).
Are all human desires the opposite of what God wants (2:16)? Why or why not?
Is passing away. Present tense, a process now going on. If all this is passing away, how foolish to fix one’s affections on that which is already in the process of dissolution.
What contrast does verse 17 make?
What is “the will of God” (2:17)? What’s the difference between that and our intuition?
How does meeting God’s standards entitle us to an uninterrupted eternity of “the good life” (2:17)?
The things our society offers are deceptive. They appear to answer the craving we have for happiness. In reality, they can’t deliver. In fact, they draw us away from the only things in life that really count. Society’s temptations won’t be able to keep us company after life here is over.
1. What are the most tempting pulls of our society?
2. Where is society’s pull most competitive over God in people’s lives: Use of money? Time? Priorities? Relationships? Ambitions?
3. How does this section connect to Matthew 10:34-42? What’s the connection to Exodus 32:15-29?