Misplaced Love

I Jn 2:12-17

12 I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake. 13 I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, because you have known the Father. 14 I have written to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one. 15 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. 16 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. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (NKJ)

Preached at FBC Toulon, IL on November 4, 2001 by Albert Harmon; see it at toulonbaptist.com

 The Command

  1. Do Not Love the World
    1. What is the world?
      1. It is not the creation for it declares the glory of God.
      2. It is not life in general with wives and husbands and children and family for that is ordained by God.
      3. It is that part of the world that is independent of God and that does not proceed from God.
      4. "Clearly the very text and the whole teaching of the Bible shows that it must mean the organization and the mind and the outlook of mankind as it ignores God and does not recognize Him and as it lives a life independent of Him, a life that is based upon this world and this life only." Martyn Lloyd-Jones
      5. He will further define this for us later.
    2. What does he mean love?
      1. He means an affection for and dedication to.
      2. The same word is used here for the type of love God has for us.
      3. Therefore it is a very sincere and devoted love.
      4. We are called on to love God, family, neighbors and even enemies but we are not to love the world.
    3. Be crucified to the world, be mortified to the things, to the affairs and enticements, of it." The several degrees of Christians should unite in this, in being dead to the world. Were they thus united, they would soon unite upon other accounts: their love should be reserved for God; throw it not away upon the world. Now here we see the reasons of this dissuasion and caution. (from Matthew Henry's Commentary)
  2. Or the Things in the World
    1. That is the worldly things.
    2. Those things that would lead us contrary from God and lead us to forget Him
  1. T The Reason
    1. All this Is in the World
      1. The Lust of the Flesh
        1. "Lust means an inordinate affection or desire; lust means the abuse of something which is naturally and perfectly right and legitimate in and of itself." Martyn Lloyd-Jones
        2. Paul says, 1 Cor 7:31 and those who use this world as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away.
        3. Lust is then when our desires control us rather than us controlling them.
        4. OF the FLESH
          1. "Here John is talking about lust in the sense that it arises from and appertains to nature, belonging as such to our physical bodies." Martyn Lloyd-Jones
          2. Here denotes that which pampers the appetites, or all that is connected with the indulgence of the mere animal propensities. (from Barnes' Notes)
          3. Those things that satisfy the animal desires of the body.
          4. These are not wrong in their place but each has limits.
          5. Eating and drinking.
          6. Sex, which has become the main thing, even in our commercials.
      2. The Lust of They Eyes
        1. "The best way of defining this is to say that it is the kind of man or woman who lives according to false values." Martyn Lloyd-Jones
        2. This applies to those things we have to have simply because the look good.
        3. The fancy clothes or the name brand sports shoes.
        4. The label jeans.
        5. Those things that are acquired not that they serve a purpose but because they catch the eye.
        6. Now I don't need to tell you folks that I know little about fashion. I try to dress so as to not embarrass any of you but I doubt that I will ever impress you.
        7. Functionality was what I was brought up with and I have never been able to afford any more but I do not think that I would.
        8. "Lust of the eyes means also a kind of vanity which delights in pomp and mighty splendor, in an appearance, in anything that appeals to the eyes. How ful the world is of this kind of thing-mighty pomp and show, merely the appearance, giving an impression." Martyn Lloyd-Jones
        9. [And the lust of the eyes] That which is designed merely to gratify the sight. This would include, of course, costly clothes, jewels, gorgeous furniture, splendid palaces, pleasure-grounds, etc. The object is to refer to the frivolous vanities of this world, the thing on which the eye delights to rest where there is no higher object of life. (from Barnes' Notes)
      3. The Pride of Life
        1. In a word this means self-glorification.
        2. It includes ambition and it includes contempt of others.
        3. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says, "The pride of life means a pride in oneself generally at the expense of someone else, glorifying in something that is true of oneself in this life and world, something, in a sense, that has nothing to do with soul and spirit of man. Let me analyze it a little: pride of birth, pride in your family, pride in you industry, proud that you have a particular name or that there is a particular blood in you, so called pride in social status."
        4. [And the pride of life] The word here used means, properly, ostentation or boasting, and then arrogance or pride.-- Robinson. It refers to whatever there is that tends to promote pride, or that is an index of pride, such as the ostentatious display of dress, equipage, furniture, etc. (from Barnes' Notes)
    2. They Are Not of the Father but of the World
      1. These things do not proceed from God or bring glory to Him.
      2. He is not the author of them but Satan is.
        1. In the garden Satan used these three to appeal to the woman.
          1. Gen 3:6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
        2. Satan used the same three to tempt Jesus.
          1. The stones turned to bread - lust of the flesh
          2. The kingdoms of the world - lust of the eyes
          3. The leap from the temple - the pride of life
    3. The World Is Passing Away with its Lusts
      1. Everything that is physical is rusting.
      2. Some of us look more rusty than others.
      3. And when you are young you think you will never get rusty.
  2. The Deduction
    1. Those Loving the World Are Not of God
      1. The heart of man is narrow, and cannot contain both loves. The world draws down the heart from God; and so the more the love of the world prevails the more the love of God dwindles and decays. (from Matthew Henry's Commentary)
    2. Those Doing the Will of God Abide for Ever

Which of these apply to you today? Think about Jesus as He relates to these things.


This message was preached at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at http://toulonbaptist.com