[But the natural tendency of mankind is to place higher priorities on the
things of this life and world then they ought.
Our success in life is often and normally measured by our perceived
success in life. We measure our
accomplishments in terms of our prosperity, our social and political prowess or
position, and a number of other purely mortal and vain cultural tests.
There is nothing spiritually or morally wrong with stature and success in
life. There is no inherent evil that
accompanies prosperity or position, until either of these becomes the presiding
priority in ones life.]
[For the born again Christian there should be an acute awareness and
accounting of that which is mortal and temporal in comparison to that which is
eternal and enduring. The things of
this life and this world need to be viewed and used in their proper place within
God’s eternal plan and kingdom. Our
affections will direct our allegiances which will guide our priorities which in
turn will determine our actions. For
this reason John reminds every born again Christians that there is a caution to
heed in this mortal life.]
[Consider that the realization of and heeding to this caution are a mark
of spiritual life in a truly born again Christian.
The recognition of this caution is an evidence of spiritual life.]
In this passage we
[In verses 12-14 the apostle address Christians of varying
levels of spiritual growth. It is
important to link verses 12-17 together as one chapter or thought in the context
of the passage. It is as though John
is saying, you are born again and are at different levels in your spiritual
growth, but you have all realized some form of spiritual renewal and growth in
your Christian Journey. No matter
where you are in your spiritual journey there is a universal caution that must
be reiterated continuously in your life.
This caution is equally important to every born again Christian.
The allurements of this world are relentless.
They continuously draw upon us and seek to vex our righteous souls.
Remember lot and
what the New Testament records about lot.]
[2 Peter 2:7-8
And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the
wicked: 8 (For that righteous man
dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed
his righteous soul from day to
day with their unlawful deeds;)]
[The prosperity, prestige, and prowess of this world and life
in it will draw upon your spiritual well being for the duration of your
Christian life. At every level in
your Christian Journey this caution is the presiding caution in your spiritual
development. Renew it in your mind,
remember it and heed it continuously.]
Attractions of Life (vs 15) [Those things that attract
Love not the world, neither the things
that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the
Father is not in him. -
The world and
- How do you look at them? They should not be the source of your
fulfillment or your meaning of life. If you base your sense of
self-worth and satisfaction on this world’s goods, your focus is wrong.
you consider them as resources and tools to use to fulfill God's purposes, your
focus is right. ]
1. God and
Stuff (Gen 1.26-28; Matt 6.19, 21,24; Col 3.1-2; Rev 4.11) [-
How God looks at this world’s stuff: ]
a. [Things provide a
Domicile (Gen 1.26-28) – Dominion – Everything is a part of the dominion
granted to mankind by God. All of
creation was designed and put in place for God’s special and supreme creation
mankind. God did not make man for
creation, but made creation for mankind.
When God place Adam in the Garden of Eden God
gave Adam dominion and told Adam to subdue the creation God had made.]
26 And God said, Let us make man in our
image, after our likeness:
and let them have
over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and
over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that
creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his
own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female
created he them. 28 And God blessed
them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the
and subdue it: and have
dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every
living thing that moveth upon the earth.]
רָדָה raw-daw' (Heb)
- have dominion, rule dominate
כָּבַשׁ kabash kaw-bash' (Heb) – to tread with the feet, to trample under feet ]
Decaying (Matt 6.19) - This worlds things are fleeting - They will decay and
can be stolen. ]
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust
doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
become Dictators (Matt 6.21,24)
- They are intended to serve man, not for man to serve them. ]
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. ]
24 No man can
serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else
he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
(Col 3.1-2) The things of this world were
never intended to be the center of mans affections, they do not last and should
not be looked upon as our greatest treasures. ]
1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek
those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
2 Set your affection on things
above, not on things on the earth. ]
[They are intended to be used as tools to please God
(Rev 4.11). ]
11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive
glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy
pleasure they are and were created. ]
2. God and
Significance (vs 15; Matt 19.16-22) [- The focus of your heart
Love not the world, neither the things
that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father
is not in him. - You will either love God or you will love the world, never
a. [Our Singular
- God created man with a singular focus, you can only focus upon one
thing at a time. ]
[Likewise your heart can only hold one thing as truly
preeminent - God or the world. ]
[Everything else, while valuable, will fall under that
which is truly preeminent. ]
[Jesus demonstrated this with the rich young ruler (Matt
19.16-22). Jesus revealed what really
ruled the rich young ruler’s life when Jesus told him to sell everything he had,
give to the poor, and come follow Jesus.
We must hear the message of the Lord clearly in our own lives.
Who or what rules our lives.]
[For some it is
- Their possessions - The rich young ruler.]
[For some it is
their posterity - Their families – Abraham, God made Abraham decide in the
most profound way whether God or his family ruled in Abraham’s life.
We must hear God message to Abraham for our selves.
Who hold the preeminence in your life?]
[For some it is
their position - Their reputation or social standing - King Saul.
King Saul revealed the God’s command was secondary to his opinion of the
current situation. It was a
presiding reality in King Saul’s life.
There are many in our day who call Jesus Lord, but live under the light
of their perceived needs or situational ethics.]
[Notice God's call - Love God first, and let everything
find its proper place under God.]
Allurements of Life (vs 16) [–
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. -
Those things that distract. The
indicators of Spiritual Maturity. ]
Distractions (Gen 3.6) [- The lust of the flesh - It is important to note that
the allurement here is the lust of the flesh, not just the desires of the flesh.
To desire in
normal, human, and an evidence of life.
Consider the word lust and compare it with desire.]
epithumia ep-ee-thoo-mee'-ah (gk) - desire, craving, longing, desire for
what is forbidden, lust. This is
taking a natural and normal desire and changing it in to an inordinate desire.
It is not wrong to have sexual desires, however it is wrong to allow
those desires to become sinful desires or desires that lead into sin.]
[Your physical desires can lead you astray.
They will draw you away from God.
Any desire that would
lead you into sin and break your fellowship and communion with God is a lust.]
[The needs of your body can become the love of your life
- Gluttony, Sexual perversion, addictions, etc . . .
If the desires of your flesh have become inordinate desires, if they take
you to the point where you would do anything to fulfill a fleshly desire then
your desire has become a lust and that lust has become your idol or God.]
[The interaction of Eve with the serpent in the Garden
of Eden demonstrates how all three of these allurements worked together to lead
her into her rebellion against God. ]
And when the woman saw that the tree
was good for food, . . . ]
with the lust of the flesh and lost the battle.
She saw the fruit on the forbidden tree and allowed her desire to taste
of that fruit to overpower her mind.
The lust of the flesh is a powerful allurement.
Most of us have wrestled with some physical allurement and know how
compelling a desire that has turned inordinate and become a lust can be.]
lust under control. Lust is desire
out of control. In other words, do
not allow your physical desires to control what you do.]
Distractions (Prov 4.23; Gen 3.6) [- The lust of the eye
– The eye is one of
the gateways to the heart and is possibly the most powerful of all
gateways. You “see” something you
want and that image is burned into your mind and will not be relieved until the
desire is achieved. This is why the
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it
are the issues of life. ]
[Those things that you see can lead you astray and draw
you away from God. ]
[The things you want can become the ultimate goal of
your life - A better house, A nicer car, A larger bank account, ect . . . ]
[For Eve in the Garden not only did the fruit promise to
satisfy her taste and hunger, the fruit just look good.
It was pleasing to her eyes.]
[Genesis 3:6 6
And when the
that the tree was good for food,
and that it was pleasant to the
eyes, . . . ]
[Even was driven by her fleshly desires, she was also
driven by her covetous eyes. She was
out of control in what se saw. She
looked with lustful desire upon the fruit of the tree, and she failed to control
what she saw. Sin and rebellion
often look good on the outside, but on the inside, given a little thought, a
spiritual and wise being should be able to discern the deadly poison inside.]
distractions (Gen 3.5-6) [- The pride of life -Pride deals with your sense of
position, regard, or standing in the minds of those around you.
Pride is an issue of perception and presumption.
What you feel might provide a desired reputation may actually be very
different than what might really give you or rob you of status and position.]
[Those things that give you standing and a sense of
fulfillment can draw you away from God. ]
[That which truly touches our heart, or who we feel we
are, can become the focus of our lives - Our Parents, our children, our
reputation, etc . . . ]
[The serpent allured Eve with the powerful enticement of
ultimate authority and individuality.
5 For God doth know that in the day ye
eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened,
and ye shall be as gods,
knowing good and evil. 6 And
when the woman saw that the tree was
good for food, and that it was
pleasant to the eyes,
and a tree to be desired
to make one wise,
took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her;
and he did eat.]
[The foolish idea that we are or can be God’s in and of
ourselves, or even God’s of our own lives is the ultimate delusion.
Do you think you are a God or even the God of your own life.
Then reach down into the dust of the ground and form a human being and
then breathe life into that creation.
You must one day admit that you are no God. ]
Adjustment of Life (vs 17)
And the world passeth away, and the lust
thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. -
Those things that Contrast.
When you come to your senses, and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as
your personal Lord and Savior there is a reckoning in your mind and life with
the reality that God is God and you are not.
There will also be a renewed focus in your life.
You live under the light of your life’s focus.
There are two possible focuses for your life.]
Focus [- Those Things that cannot last
- Every thing in this world will one
day perish. ]
[Everything that satisfies our physical needs will one
day be gone, and even now are perishing. ]
[Every item that enlightens the eye and satisfies its
lust will one day fall apart and perish. ]
[Every one that might lift us up in our own heart and in
the hearts of the world will one day die and stand before God. ]
Focus [- The only things that will truly last
- anything that is done for
[If we meet the God given needs of this flesh so that is
can glorify and please God, that will last. ]
[If we use every resource that man has invented to
glorify and please God, that will last.]
[If we nurture, encourage, and raise up our families and
children to love, glorify and please God, that will last.]
Church, April 20, 2008, Evening