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Sermon Series: Authentic Sermon Title: “A Love That...

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Sermon Series: Authentic

Sermon Title: “A Love That Separates Us”

Text: 1 John 2:12-17

As we continue to trek through the 1 letter of John we see that he has challenged the Authentic Christian to consider:

His relationship with God … or how he views God

His relationship with Sin … or how he views and deals with sin

His relationship with fellow Christians ... he who says he is in the light and hates his brother walks in darkness!

God … Self … Brethren … now he focuses on how the Authentic believer relates with the “world around them”!

Let’s take a look at our text together:

1 John 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.

In our text last week, John was defining and calling us to the “right kind of love”! It was a love that was “directed toward God and demonstrated toward others”! (repeat)

The “right kind of love” is “directed toward God and demonstrated / manifested toward others! (Matthew 25)

Spring boarding off the topic of love… and establishing the right kind of love, he now focus on the “wrong kind of love”… a love that God hates!

It is a love for the “world”! God hates when his children have a love for the world … sounds peculiar, doesn’t it? I thought God loved the world?

The New Testament has three different meanings for the word, “world” and its important that we understand which one the author is referring to.

Sometimes it means:

The “physical earth” that God made…. Paul used that word in Acts 17:24, “God, who made the world and everything in it”…

Sometimes it is referring to the human world, made up of all people. We see that in John 3:16, For God so loved the “world” that He gave…

Sometimes, these two even appear together:

John 1:10

He was in the world and the world (earth) was made by Him and the world (mankind) knew him not!

The warning from John in verse 15 is to “love not the world”! He’s not referring to mankind or the physical earth around us! Instead, he is referring to a spiritual system that is opposed to God and the Kingdom of God!

When John makes reference to the “world”, he’s not referring to the physical earth, but instead he is referring to a system that exists around us that is contrary and antagonistic to the things of God!

It is a way of life that is viewed through a specific lens of thinking!

For instance, we talk about:

The World of Sports

The World of Finance

The World of Politics

Behind what we “see” in sports, politics or finance is a “system” that we cannot see and it is that system that keeps things going in each respective world.

“The World” in the Bible is Satan’s system for opposing the work of Christ on the earth. It is a system that is not concerned about the glory of God, it is opposed to the grace of God, it positions itself in contrast to the loving of others.

In short, it stands in opposition to all that God seeks to do in His redeemed creation, you and me!

What John has been doing in this letter is contrasting between people who “say” they are Christians and people who truly are … hence the title, “Authentic”!

What he does in our passage today is addressing the “object” of a person’s love!

Here’s the point to which John is making, which is the title of my sermon this morning, he is speaking about “A love that separates”!

You see, everybody loves something... And to the degree that you “love something” is the same degree you will hate what opposes the very thing you love” (repeat) … which causes a “separation” between those two things that stand in opposition to each other.

For instance, I love my wife… my love for my wife causes me to separate or hate anything that will due harm to what I love…

Here’s what John is saying:

Love of the world separates us from our love for the Father and our love for the Father separates us from the love of the world!

We can’t love God and love the things that are contrary to God at the same time and in keeping with the theme of “Authentic”, John is saying the true child of God, loves not the world or the things in the world because he loves God supremely!

Folks, this is where the rubber hits the road when it comes to Christianity! John is not saying anything new here; he’s calling those churches in Asia Minor to consider how their lifestyles communicate what they believe!

Look at verse 16 again:

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.

John is reminding the Christian of the way in which Satan, the ruler of this world’s system, seeks to infiltrate and contaminate the biblical system that God, the Holy Spirit, incorporates into the life of those who claim to be a Christ Follower!

The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life…these, says John, are not of the Father, but is of the world, of this world’s system!

Lust of the flesh: That is the desire for physical pleasure

The lust of the eyes: The lust for things we see but do not have

The Pride of life: taking pride in what we “do” have!

If we were to boil down every temptation known to man, it always falls in these three categories.

Satan has had some pretty good success with these!

A few weeks back we looked at the temptation of Eve … lets look there again and see if these three categories are present at the first fall:

Genesis 3:6

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.

Do you see it?

saw that the tree was good for food : Lust for physical pleasure

that it was pleasant to the eyes: Lust of the Eyes

desirable to make one wise: pride of life!

We see it again later on, first time, Satan won in the garden… second time, loses in the desert…

Matthew 4:1-11

1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”

4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:

‘ He shall give His angels charge over you,’

and,‘ In their hands they shall bear you up,

So what do we see from this:

• By refusing to satisfy his hunger by turning stones into bread, Jesus conquered the lust for physical pleasure. (flesh)

• By rejecting Satan’s dare to jump from the top of the Temple, Jesus conquered pride in one’s possessions. (The pride of life)

• By turning down Satan’s offer of the kingdoms of the world, he conquered the lust for everything one sees. (the lust of the eyes)

Two examples, same tactics! Eve failed, Jesus succeeded!

Eve represents what we were before we came to Christ, Jesus represents what we ought to be now that we have embraced him!

The conflict arises when people of the light live no different than people in the dark! I see it all the time and it grieves me so!

Christians who:

Live like the world, laugh at the same jokes, go to the same places, participate in the same activity and pursuing the same goals and dreams of people who know not Christ!

There needs to be a difference!

James says it this way:

James 3:8-12

8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.

Everyone loves something and love, as our title suggests, “separates us”!

Love of the world separates us from our love for the Father and our love for the Father separates us from the love of the world!

Been hard messages coming from the pen of the beloved apostle John, but he’s calling these churches in Asia Minor (and Long Island) to an authentic Christianity that will get the attention of the world because if we’re not guarding our hearts and our ways it sets us up for a tremendous deception, of which John makes reference to next! Tune in!

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