Chapter 2, Verses 12-17
1 John 2:6, 11) [KJV] if we say that we remain in union with God, we should live just as Jesus Christ did.
1 John 3:16) [GNB] This is how we know what love is: Christ gave his life for us. We too, then, ought to give our lives for others!
John 15:13) [GNB] The greatest love you can have for your friends is to give your life for them.
QUESTION: Is loving the way we are loved a command, or a suggestion?
ANSWER: IT’S A COMMAND! We need to understand that walking in love is walking in the Light! Walking in hatred is walking in darkness!
11) [KJV] But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.
QUESTION: Can we be obnoxious? Can we be irritating? Can we disappoint? Can we cause pain? Does God/Jesus love us when we do these things?
ANSWER: THAT’S THE LOVE WE’RE CALLED TO IMITATE! THAT’S THE LOVE THAT WILL CAUSE THE UNCHURCHED TO KNOW THAT WE’RE THE REAL DEAL; WE ARE DISCIPLES/FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST!
On To This Week’s Lesson:
1 John 2:12-17) [KJV] I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.
13) [KJV] I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him [that is] from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.
14) [KJV] I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him [that is] from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
“Because (here and in the five next sentences). The Greek conjunction can mean either ‘because’ or ‘that’ Many versions (among them RSV, TEV) have ‘because,’ but ‘that’ seems to be more probable, since John is stressing some vital truths of Christian life” [UBS].
NOTE: Note how this Greek word has been translated in the KJV of the New Testament:
“that 612, for 264, because 173, how that 21, how 11, misc 212; 1293”
It could read, “that” instead of “because” throughout this passage. Translators try to decide which fits better in a passage.
- Little children – 1) your sins are forgiven; 2) you know the Father.
- Fathers – you know Him who has existed from the beginning.
- Young people – 1) you have defeated the evil one; 2) you are strong, the word of God lives in you, and you have defeated the evil one.
QUESTION: What’s the purpose of these 3 verses?
ANSWER: John’s reminding each group of an essential truth before he continues on.
15) [KJV] 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.
QUESTION: Why does God love the world [John 3:16] and tell us not to?
ANSWER: One thing is for certain, it can’t be wrong for you and I to do what God does. Therefore, the “world” that God loves and the “world” that He tells us not to love are two very different things. We’ll talk more about that in a few moments.
16) [KJV] For 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.
(CEV) Our foolish pride comes from this world, and so do our selfish desires and our desire to have everything we see. None of this comes from the Father.
(GW) Not everything that the world offers-physical gratification, greed, and extravagant lifestyles-comes from the Father. It comes from the world, and
QUESTION: What is the “lust of the flesh”?
ANSWER: It’s our “selfish desires” [CEV], or “physical gratification” [GW].
QUESTION: What is the “lust of the eyes”?
ANSWER: It’s our “desire to have everything we see” [CEV], or “greed” [GW].
QUESTION: What is the “pride of life”?
ANSWER: It’s “foolish pride” that “comes from this world” [CEV], or “extravagant lifestyles” [GW].
QUESTION: What does that mean in plain English?
ANSWER: Sin dwells in the members of our bodies. It causes us to want to do some things contrary to holy living. We must not love those things that displease a Holy God!
17) [KJV] And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
QUESTION: What is this verse telling us?
ANSWER: Those things that can occupy our minds and cause us to desire them are temporary. They will pass away. Those things that Scripture tells us to desire, and to do, are eternal. The rewards that come with doing righteous things will follow us into the next life.
QUESTION: What are verses 15-17 telling us?
ANSWER: The path the Christian is on, the narrow path, is to be different that the path the unregenerate is on, the wide path. The saved see things differently that the unsaved!
QUESTION: What aren’t these verses telling us?
ANSWER: They are not telling us that if we are attracted to attractive things, that if we would prefer a more financially successful life than the one we have, or that if we want more stuff than we currently have that we are not truly Christian. Even sinful things are tempting because they are appealing. The point is that regardless of what we want we must be willing to pursue the things that God has intended for us. The issue is who do we serve? Whose lead do we follow?
Matthew 6:24) [GNB] You cannot be a slave of two masters; you will hate one and love the other; you will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
LET’S REVISIT THIS QUESTION: Why does God love the world [John 3:16] and tell us not to?
ANSWER: One thing is for certain, it can’t be wrong for you and I to do what God does. Therefore, the “world” that God loves and the “world” that He tells us not to love are two very different things. It is obvious that the “world” God loves is the world of people; it’s all those who inhabit the planet. WE SHOULD LOVE THAT “WORLD” ALSO! He also loves the earth He created, the physical world. It’s also O.K. for us to love our planet. The “world” we’re not to love is the world of things that this life presents us with; AND GOD DOESN’T LOVE THAT WORLD EITHER!
NOTE: In other words, 1) we shouldn’t love to do those things that bring gratification to our flesh, yet are forbidden by Scripture; 2) we shouldn’t love everything that appeals to our sight; and 3) we shouldn’t love those things that make us feel superior to others. GOD LOVES THE WORLD OF PEOPLE; WE SHOULD NOT LOVE THE WORLD OF THINGS!
ANOTHER NOTE: When God loves the world of people He genuinely loves them. When we love the world of things it’s actually a perversion of true love; IT IS LUST!
A CLOSING NOTE: We will have “things” in this world. Everyone has some things. The rich obviously have more things than the poor do. It’s not a sin to have things, but we are not to love those things.
Walk of Grace Chapel, Council Bluffs Church