Pastor Chris’ Corona Quarantine Epistles to the Flock of AIC Ngong Road, in Dispersion and Isolation. 78th. Edition.
Dear Joint Heirs with Christ, of the Kingdom of Heaven,
In our passage today (1 John 2:15-17), we finally come to the commandment, whose preamble started in verse 7. It is a simple but all-encompassing command, “Do not love the world or the things in the world.” And why not? Because There Are Two that Are in Conflict (v. 15).
We must choose one. We cannot have it both ways. Love for God and love for the world are mutually exclusive. This has already been stated in other words before (1:6; 2:4,9,11). It is not enough to say “Jesus is my Saviour.” Our separation from the world is what confirms our claim.
There Are Three that Corrupt (v. 16). We must avoid them all. The world is controlled by evil desires and motives. We must distance ourselves from such:
The Lust of the Flesh. This is the desire of the sinful nature to express itself. One of the obvious manifestations of the “lust of the flesh” is sexual immorality. But really, any sinful desire is the lust of the flesh.
The Lust of the Eyes. This is the desire to own everything one sees. It is also called covetousness. The love of money, which Paul talks about (1 Timothy 6:9-10) belongs here, along with the desire to own what others have, which leads to jealousy and theft. The stealing of public resources through corruption is another example of the lust of the eyes.
The Pride of Life. This the desire to be better than anyone else and to be praised by men. It is often called vanity. Preoccupation with one’s looks – make-up, clothing, etc; boasting about possessions and competition for primacy and supremacy over others are some of the ways the pride of life expresses itself. It is also the reason we like to support the winning team and adore celebrities.
These three are Satan’s modus operandi from the beginning. He tempted Eve (Genesis 3:6) the same way and she saw that the tree was good for food – the lust of the flesh, Pleasant to the eyes – the lust of the eyes Desirable to make one wise – the pride of life. Of course, Eve fell, as did Adam. But there is another who “Was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). When the devil tempted Jesus (Luke 4:3-13), he challenged him to Command that this stone to become bread – the lust of the flesh; Therefore, if you will worship before me, all will be yours – the lust of the eyes; Throw yourself down – the pride of life. Eve and Adam fell because they failed to heed the word of God, Jesus overcame it because he applied the same word of God.
There Is One who Will Continue (v. 17). We must choose to be that one. The world is not going to last forever. It will be done away with, along with its lusts. The only permanence is in God, so those who obey him will not only remain, they will be with him forever. Enough reason, I would think, to not love the world.
Your loving Pastor Chris.