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Come Untangled

1 John  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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A review and practical application for 1 John 2:15-17: "Do Not Love the World"

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Happy belated Independence Day! We are 241 years old as a nation. On Tuesday, we were reminded of all that is good and right with our country, even if we watched the fireworks that were more than likely imported from another country! Some of them The Lord has blessed us in countless ways. I ran across a stat the other day where it was pointed out the the most impoverished in our country live better than 80% of the people on the planet. No doubt, being impoverished in the U.S. is not good. And even if the stat is not entirely accurate, we have to know that the Lord, through the grace He has given to every person in this country—the so-called “common grace”—has truly been a wonder. For how many people in the world are clamoring to get here? When President Trump was elected, those who said they were going to leave, for some reason decided to stay. I wonder why? Some, to be sure are trying to enter this country in order to destroy it, often with a wicked religious motive. But the vast majority come because of what they know about or heard about us—truly, God has shed His grace on us. The power of our country—because the Lord’s blessing and mercy--has been attractive for over 200 years
But there is another power that has been at work in our country since even before its founding. Before Great Britain was founded. Before Israel became a nation. Before the flood. But back to the Garden of Eden. When we opened the door of evil by declaring our independence from God. Though God by His mercy provided a covering and forgiveness for the sin of our first parents, Pandora’s box was opened. And sin has been running rampant ever since. And the principle of sin in the life of every human being has been fueled through what Paul calls the rulers, the authorities, the cosmic powers over this present darkness, the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places in . We refer to this whole wicked thing as “the world”.
Each of us have been intricately involved in the world. It’s impossible to shut it out. From day one, practically every youth here has been educationally raised in the public school system—the ways of the world have covered them. Every one here who earns money are working in a job or profession that is steeped in the ways of the world. Some places of employment may have a “memory” of Christian righteousness: treating employees fairly, demanding a full days’ work for a full days’ pay. Etc. Those of us retired from the work force most likely have pensions given to us by secular institutions: I do at least.
Each of us have been intricately involved in the world. None of us have locked ourselves away from it. From day one, practically every youth have been educationally raised in the public school system—the ways of the world have covered them. Every one here who earn money are working in a job or profession that is steeped in the ways of the world. Some may even have a “memory” of Christian righteousness: treating employees fairly, demanding a full days’ work for a full days’ pay. Etc. Those of us retired from the work force most likely have pensions given to us by secular institutions: I do at least.
How many of us have at least one screen, letting the information and entertainment of the world in?
The truth is, none of us is immune to the world. We have adopted the ways of the world, and what’s worse, through the filter of America. We are the most prosperous nation on the planet (FIND THE WARNING OF GOD TO ISRAEL ABOUT TURNING HIS PROSPERITY INTO A THING OF IDOLATRY). But we are also the largest exporter of sin to the world, being used by the “so-called emperor”—the prince of the power of darkness to more completely advance his agenda.
Paul tells us that every one of us were at one time 3 lived in the passions of our flesh,. We carried out the desires of the body and the mind. We were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
But one glorious day, Paul continues, 4 God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace we have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,
5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
Now that we have been saved by His grace through our faith in him, God expects us to, with increasing measure, separate ourselves from the very entity from which we were raised, from the source, on the human level, of our resources, from the fountainhead of worldly wisdom. In a moment of time, God took us from being dead to Him, and alive to the world, to where now we are to be dead to the world and alive to Him. John tells us to not love it.
7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
None of us are immune to the ways of the world. We have become entangled with it.
9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Happy belated Independence Day! We are 241 years old as a nation. On Tuesday, we were reminded of all that is good and right with our country, even if we watched the fireworks that were more than likely imported from another country! We were in Maryland for the 4th, and about an hour before the fireworks, it rained pretty good. And some of them probably got wet because some of them practically exploded about 10 feet off the platform they were being lit from!
Last week we talked about what John wrote in : “don’t love the world”. I went away unsure I delivered on my objective: to equip you on exactly how to not love the world. I gave you incentive: that we don’t love the system which hates the Father and His Christ. And we don’t love the world because the only thing it offers is cravings of the flesh, of the eyes, and awakens sinful pride of life, and it can’t deliver what it promises.
Happy belated Independence Day! We are 241 years old as a nation. On Tuesday, we were reminded of all that is good and right with our country, even if we watched the fireworks that were more than likely imported from another country! We were in Maryland for the 4th, and about an hour before the fireworks, it rained pretty good. And some of them probably got wet because some of them practically exploded about 10 feet off the platform they were being lit from!
I also wanted to correct a point that I misspoke about. I actually asked, “is sinful activity sinful?” And you looked at me like I was a heretic! And having reviewed the message I don’t blame you! What I meant to say was “is sexual activity sinful?” And thankfully you gave me the benefit of the doubt and didn’t stone me for being a false teacher!
We are not of the world, but we are in the world. I told you a couple of reasons why we are not to love it, and couched it in terms of an ongoing test for fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus. But I did not give you a way ahead as to exactly how it’s done.
The Lord has blessed us in countless ways. I ran across a stat the other day where it was pointed out the most impoverished in our country live better than 80% of the people on the planet. No doubt, being impoverished in the U.S. is not good. And even if the stat is not entirely accurate, we have to know that the Lord, through His gifts to every person in this country—the so-called “common grace”—has truly been a wonder. For how many people in the world are clamoring to get here? When President Trump was elected, those who said they were going to leave, for some reason decided to stay. I wonder why? Some, to be sure are trying to enter this country in order to destroy it, often with a wicked religious motive. But the vast majority come because of what they know about or heard about us—truly, God has shed His grace on us. The power of our country—because the Lord’s blessing and mercy--has been attractive for over 200 years
I’m afraid that we have become so steeped in this world, that we’ve become entangled, unsure of how to get free of it so that we can then join Him in rescuing those of the world to eventually, by His grace being sent back into the world to be His ambassadors—as we are. (re do this)
So, after I briefly review what I spoke about last week in relationship to not loving the world—, will offer some very practical ways to become untangled from the world. And for that we will turn over to . As everybody knows who has read James’ letter more than once, that Jesus’ half brother did not pull any punches when it came to how to flesh out what it means to follow Jesus.
But there is another power that has been at work in our country since even before its founding. Before Great Britain was founded. Before Israel became a nation. When we opened the door of evil in the Garden of Eden we declared our independence from God. Though God by His mercy provided a covering and forgiveness for the sin of our first parents, Pandora’s box was opened. And sin has been running rampant ever since. And the principle of sin in the life of every human being has been fueled through what Paul calls the rulers, the authorities, the cosmic powers over this present darkness, the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places in . We refer to this whole wicked thing as “the world”.
So, let’s review. Turn to : A simple, comprehensive, literally “us against the world” command.  And passing this ongoing test, like the other tests John gave reveals whether or not we are living in divine fellowship.  So, let’s take a look.
Each of us has been intricately involved in the world. It’s impossible to shut it out. From day one, practically every youth here has been educationally raised in the public school system—the ways of the world have covered them. Most every person here is working in a job or profession steeped in the ways of the world. Some places of employment may have a “memory” of Christian righteousness: treating employees fairly, demanding a full days’ work for a full days’ pay. Etc. Those of us retired from the work force most likely have pensions given to us by secular institutions: I do at least.
How many of us have at least one screen, letting the information and entertainment of the world in?
Don’t love the world, neither the things in the world.  Let me share with you some insights I believe the Lord gave to me when it comes to obeying this command and passing John’s third test.  First, by way of review, who is this command given to?  As we just saw in verses 12-14:  Christians.  The Lord through John establishes who we are.  And who are we in relation to the world?  In , as Jesus prays to the Father He says this:  I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.  I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
The truth is, none of us is immune to the world. We have adopted the ways of the world without even knowing it, and what’s worse, through the filter of America. We are the most prosperous nation on the planet (FIND THE WARNING OF GOD TO ISRAEL ABOUT TURNING HIS PROSPERITY INTO A THING OF IDOLATRY). But we are also the largest exporter of sin to the world, being used by the “so-called emperor”—the prince of the power of darkness to more completely advance his agenda.
Paul tells us that every one of us were at one time 3 lived in the passions of our flesh,. We carried out the desires of the body and the mind. We were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
But one glorious day, Paul continues, 4 God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace we have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
And so the command to not love the world just makes sense:  Don’t love, as in, don’t be loyal to the system that hates God and our Lord.  There’s a simple truth here:  Though God loves the world, the world hates Jesus.  He told us so.  Much of the reason for this is that He lived during the days of His ministry as The Prophet, surpassing all other prophets who went before Him.  As The Prophet, Jesus denounced the sin of the people, and pleaded for God’s people to turn back to the Father.  Because He exposed their sin, they hated Him for it.  Jesus nailed the world to the wall because He declared how evil the world and every person who is of the world are.
Now that we have been saved by His grace through our faith in him, God expects us to, with increasing measure, separate ourselves from the very entity from which we were raised, from the source, on the human level, of our resources, from the fountainhead of worldly wisdom. In a moment of time, God took us from being dead to Him, and alive to the world, to where now we are to be dead to the world and alive to Him. John tells us to not love it.
None of us are immune to the ways of the world. We have become entangled with it.
And because He nailed them to the wall by telling them the truth out of His love for them, they repaid Him by nailing Him to the cross.  And after 2000 years, the hatred of Jesus continues.  Only now the hatred shows itself to all who are associated with Him.  It’s the old “guilt by association” idea.  So, we are not to love the world because the world hates Jesus.
Last week we talked about what John wrote in : “don’t love the world”. I went away unsure I delivered on my objective: to equip you on exactly how to not love the world. I gave you incentive: that we don’t love the system which hates the Father and His Christ. And we don’t love the world because the only thing it offers is cravings of the flesh, of the eyes, and awakens sinful pride of life, and it can’t deliver what it promises.
I also wanted to correct a point about which I misspoke. At one point in the message I actually asked, “is sinful activity sinful?” And you looked at me like I was a heretic! And having reviewed the message I don’t blame you! What I meant to say was “is sexual activity sinful?” And thankfully you gave me the benefit of the doubt and didn’t stone me for being a false teacher!
Second, we are not to love the world, to fully embrace it, because of its empty promises.  Notice the familiar 3-fold description of the world and what it offers:  the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes and the pride of life.  Now, let me tread carefully here.  Above all I want to faithfully communicate what the text says.  And on the other hand, I think many of us have as it were, read too much into the text and we have become legalists of sorts, putting on ourselves and others rules that are not warranted.
We are not of the world, but we are in the world. I told you a couple of reasons why we are not to love it, and couched it in terms of an ongoing test for fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus. But for all of us who struggle to live a life that is free from sin’s entanglement, I did not give you a way ahead as to exactly how it’s done.
Though Christ has delivered us from the penalty of sin, how much of the residue as it were remains in our soul? Because we have been so steeped in sin, it has entangled us and we don’t even know it. A “Church and Culture” blog last year quoted Todd Gitlin, one of the leading thinkers on media and our lives, who said: "The torrent of images, songs, and stories streaming has become our familiar world." This "torrent" determines what we see and what we don't, what we think about and what never enters our mind. The media we watch everyday has been shaping us for years, whether we know it or not. For example, think of MTV. As MTV's founding chairman, Bob Pittman, stated in a 1982 interview: "If you can get their emotions going, make them forget their logic, you've got them. At MTV, we don't shoot for the 14-year-olds, we own them."
First of all, let’s see what the text says.  “Desires” here is translated in other versions as “cravings”.  And we tend to always translate “flesh” as sinful human nature.  But just a quick scanning of the New Testament shows that quite often flesh simply means things that go along with being human.  Though many times, flesh does mean something sinful.  But a word means what it means in context. 
That was back in 1982. The cruelty we just heard from this man has only gotten worse in the past 35 years. Those at that level, with that much power and drive have it out for us to destroy us. But we who are delivered from sin through Christ greatly desire to become untangled from its tentacles. As the adage goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. That’s why John tells us to not love the world. This command has just as much relevance now as it did when John wrote those words. This system seeks to destroy us. It’s a life-long struggle to become untangled, in the way we live.
But there is hope. There is power. There is a way to become untangled from the world. But it’s like eating an elephant—one bite—one sin, one issue, at a time. But the results are well worth it.
And I have a question for you and me today. What if somehow, some way, whether sometime in the near future or a bit farther down the road, the way you think could match the way Jesus thinks about people? Sees the best in them, but warns them about destroying themselves by their sin. Or if they are struggling, He would know just what to say to help them. What if Jesus went to your place of business tomorrow morning and took your place for one day, how would He perform the job you were hired to do?
The same way with the phrase “desires of the eyes”.  When we read this, we almost automatically think of materialism and coveting.  Or the pride of life.  We look at these things and I believe we have not only robbed ourselves of enjoyment of God’s good gifts to us, but have cut ourselves off from the source of effective ministry in the world.  Now I admit this is a pretty strong accusation.  But hopefully I will be able to communicate this liberating, powerful truth and we can walk out of here renewed, as strong young men who consistently overcome the evil one.
What if Jesus were to take your place in your circle of influence for one day, what things would He say? what would His attitudes be toward your family and friends? Your co-workers?
Now, we suspect the Lord Jesus live our lives far differently if He took our place for even one day. So, my question: which way would you rather live? The way you live right now, or the way Jesus would live if He were in your shoes?
First of all, let’s keep in mind what the world offers:  short and simple—the world offers cravings.  And once our bodies and eyes and the mechanism that signals ungodly pride is energized, we can’t get enough of its offerings. 
See, the Lord is going somewhere with each of us who are in the family. He is forming and shaping us. And like a master sculptor, His goal for all of us is that we look exactly like Jesus in the way we live. But the difference between a sculptor and God is that a sculptor works with stone and chisels. God works by His Spirit and works outward from our heart .
So, my question for all of us this morning is this: If somehow, someway you coul
Let’s look at “flesh” for example.  So often we think of the flesh as catering to sexual activity.  A question:  is sexual activity sinful?  Absolutely not.  What was the first command God gave to unfallen Adam and Eve?  As husband and wife, engage in sexual activity.  What about other bodily appetites, like food and drink?  Or what about a desire for pleasure?  Are any of these things sinful in and of themselves? 
I’m afraid that we have become so steeped in this world, that we’ve become entangled, unsure of how to get free of it so that we can then join Him in rescuing those of the world to eventually, by His grace being sent back into the world to be His ambassadors—as we are. (re do this)
So, after I briefly review what I spoke about last week in relationship to not loving the world—, will offer some very practical ways to become untangled from the world. And for that we will turn over to . As everybody knows who has read James’ letter more than once, that Jesus’ half brother did not pull any punches when it came to how to flesh out what it means to follow Jesus.
What about what we see with our eyes?  How about acquiring wealth?  God says it is He who gives us the power to get wealth.  What about power and influence we have with others?  Are these things wrong in and of themselves?  No—they are all God’s good gifts.  Or what about achievements or a satisfaction of a job well done and a desire to display our talents?  What about ambition of doing great things?  Are any of these things wrong in and of themselves? 
So, let’s review. Turn to : A simple, comprehensive, literally “us against the world” command. And passing this ongoing test, like the other tests John gave reveals whether or not we are living in divine fellowship. So, let’s take a look.
Don’t love the world, neither the things in the world. Let me share with you some insights I believe the Lord gave to me when it comes to obeying this command and passing John’s third test. First, by way of review, who is this command given to? As we just saw in verses 12-14: Christians. The Lord through John establishes who we are. And who are we in relation to the world? In , as Jesus prays to the Father He says this: I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
And so the command to not love the world just makes sense: Don’t love, as in, don’t be loyal to the system that hates God and our Lord. There’s a simple truth here: Though God loves the world, the world hates Jesus. He told us so. Much of the reason for this is that He lived during the days of His ministry as The Prophet, surpassing all other prophets who went before Him. As The Prophet, Jesus denounced the sin of the people, and pleaded for God’s people to turn back to the Father. Because He exposed their sin, they hated Him for it. Jesus nailed the world to the wall because He declared how evil the world and every person who is of the world are.
So, what’s the point?  Let me demonstrate.  Let’s call the things I just mentioned as “substance”.  Bodily appetites—substance.  Acquisition of wealth—substance.  Ambition to do something great—substance.  You with me? 
And because He nailed them to the wall by telling them the truth out of His love for them, they repaid Him by nailing Him to the cross. And after 2000 years, the hatred of Jesus continues. Only now the hatred shows itself to all who are associated with Him. It’s the old “guilt by association” idea. So, we are not to love the world because the world hates Jesus.
Second, we are not to love the world, to fully embrace it, because of its empty promises. Notice the familiar 3-fold description of the world and what it offers: the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes and the pride of life. Now, let me tread carefully here. Above all I want to faithfully communicate what the text says. And on the other hand, I think many of us have as it were, read too much into the text and we have become legalists of sorts, putting on ourselves and others rules that are not warranted.
And here is the bedrock of what I believe can be liberation and empower us to go on a divine rescue mission: to take people who are of the world and be used of God to bring them into the kingdom and then have the Lord send them back into the world as ambassadors for Christ, as we are.  Ready?
First of all, let’s see what the text says. “Desires” here is translated in other versions as “cravings”. And we tend to always translate “flesh” as sinful human nature. But just a quick scanning of the New Testament shows that quite often flesh simply means things that go along with being human. Though many times, flesh does mean something sinful. But a word means what it means in context.
The same way with the phrase “desires of the eyes”. When we read this, we almost automatically think of materialism and coveting. Or the pride of life. We look at these things and I believe we have not only robbed ourselves of enjoyment of God’s good gifts to us, but have cut ourselves off from the source of effective ministry in the world. Now I admit this is a pretty strong accusation. But hopefully I will be able to communicate this liberating, powerful truth and we can walk out of here renewed, as strong young men who consistently overcome the evil one.
Every part of substance offered by the world produces nothing but craving.  For example, when the world offers sexual activity, along with it comes the craving for it.  And when those of the world engage in it, they can’t get enough of it.  And so a normal, healthy sexual relationship within marriage is not enough.  There’s got to be more.  That’s why pornography for example is rampant. 
First of all, let’s keep in mind what the world offers: short and simple—the world offers cravings. And once our bodies and eyes and the mechanism that signals ungodly pride is energized, we can’t get enough of its offerings.
Let’s look at “flesh” for example. So often we think of the flesh as catering to sexual activity. A question: is sexual activity sinful? Absolutely not. What was the first command God gave to unfallen Adam and Eve? As husband and wife, engage in sexual activity. What about other bodily appetites, like food and drink? Or what about a desire for pleasure? Are any of these things sinful in and of themselves?
“Desires of the eyes” is also substance of what the world offers.  And when those of the world engage in it, they can’t get enough of it.  No matter what and how much they buy it is never enough.  They’re not satisfied with yesterday’s model.  It must be the latest and greatest.  We’ve all heard of people who hoard things.  This is the logical conclusion of the world’s offerings of the desires of the eyes.
What about what we see with our eyes? How about acquiring wealth? God says it is He who gives us the power to get wealth. What about power and influence we have with others? Are these things wrong in and of themselves? No—they are all God’s good gifts. Or what about achievements or a satisfaction of a job well done and a desire to display our talents? What about ambition of doing great things? Are any of these things wrong in and of themselves?
So, what’s the point? Let me demonstrate. Let’s call the things I just mentioned as “substance”. Bodily appetites—substance. Acquisition of wealth—substance. Ambition to do something great—substance. You with me?
And here is the bedrock of what I believe can be liberation and empower us to go on a divine rescue mission: to take people who are of the world and be used of God to bring them into the kingdom and then have the Lord send them back into the world as ambassadors for Christ, as we are. Ready?
The world offers the pride of life, along with the craving for it.  It’s not enough to work and be satisfied with a job well done.  And when those of the world engage in it, they have to be the greatest at everything.  Again in the words of everyone’s favorite Vizzini of the Princess Bride, when he asked Wesley, “Ever hear of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates?  Morons.”  That’s an example of the pride of life.  And Vizzini lost his life because of his craving to acquire more pride.
Every part of substance offered by the world produces nothing but craving. For example, when the world offers sexual activity, along with it comes the craving for it. And when those of the world engage in it, they can’t get enough of it. And so a normal, healthy sexual relationship within marriage is not enough. There’s got to be more. That’s why pornography for example is rampant.
“Desires of the eyes” is also substance of what the world offers. And when those of the world engage in it, they can’t get enough of it. No matter what and how much they buy it is never enough. They’re not satisfied with yesterday’s model. It must be the latest and greatest. We’ve all heard of people who hoard things. This is the logical conclusion of the world’s offerings of the desires of the eyes.
I have here two bottles of water.  For illustration purposes only, because we can’t drink in here.  One is a bottle of ice cold water.  One is salt water.  They both look the same.  Now, both the Lord and the world offer water.  When we are really thirsty and choose the ice cold water, what happens?  It quenches our thirst—there’s nothing better on a hot day than ice cold water—the water God offers. 
The world offers the pride of life, along with the craving for it. It’s not enough to work and be satisfied with a job well done. And when those of the world engage in it, they have to be the greatest at everything. Again in the words of everyone’s favorite Vizzini of the Princess Bride, when he asked Wesley, “Ever hear of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates? Morons.” That’s an example of the pride of life. And Vizzini lost his life because of his craving to acquire more pride.
I have here two bottles of water. For illustration purposes only, because we can’t drink in here. One is a bottle of ice cold water. One is salt water. They both look the same. Now, both the Lord and the world offer water. When we are really thirsty and choose the ice cold water, what happens? It quenches our thirst—there’s nothing better on a hot day than ice cold water—the water God offers.
On the other hand, the world offers salt water.  And when a very thirsty person drinks that water, what happens?  He gets thirsty for more.  And more.  And finally, the salt saturated water will end up killing the thirsty man.  He had water all right, but the craving that was created by the salt, kept him coming back, because people of the world are convinced that the only water worth drinking is what the world offers.  They can’t fathom that the one who made them really can quench their thirst.
On the other hand, the world offers salt water. And when a very thirsty person drinks that water, what happens? He gets thirsty for more. And more. And finally, the salt saturated water will end up killing the thirsty man. He had water all right, but the craving that was created by the salt, kept him coming back, because people of the world are convinced that the only water worth drinking is what the world offers. They can’t fathom that the one who made them really can quench their thirst.
But those who have had their thirst quenched with the water of life can live satisfied. Because only God can deliver to people what they need and desire. The world can only offer the cravings but can’t satisfy.
But those who have had their thirst quenched with the water of life can live satisfied.  Because only God can deliver to people what they need and desire.  The world can only offer the cravings but can’t satisfy. 
And those who are not of the world—as in followers of Jesus--can be satisfied because they no longer crave what God has delivered to them. And so husbands and wives can find sexual satisfaction with each other their entire married lives. Because we are not of the world, we can acquire things we see and can say, “enough” because our thirst has been quenched and we don’t need to crave material things. Because we are not of this world, we can have ambition, fame, and all the rest because we are convinced that achieving much to promote the King of kings glorifies Him. We have discovered that we can have satisfaction in a job well done and no longer have to promote ourselves.
Re-enter the command and test: Don’t love the world. All of us who claim to be followers of Jesus are engaged in a battle of loyalty. And it’s a growing thing. Spiritual children, adolescents and fathers and mothers are continually tested. Because at one time we were just like those of the world. We thought, acted and spoke the way they did. But our eyes have been opened. We know the truth. And our thirst has been quenched. But the world tries to convince us that the Emperor is wearing the finest clothing ever. And those of the world are convinced. But we who are not of the world, as we are passing the test with increasing frequency, see right through the deception. We know that the world only offers cravings but can never satisfy.
Each day is a battle. So in a sense all of us are to be spiritual adolescents: strong, the word of God abiding in us, consistently overcoming the evil one.
And those who are not of the world—as in followers of Jesus--can be satisfied because they no longer crave what God has delivered to them.  And so husbands and wives can find sexual satisfaction with each other their entire married lives.  Because we are not of the world, we can acquire things we see and can say, “enough” because our thirst has been quenched and we don’t need to crave material things.  Because we are not of this world, we can have ambition, fame, and all the rest because we are convinced that achieving much to promote the King of kings glorifies Him.  We have discovered that we can have satisfaction in a job well done and no longer have to promote ourselves.
And like the boy on the street, we who are in the world but not of it point out that the Emperor—the Prince of the power of the air—has no clothes. But, those of the world insist that he does. “Look at how well dressed the Emperor is! Why, he is dressed in beautiful clothing—it almost looks like light itself! How can anything so beautiful be evil?” But all the while we who are in but not of the world are exposing the Emperor to those of the world
Re-enter the command and test:  Don’t love the world.  All of us who claim to be followers of Jesus are engaged in a battle of loyalty.  And it’s a growing thing.  Spiritual children, adolescents and fathers and mothers are continually tested.  Because at one time we were just like those of the world.  We thought, acted and spoke the way they did.  But our eyes have been opened.  We know the truth.  And our thirst has been quenched.  But the world tries to convince us that the Emperor is wearing the finest clothing ever.  And those of the world are convinced.  But we who are not of the world, as we are passing the test with increasing frequency, see right through the deception.  We know that the world only offers cravings but can never satisfy. 
We have here the reasons why we are not to love the world. Now let’s turn to to find out exactly how to make that happen.
Each day is a battle.  So in a sense all of us are to be spiritual adolescents:  strong, the word of God abiding in us, consistently overcoming the evil one.
ESV
1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? 6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. 11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?
And like the boy on the street, we who are in the world but not of it point out that the Emperor—the Prince of the power of the air—has no clothes.  But, those of the world insist that he does.  “Look at how well dressed the Emperor is!  Why, he is dressed in beautiful clothing—it almost looks like light itself!  How can anything so beautiful be evil?”  But all the while we who are in but not of the world are exposing the Emperor to those of the world
James surely has a fiery spirit! He lets the people the Lord has placed under his spiritual care have it! Like a surgeon with a scalpel, James places his finger on the exact reason for disunity, and he labels it as “quarrels and fights”. God’s people can’t get along, imagine that! It’s like the little rhyme I heard some time ago: “o live above, With the saints I love, O, wouldn’t that be glory. But to live below, With the saints I know, That’s another story.
APPLICATION: WE ARE TO LOVE JESUS MORE THAN THE WORLD. AND TO THE DEGREE WE LOVE HIM, IS THE DEGREE WE WILL
We have here the reasons why we are not to love the world. Now let’s turn to to find out exactly how to make that happen.
We have here the reasons why we are not to love the world. Now let’s turn to to find out exactly how to make that happen.
SUBMIT OURSELVES TO GOD
RESIST THE DEVIL
James 4:1–12 ESV
1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? 6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. 11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?
CLEANSE OUR HANDS
PURIFY OUR HEARTS
James surely has a fiery spirit! He lets the people the Lord has placed under his spiritual care have it! Like a surgeon with a scalpel, James places his finger on the exact reason for disunity, and he labels it as “quarrels and fights”. God’s people can’t get along, imagine that! It’s like the little rhyme I heard some time ago: “o live above, With the saints I love, O, wouldn’t that be glory. But to live below, With the saints I know, That’s another story.
MOURN OVER OUR SIN—LETTING THE SPIRIT DO A DEEP WORK IN US
THE OUTCOME IS TO REFUSE TO SPEAK EVIL OF OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS (REFLECTS OUR HEART, FOR OUT OF THE OVERFLOW OF OUR HEARTS OUR MOUTHS SPEAK), THIS PROMOTES LOVE AND UNITY
APPLICATION: WE ARE TO LOVE JESUS MORE THAN THE WORLD. AND TO THE DEGREE WE LOVE HIM, IS THE DEGREE WE WILL
SUBMIT OURSELVES TO GOD
RESIST THE DEVIL
CLEANSE OUR HANDS
PURIFY OUR HEARTS
MOURN OVER OUR SIN—LETTING THE SPIRIT DO A DEEP WORK IN US
THE OUTCOME IS TO REFUSE TO SPEAK EVIL OF OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS (REFLECTS OUR HEART, FOR OUT OF THE OVERFLOW OF OUR HEARTS OUR MOUTHS SPEAK), THIS PROMOTES LOVE AND UNITY
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