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First John: 1 John 2:15-Worldliness is Idolatry and Spiritual Adultery Lesson # 72

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First John: 1 John 2:15-Worldliness is Idolatry and Spiritual Adultery

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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. (ESV)
Pastor-Teacher Bill Wenstrom
Wednesday July 26, 2017
www.wenstrom.org
Lesson # 72
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. (ESV)
Each one of you continue making it your habit of not loving the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone does at any time love this world, then the love for the Father is unequivocally not existing in him. (My translation)
is composed of two prohibitions and a fifth class conditional statement which expresses an eternal spiritual truth with regards to loving the world.
The first prohibition is addressing the believer’s relationship to the vast system and arrangement of human affairs, earthly goods, godless governments, conflicts, riches, pleasures, culture, education, world religions, the cults and the occult dominated and negatively affected by Satan.
This first prohibition is addressing the believer’s relationship to the various ideals, aims, methods, and character, which are promoted by Satan and his kingdom and stand perpetually in opposition to God and the cause of Christ.
The first prohibition deals with the cosmic system of Satan itself, which as we noted is both a system and an organization that is against God and under the authority of Satan.
Thus, John is prohibiting the recipients of this epistle from loving the organization and system inspired by Satan but of course, you are to love the people who are deceived by Satan.
This world system of Satan embraces every facet of human life on planet earth. Satan is the god of this world (cf. ) and deceives the entire world (cf. ; ).
Consequently, all the affairs of mankind are adversely affected by Satan’s rule over the earth.
Thus, this world system led by Satan adversely affects every form of human government on the face of the earth and thus politics.
It also embraces all of human culture as well as religion, education, industry, science and the business world.
The second prohibition forbids the recipients of this epistle from loving the various animate and inanimate objects that are found in the cosmic system of Satan in the sense of honoring them by taking pleasure in them to the extent that the cosmic system becomes more important than their relationship with God.
Because of the sin nature and Satan and his angels, these various animate and inanimate objects temptations can induce or persuade believers by enticement to not love the Father in the sense of being dedicated and devoted to Him.
They would attract them by holding out the probability of gratification or advantage that would be contrary to the plan of God for their lives.
The cosmic system was built upon these temptations since these temptations were successful when used against Eve in the Garden of Eden in order to get her to disobey the Lord God.
Thus, the second prohibition deals with the various inanimate and animate objects which are located in this Satanic organization and system, which are designed to seduce men away from God and to live independently of Him.
The cosmic system is not a theocratic or Christocentric society, organization or system since it is designed by Satan to seduce men away from worshipping the Lord Jesus Christ.
Satan uses temptations to incorporate even believers into his system and organization that is independent of God.
To love the cosmic system of Satan and the things of this system would constitute living one’s life in the darkness which is mentioned in , , and 11 and refers to living one’s life according to the standards of Satan’s cosmic system.
After issuing these two prohibitions in , the apostle John then employs a fifth class conditional statement which expresses an eternal spiritual truth as related to loving the cosmic system of Satan.
In this fifth class conditional statement, John solemnly asserts that if any believer does at any time love the cosmic system of Satan, then the love for the Father is, as an eternal spiritual truth unequivocally not existing in the state of being in them.
He is not speaking of any one individual in particular.
But rather he is referring to a hypothetical individual in the Christian community since John is not speaking of a specific individual but rather he is communicating an eternal spiritual principle with regards to the believer loving the cosmic system of Satan.
By loving this cosmic system, John is referring to taking pleasure in the cosmic system of Satan because one holds it in high esteem, and reveres, and worships it, liking and respecting it and making it more important than one’s relationship with God.
Therefore, in this fifth class conditional statement, John teaches his readers that if any believer does love the cosmic system of Satan, then the love for the Father is unequivocally not resident and active in their soul.
This applies to every believer who loves the cosmic system of Satan, without exception.
This statement is not subject to challenge, or dispute, not subject to conditions or exceptions because it is an eternal spiritual truth.
To love the cosmic system of Satan and all that composes it is to live in disobedience to the greatest command to love the Lord with all one’s heart, soul, mind and strength (cf. ).
This disobedience constitutes idolatry.
Loving the cosmic system of Satan and the various objects in this system is idolatry.
By way of definition, idolatry pertains to the worship of something created as opposed to the worship of the Creator Himself.
It is not only the giving to any creature or human creation the honor or devotion, which belongs to God alone, but also is putting anything ahead of your relationship with God and which would prevent you from doing His will (; ; ; ).
The practice of idolatry is a violation of the first and second commandments of the Ten Commandments which are recorded in written form for Israel in .
They are also written on the hearts of every human being whether regenerate or unregenerate according to Paul’s teaching in .
In , Paul describes the entire human race as involved in idolatry.
and teach that the worship of idols is connected to the worship of demons since the sacrificing to idols is in reality sacrificing to demons who promote the worship of idols.
Idolatry is the worship of something created as opposed to the worship of the Creator Himself.
Scores of references to idolatry appear in the Old Testament.
states that Abraham’s father served idols.
The most noteworthy instance of idolatry in the history of Israel was Aaron’s making of the golden calf at the foot of Mount Sinai ().
Idolatry originally meant the worship of idols, or the worship of false gods by means of idols, but came to mean among the Old Testament Hebrews any worship of false gods, whether by images or otherwise or the worship of the Lord through visible symbols (; ).
Idolatry is not only the giving to any creature or human creation the honor or devotion, which belongs to God alone, but also is putting anything ahead of your relationship with God and which would prevent you from doing His will (; ; ; ).
Ultimately in the New Testament idolatry came to mean, not only the giving to any creature or human creation the honor or devotion which belonged to God alone, but the giving to any human desire a precedence over God’s will (; ; ; ; ).
In fact, John’s last word in First John was a prohibition requiring believers to keep themselves from idols.
Little children, keep yourselves from idols. (ESV)
Not only is John attempting to protect the recipients of this epistle from idolatry in but also from spiritual adultery.
Church age believers have been entered into a marriage relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ at the moment of conversion ().
Many believers are committing spiritual adultery with the Lord today by forsaking their relationship with the Lord and have committed spiritual adultery by putting idols in their souls such as money, houses, wives, husbands, children, jobs and self (; ).
In other words, the various godless viewpoints and attitudes as well as the various objects of this system which serve as temptations for sinners have seduced them away from obeying the Father which constitutes loving Him and worshipping Him.
You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (NASB95)
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