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1 Jn 2-11through18

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Journeying through the World


1 jn 2:11-18

An older woman was overheard to say about her husband and their relationship together, "I’m married to an archaeologist, and I get the feeling that the older I get, the better he likes me."

An old couple was sitting by the fireside. He looked over at her, had a romantic thought, and said, “After fifty years, I’ve found you tried and true.”

The wife’s hearing wasn’t very good, so she said, “What?”

He repeated, “After fifty years, I’ve found you tried and true.”

“After fifty years, I’m tired of you too,” she replied.

Dearest Jimmy,
No words could ever express the great unhappiness I’ve felt since breaking off our engagement. Please say you’ll take me back. No one could ever take your place in my heart, so please forgive me. I love you, I love you, I love you!

Yours Forever, Marie
P.S. And congratulations on winning the state lottery!!!

A young man wrote this to his girlfriend. “Sweetheart, if this world was as hot as the Sahara desert, I would crawl on my knees through the burning sand to come to you. If the world would be like the Atlantic Ocean, I would swim through shark infested waters to come to you. I would fight the most fiercest dragon to be by your side. I will see you on Thursday if it does not rain.”   


"I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake."

The most powerful, and perhaps the most prevalent, impulse toward Christian faith arises from a sense of guilt and helplessness in the struggle with evil. The good news of Christ is the news of free pardon to all who repent and believe. This free forgiveness of grace is set against the laborious attempts of those who, whether in pride or in despair, strive to earn God’s favor through the keeping of some law or standard. Whatever standard we set for ourselves, it is far short of God’s standard, and therefore, we left with only one hope, the
grace and mercy of God. "Little children" confess and turn away from your sin, and trust in the mercy and grace of God who will be "faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness".


"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."

A true appreciation of just how much Christ has given us and done for us is the surest of all safeguards against slipping away from faith to some superficial substitute. Paul told the Galatians about their peril in turning to "another gospel", when he said "Did your receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing with faith?... Did you experience so many things in vain?". In this verse, John appeals to the various levels of Christian experience to remind his readers how much is at stake if they turn away from the things they have heard
at the beginning, how much they stand to lose if they secede! In the fathers, the blessings of the Gospel have matured as "good wine kept until afterward". We look to mature experience for a largeness of view, a calm, untroubled depth of conviction, a clear-eyed judgement upon life, which youth cannot have. The spiritual wisdom and depth of knowledge that only come with lengthening spiritual experience are the especial blessing of the mature. Youth, on the other hand, rejoices in its strength, and most of all in its strength for conflict, in the joy of victory.


"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".

The difference of "fathers" and "young men" is the difference of wisdom and the soldiers in the Christian army. As the reward of the fathers is advancing knowledge, the fruit of experience,so the reward of the young men is victory, the prize of strength. How is it that the young have the spiritual strength for victory? The young men conquer because they are strong, and they are strong because God’s word is ever in their hearts, "the Word of God, which abideth in" them. Yet all can be surrendered by disloyalty, by letting slip the things once heard and believed.


"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"

Love means time, it is what we give ourselves to, the bible teaches us that love is the highest attribute man can attain. It is greater than faith, and greater than hope (I Cor 13). But misplaced affection can be very dangerous.
Paul said, "Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world" Love for the world takes us away from God’s service. What a privilege to be able to serve the Lord along side the apostle Paul and to be included as one of the hero’s of faith in the bible. Instead of being a blessing to untold generations of people, Demas forsook that blessing to have temporary pleasure in the world.
Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt because she could not break from the world. She left her own husband to turn back to her friends and possessions. Lot’s two unmarried daughters were taken out of Sodom but Lot could not get Sodom out of his daughters. They got Lot drunk and had sex with their own father. Lot also lost his married daughters and sons-in-law (Gen 19:14) because he had lost his testimony and "he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law". What did Lot do wrong? He "pitched his tent toward Sodom" He could of had the counsel of the great man of faith Abraham, but instead put business first.
Many people today leave the fellowship of the Church and godly friends to make more money. Then he called the wicked his brethren. When the sodomites would have raped the holy angles sent to deliver him, Lot said, "I pray you brethren, do not so wickedly" (Gen 19:7). Lot never intended to move into Sodom, he only "pitched his tent toward Sodom". Little by little Lots conscience was dulled, he was not quite as offended by the wickedness of the city after he became accustomed to it. How subtle, how stealthy, is the ruin wrought by evil company.
The rich farmer died as a fool because he lived only for this world (Luke 12) He had lived his whole life to make money and save money, then just when he decided to "take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry" God said "this night thy soul shall be required of thee; then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?" Paul warns that those who covet after money "have erred from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows" The love of money
caused the rich young ruler to turn away from Christ (Mark 10).


"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."

This is the divine summary of all the world consists of. The world "Kosmos in Greek, is the present world system and refers to the order or arrangement under which Satan has organized the world of unbelieving mankind upon his cosmic principles of force, greed, selfishness, ambition, and pleasure" (Scofield).

The lust of the flesh: for rest, for food, for pleasure, all are good if the priority is first given to God. "seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto thee". In Math 4, the devil waits until Jesus has fasted forty days and forty nights, then he said "If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread". But Jesus answered and said "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God". Do you notice how tired we are when it is time to pray or visit? We say we need our rest, but if it were something that brought us pleasure, we would be ready to go. In fact the devil uses our natural needs against us, by waiting until we are weak, then tempting us.

The lust of the eyes: to see the wonders of the world, the beauty of nature, the latest movie or television show; anything to keep us from reading the Word of God, or attending church. In verse 8 of Math 4, the devil took Jesus unto an exceeding high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and then said "All these things will I give thee, if thou will fall down and worship me", after which Jesus replied "Get thee hence Satan; for it is written Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve"

The pride of life: In II Tim 3:12, the bible says that in the last days "Men shall be lovers of their own selves". Perhaps it will be more pronounced, but it was pride that caused the devil himself to fall. when he said "I will exalt my throne above the throne of God". The Pharisee loved himself and went home unjustified (Luke 18) We are proud to be Americans, and proud to be sooners, and proud to belong to Bethel Baptist Church, but does our pride cause us to do foolish things? In mt 4:5, the devil took Jesus up into the Holy city and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said, "If thou be the Son of God; cast thyself down; for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning thee; and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone" at which Jesus said, "It is written Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God". Do you know the bible says "Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall"? What do we have that we have not received of Him ?


"And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that
doeth the will of God abideth forever"

The issue is no less one of sane self-preservation. For to build on sands that drift is to invite disaster: to love things that are bound to pass is to determine beforehand, with open eyes, that the heart shall at last be left barren and bereaved; to lay up as one’s treasure that which moth and rust and burglary will take from you is to ensure a final bankruptcy. The world has no future, says John, nor have they who love it and live for it. The transitory nature of the world imposes the obligation not to cling to it or follow its ways. In other words the urgency of the last days demands that Christians love each other more and the world far less!


This division of the epistle instructs the true believer in some significant benefits of his salvation, and, moreover, gives him the means of affirming his salvation by identifying four features of the new life he enjoys in Christ. These features are proofs of regeneration, and thus make an obvious contribution towards the purpose statement of 5:13: “that you may know you have eternal life.” The characteristics of salvation commended to the reader’s self-examination are:

a)     You have fellowship with God, because your sins have been forgiven.

b)     You are able to keep God’s commandments, because of the power of regeneration.

c)     You love fellow-believers, because of the power of regeneration.

d)     You have victory over sin in your life, because of the indwelling Word.

It is incumbent on each individual who claims to be a Christian to examine himself before Christ to confirm that his life exhibits these characteristics. If these characteristics are not present in his life, then he must recognize that he is a liar (2:4). This recognition is by no means a final denunciation, but is rather the first essential step to becoming a true, regenerate Christian (a born-from-above believer). So, I implore you, in Christian love, if you fail the test, waste no time in imploring God for forgiveness in the blood of Christ. He has promised never to reject any genuine seeker, so you have His word He will honor genuine faith in Christ for forgiveness with eternal life, and that means an eternal sonship with Him.

An alternative understanding of the argument of this division of the epistle is to see it controlled by 5:13. This approach accommodates the obvious contrasts included in this division, and sees its argument unfolding thus: Having established the fact of eternal life in its introductory section, both doctrinally and experientially, I John provides a series of proofs that confirm that the believer does in fact have eternal life.

a)     The believer’s walk distinguishes him from nonbelievers:  
i)     He walks in light, not in darkness 1:5–7
ii)     He confesses his sin, instead of denying his sin 1:8–2:2
iii)     He keeps God’s commandments, instead of breaking them 2:3–6
b)     The believer’s loves distinguish him from nonbelievers:  
i)     He loves his brother instead of hating him 2:7–11
ii)     John, parenthetically, displays his love for his brothers, thus reminding them of their standing and the basis for their own love  



[1]Mills, M. (1997, c1987). Letters from John : A study guide to I, II and III John (1 Jn 2:15). Dallas: 3E Ministries.

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