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One John Chapter Two verses 15 to 17

1 John 4:15-17

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

The love of the Father is in us if we love something other than the world. It flows through us to the object of that love. What love we give is magnified by the love of God in us and flowing thought us. Like tracer bullets preceding an artillery shell, when we are loving what God loves and doing what He is doing we become a conduit for His love. His love in in us and works through us.

"Cravings of sinful man"

->  "lust of his eyes"
->  "boasting of what he has and what he's done"

Seems like a progression, a scale. If we entertain the craving we progress on to lust. When lust has run it's course we boast of our conquest. Lust is no small thing - its a powerful, burning emotion that runs counter to our rational/logical thinking. "Crimes of passion". It says in proverbs "in your heart do not envy sinful man" - do not be driven to envy through their prideful boasting in their conquests. Like a teenager listening to the latest story from his friends about drunken parties and teenage sex.

Verse seventeen wraps things up. The world will pass away and by implication so will sinful man since it is only the man who is obedient to God that will live forever. Loving God is linked to obeying His commands/doing His will.

There is an encouragement here - the craving and lust of the sinful world is passing away. It is temporary. A time will come when the trial by fire will be over. The prideful boasting of sinful men is empty as what they are boasting about will come to an end. Why envy a balloon with no substance?

The NASB/KJV speak of "the lust of the flesh" / "lust of the eyes" / "boastful pride of life". The NIV differs in that it omits pride - as though the critical thing is boasting. It suggests that non-boastful pride may be a good thing - a right level of satisfaction in a job well done. What is the object of our pride - empty things that are passing away or the timeless things of God?

If we are proud of following God's will and loving Him, what we are proud of is not perishing and will live forever. It is not an empty or boastful pride.

Boastful

Key phrases that stand out: "EXCESSIVE" and "GLORIFY ONESELF"

The big difference

Satisfaction in a job well done vs. crowing about it and blowing it up to be more than it is and thereby bringing glory to oneself for doing it. The man who does the will of God will always glorify God. He doesn't take excessive pride in things (possessions, ministries, miracles, etc) but diligently loves God and does His will. He can, however, has a sense of satisfaction and receive the correct measure of accolade knowing that the glory is God's. This is someone who will live forever - in a literal sense, in God's presence, and figuratively too: the man will be known for what God has done through him, God is glorified and the man is remembered as being a faithful servant alongside that. For example: Hudson Taylor, Spurgeon and Wesley.

The pre-requisite for entering God's history books is a diligent love for God and obedience to His will, to not love the world and a commitment to resist it's cravings, lusts and prideful boasting.

One John Chapter Two verses 18 to 28

 

by Paul Hawke