Overcoming the World–Part 2

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. I John 2:15

In this verse, we see the second reason why believers should overcome the world. Love of the world conflicts with love of the Father. The Scripture draws a hard line here, it is impossible to divide our affection between the world and God.

While the love of God may be shared with other believers through koinonia, it cannot be shared with the world. As I stated in an earlier post in this series, it is both possible and desirable that Christians should maintain fellowship with unbelievers, (we will never reach them otherwise) we cannot enjoy the same level of fellowship with them that we do with God and the brethren.

The “world” here, of course, refers to the world system. It is descriptive of all that is produced and affected by the world. This would include materialism, secular culture, humanistic philosophy, religion and power. John was familiar with the pull of the world:

  1. As a commercial fisherman he was familiar with the temptation of prosperity.
  2. As a conquered Jew he was familiar with the temptation of political power.
  3. As a disciple of Christ he was familiar with the temptation of popularity vs persecution.
  4. As a bishop of Ephesus he was familiar with the temptation of worldly philosophy.

Loving the world produces negative consequences in the life of a Christian. It will cause them to forsake fellowship with Christ and other believers. It will cause them to become a respecter of persons, seeking the favor of men more than that of God. It will cause them to be overcome by their pursuit of pleasure and possessions. And it will prevent them from being able to please their heavenly Father.

This does not mean that we should not own or even enjoy the things that are in the world. It is impossible to live without the things of the world (some of them, anyway). We are not, however, to let them steal our affection away from God. He is to be the love of our life. With all that we are, we are to turn our hearts toward Him.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus.

Look full in His wonderful face.

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,

In the light of His glory and grace.

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13 responses to “Overcoming the World–Part 2

  1. Love of the world conflicts with the love of the FATHER. I believe that if a man has the desire to gain more knowledge about GOD then he will not let the things of the world stand in his way! The old saying [If you can’t run with the big dogs ,then stay on the porch !] What I mean by that is that so many will exhaust themselves with the things of the world and neglect carrying their families to church on Sunday ! Another saying they use is [THE LORD MADE THE 7TH DAY FOR REST ] [ BUT IF THEY STUDIED WHAT THE SCRIPTURES TEACH THEY FORGET THE REST OF WHAT THE LORD SAID- THAT IT ALSO WAS A DAY TO COME TOGETHER IN FELLOWSHIP WITH ONE ANOTHER AND WORSHIP ME !] BLESSINGS. RON.

  2. Excellent post, Gordon. You’re so right, too, about koinonia. We can’t fellowship with nonbelievers like we do with likeminded brothers and sisters in the Lord.

    Love that song, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus. Praying that “the things of this world will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”

    Thanks, Gordon.

    Blessings,
    Vicki

  3. it is getting though to this thick brain of mine , about fellowship,
    we can have fellowship with the nonbeliver, but just not on the same ground as beleivers!

    I still think it is sad!

  4. Ron and Vicki, thanks for your thoughts.

    Janice, fellowship is about joy, not sadness. When I talk about our fellowship with unbelievers being limited, I am not speaking about time or what we do with them. The fact is, unbelievers don’t have a relationship with Christ which is the basis of the greatest fellowship.

    I can spend a day with an unbeliever and still have a great time, and not do anything wrong. Yet I will not reap the spiritual benefit that I would if I spent that same time with a believer, because both of us know Christ. This involves Christ in the fellowship.

    Jesus, himself, was known as the friend of sinners. He spent time with them, ate with them and helped them. Yet in John 15, He encouraged the disciples to remain in fellowship with Him.

    The purpose of my series through I John is not to keep us from fellowshipping with unbelievers, but to show the higher quality of fellowship that we can have with the children of God.

  5. Gordon, I didn’t mean to say that fellowship was sad,

    What I wanted and meant to say it was sad that we don’t all have a relationship with God

  6. Yeah, it is definitely sad when people we love are not believers. It doesn’t mean we love them less or that we don’t enjoy time spent with them, but as Gordon said, there is still a qualitative difference because the believer’s ultimate allegiance is to Christ, whereas the nonbeliever’s is not.

    That should spur us all the more to pray for them and to be “salt and light.”

  7. I’ve got what you mean now, Janice. Sorry if I misunderstood you.

    Thanks for sharing, Bobby. You are right, of course. BTW, I’ve been enjoying some of your hymns.

  8. it wasn’t you, it was me

    I have a hard time putting in to words what i’m thinking, if that makes any cent đŸ™‚

  9. Love that song…and you know focusing our eyes on Him gives us a certian wide-eyed wonder about all of life, we can see the world through His eyes which changes eveything…

  10. Very sound thoughts.

    It is very easy to love the world.

  11. Good to read all your thoughts, just wanted to remind you all that evangelization is what God needs us to do, after a Christian has overcome the three enemies: the world, the flesh and the devil is a fully armored soldier of God and he will go to war right in the first line and that is the unbelievers territory.
    Love, Faith, Compassion.
    Michael

  12. I would like to comment on rbj’s comment about the Sabbath.
    It is so NB for us to worship God especially on HIS Holy day the Sabbath. But is the Sabbath truly Sunday? God created the world in 6 days and rested the 7th (Sabbath). When Jesus was born into this world, He was born to a Jewish family. Jews worship on Saturday (Sabbath). When Christ was Crucified, it was on Good Friday as we like to call it . HE rested in the tomb on Saturday (Sabbath) and rose again on Sunday. Does this not imply heavily that we are worshiping Christ on the wrong day? Remember my Sabbath day to keep it HOLY. 6 days shalt you labour and do all your works, but the 7th day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. Exodus 20: 8.
    God is calling HIS people to true worship. Will you worship HIM in truth?

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