Today, we read 1 John 2:3-18 and ask ourselves this question, “If I claim to know God, do I obey Him?”
19 Like a broken tooth or a lame foot
is reliance on the unfaithful in a time of trouble.
Test #1 Do you walk in His light?
1 John is full of Salvation Tests. The first one is 1:7, “If we walk in His light, as He is in the light [all things visible], we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”
Test #2 Do you know God and obey Him?
The second test is 2:4, “Whoever says, ‘I know him [God],’ but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.” John goes on to say that a person who obeys His word is made complete in God’s love. “Complete” means to fulfill, to accomplish, and to consummate (in character). We become like Jesus. 1 John 4:17b says, “In this world we are like Jesus.”
Test #3 Do you live as Jesus lived?
Test #3 is verse 6, “Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus lived.” A pastor had a 16 year old son who had long hair. His dad asked him to get it cut. The son replied, “Jesus had long hair.” The pastor shot back, “Yeah, and he walked everywhere He went, too.” I’m thinking John was referring to character traits, don’t you? Jesus lived full of grace and truth. These are our goals, as well.
One example given is hating a brother or sister in Christ. Hating involves judgement, of which Jesus said not to do (Matthew 5:43-45, 7:1-5). Jesus also said that in forgiving our brother, we are made perfect (Matthew 5:48). Now, where have we seen that word before…!
Verses 12-14 resemble a song to me. It’s a way of memorizing doctrine.
- Children (verse 1)- Their sins have been forgiven on account of His name.
- Fathers (refrain)- They know Him who is from the beginning (a teaching on the transcendence and immanence of God through Christ).
- Young Men (verse 2)- They have overcome the evil one (in Jesus’ name).
- Children (verse 3)- They know the Father.
- Fathers (refrain)- Repeat.
- Young Men (verse 2b)- The word of God lives in them plus previous verse.
Verses 15 and 16 are test #4.
15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.
Test #4 Do you love the world?
- Do you feed the lust of your flesh–that which makes you feel good regardless of its morality or the lack thereof?
- Do you feed the lust of your eyes–looking with avarice in your heart, or lust, or hate, and coax it to grow within you?
- Do you feed your pride–that which makes you feel above others, satisfied with life, and having no need for God?
It is at this point that we must ask ourselves who we want to please: God or ourselves? If we want to please God, then we must obey Him concerning these three vices. If we want to please ourselves, then we cannot, should not, and must not claim to know God as our Father.
We choose sin because it seems to be the better option for us than what God is offering. BEWARE! “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death/destruction” Proverbs 16:25. John gives us this promise in verse 17, “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” Now, THAT’S A PROMISE!
The three lures, lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, are three of Satan’s biggest tricks in his bag–and, oh, what tricks! Virtually all sins fall under these three headings. Satan even used them on Jesus–but, to no avail. See Luke 4:1-13. Why? Because His “better option” was far above what Satan had to offer. Ours is, too, if we study and believe what God has said in His Word.
Today, look at every temptation you run across through the lens of verses 15-16 and identify those temptations according to the BIG THREE. It’s an interesting exercise! Let me know how it goes.
Abba, I pray for my readers today that they would enjoy looking at the world through Your eyes as they identify the traps of Satan and their own tendencies toward sinful behavior. May You fill them with Your joy and peace; may they revel in the knowledge and security of their salvation; may Your presence and participation in their lives eliminate their desire to seek after other things. Me, too, LORD. Amen.