I John 2:12-18


I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. Why? Because God loves me. God loves me so much. And all He requires of me is that I love Him in return. The Gospel of I John is a book about fellowship, fellowship with God.  Following Christ is all about God’s grace. It is all about how merciful God has been to us, in sending His Son to die for our sins. What are Christians but sinners who serve God, and not because of how good they are but; because of what Jesus has done for them with His precious blood.  I challenge you to search your hearts today, because the question is: do you love God or do you love the world? And this is truly what fellowship is about, love.


The Bible says in I John 2:12, I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.” Everything that God does is for the purpose of His name’s sake. The psalmist said, “He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” All glory belongs to God. We were created for the purposes of His glory. And you will come to understand the meaning of glory, when you come to understand God’s love. “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.” It is obvious that this book of the Bible was written to the children of God; children who should love God, because Jesus forgives men of all their sins when they turn to Him. The truth is always only for those who want the truth; not for those who do not want the truth.  Do you want the truth? Do you want the love of God? Or do you want the love of the world?


This passage of Scripture deals with loving God and not loving the world.  The very first thing mentioned is the forgiveness of sins that is found in Jesus Christ. I John 2:1-2 says, My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not, And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.  Verse 12 says, I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.” Your sins are forgiven you. Do you love God or do you love the world?


The word propitiation in verse 2 refers to the fact that God has been satisfied. The need for justice and judgment for sin, the need to make atonement for sin has been satisfied in Jesus Christ. The eyes are the windows to the soul. Revelations says Jesus Christ has eyes as a flame of fire. Do you want to understand passion, judgment and love, eternal zeal; then look into the eyes of Jesus, through faith in the Word, and you will see the love of God.


There are many things that help us to love God. One of the great attributes of God is that He is a giver. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. God blesses and He blesses and He blesses. God does so much for us every day. And when we consider the hand of God in our lives; it helps us to be reassured of His love and goodness, and it helps us to love Him more. But if you truly want to love God and not the world, then it comes down to this; you must remember the forgiveness that you have in Christ. Isaiah had a vision of the holiness of God and He said, Woe am I, for I am undone, because am a man of unclean lips.” There is none righteous no not one. James 2:10 says, For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.


I don’t know how vile your sins have been, but I know that they have indeed been vile; for we are all as an unclean thing and all our righteousness as filthy rags. There is only one way to love God and to not love the world; that is by understanding your own sinfulness and valuing, appreciating, and being thankful for the gift that is found only in the blood of Jesus Christ.


The Bible says in I John 2:13-14, “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. 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.”


If you have turned from your sins and turned to Jesus, then you know the Father. You know Him, who is from the beginning; the Alpha and the Omega.  You have overcome the wicked one through faith in His Word, because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. And if you have any spiritual strength in you, it is because the Word of God abides in you. It abides in your heart and in your mind as a light that shineth in a dark place; to reveal to you the day star in your hearts. If all these things be, then you know better than to love the world.  Shame on you, if the world has a place in your heart.


Concerning those who have faith in God, the Bible says in II Peter chapter 2 that we should add to our faith: virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity. Such things only come through a growing faith and a daily feeding in the Word of God. Galatians chapter 5 lists for us the fruits of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, and temperance.” Do you love God? Is the fruit of the Spirit in your life? Are you controlled and led by the Spirit of God? II Peter 1:8-9, “For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that He was purged from His old sins.” If these spiritual qualities are not in your life, if you have a lack of love for God, if the love of the world is in your heart; then you are blind and cannot see afar off. And you have forgotten that you were purged from your old sins, by the cruel suffering on the cross of the gentle Lamb of God; who loved you and gave Himself for your sins.


I John 2:15 says “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. 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.” The word used for love in this verse is the Greek word agapa. There are several words in N.T. that mean love, and agapa speaks of the strongest form of love: a love that is spiritual in nature. We most often hear the word agapa used in a positive light. And rightly so, for that is; its primarily context in the Bible. But here in verse 15 it has a negative meaning. Spiritually speaking, you either love God or you love the Word. The church of Ephesus was chastised in the book of Revelation, because they lost their first love. The greatest commandment Jesus said is to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, mind, soul, and strength.


When we think of the word love, most of us probably also think of strong desire. And that is indeed the idea behind love. There is a big difference between “love” and “like” in a romantic sense, and it is even more so true spiritually. It is no surprise then that the word “lust” is found in verse 15 as well. A “lust” is simply a strong desire. And in fact that same word for “lust” is elsewhere translated in the Bible as “desire”, and is not always used in a negative sense. A “lust” then is a desire that is so strong that it goes contrary to the will of God and to the way God created anything in this world to operate. That is true whatever the “lust”, whether it be an emotional desire of some kind; such as sexual desire, desire for material security, or the desire to be liked by others. You can name anything in this life and it can be twisted to a perverted desire that is contrary to the way God made things to be. To lust means to covet. And thou shalt not covet. Delight thyself in the Lord and He shall give thee the desires of thy heart.


Love not the world neither the things of the World. Concerning a love for the world there are 3 things listed in verse 16: The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of live. The flesh refers to the human life without God. When God finished His creation, He said; behold it is very good. Everything in this life is good, beautiful, and pleasurable; from eating and drinking, to material possession, and sex: as long as it is all used the way God intended it to be used, which is for His glory. The lust of the eyes simply refers to that which appeals to your physical senses, in a way; that makes you do anything contrary to God’s will. It is an emphasis on the physical without giving glory or praise to God. 


These first two lusts refer to things that are physical and external. But what is the pride of life?  This word pride is elsewhere translated boastings. James 4:14-16 says, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.” The pride of life is to be unthankful. The pride of life is to think that you don’t need God. The pride of life is to not trust in God day by day, but to do things your own way and to just assume that there will be a tomorrow. The pride of life is to think you are better than you are: that is self-righteousness, and that is to be like the devil who thought he could be God. The pride of life is to not love God. Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of God.


Romans 1:28-30, And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers. Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents.  Romans 1:21, because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Romans chapter 1 describes for us the state of a man, who has departed from God and fallen into all sin. How do human beings become so enslaved in the lies of the devil, and the corruption of this world? Well Romans 1:21 says such a person, when he knew God; glorified Him not as God, neither was thankful.  Go ahead and forget that you have been purged from your own sins. Go ahead and become unthankful, go ahead and seek your own glory instead of God’s, and you will find yourself given over to a reprobate mind to do those things which are not convenient; even murder, sexual immorality, and all wickedness.


I John 2:17, “And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” Why should we not love the world or the things of the world? Because the world is temporary and all that is physical will one day pass away. But He that doeth the will of God abideth forever. And Jesus said this is the will of God, “That ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.” Remember God created this world and everything in it. There is nothing unclean of itself. Surrender all of your desires to God, give all to God, and He will give even more back to you.


I John 2:18, “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.” Do you love God or do you love the World? “It is the last time” this phrase means it is the last age, the last season, the last time period of human history. Jesus said, behold I come quickly. The world waits for you with its corrupted lusts, its many antichrists who would deceive you with their false teachings, and to lead you astray from filling your mind, heart and soul; with everything but a genuine thankfulness to God for His love and for His Son. These are the last days. The end of the world is coming and so is God’s judgment for the wicked. This is no time to love the world or things of the world. For He that loves the World has not the love of the Father in Him. The thief is come but for to kill, steal, and destroy but Jesus is come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly. More than ever this is the time to love God, and to be so thankful for Jesus Christ and the righteousness that we have gained through His precious blood. Keep the Word of God in your heart; that you might have a constant vision of the holiness of God, and a love for His great grace in forgiving you of your sins.  John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.





Copyright; 2003 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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