Series on “knowing and doing the will of God”
Please forgive my few weeks of hiatus but I’m back and will get you caught up to speed momentarily. For some reason I’ve been locked out of the website and today I’ve even had to go through another route to post but hopefully I can continue to figure it out. Anyway, I’m going to go back to the basic toolbox and study the will of God and the impetus of that in your life. I’m presently memorizing my way through 1st John as anyone who looks at the blog might know, but in memorizing 1 John 2:15-17 there is a closing sentence that has much tension in it. The verse is setup to deal with worldliness but if you’ve been looking at that series, hopefully you’ve pickup on the context (if not go back and study it for your benefit) and see John is actually saying a lot more than how to deal with worldliness. His point in bringing up worldliness is not at all how to deal with it but the fact of what it reveals. So let’s look at the verse we’re memorizing and understand how worldliness and doing the will of the Father correspond…or might I say collide!
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. (1 Jn 2:15–17).
(I’ll include the notes for this section from 1st John so as to hopefully bring you up to speed)
So we’ve understood from the previous section that John’s greeting states in the indicative the fact that:
12 “I am writing to you, little children,because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake.13 I am writing to you, fathers,because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men,because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children,because you know the Father.14 I write to you, fathers,because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men,because you are strong,and the word of God abides in you,and you have overcome the evil one. “
Since we have been forgiven, know and overcome (all perfects-remember why that matters) we are in a good place to move from the indicatives (the obvious) to the imperatives (the commands). If you don’t remember why the perfect tense is so prevalent In 1 John, it’s because though they are translated as past tense they have an “on-going” effect. If John just wanted to make a case that “because your sins are forgiven, or because you know him who is from the beginning or because you have overcome the evil one” as history, he could have just used an aorist. Because he chose to use a perfect tense there is an ongoing effect. DO NOT LOVE THE WORLD OR THE THINGS OF THE WORLD. IF ANYONE LOVES THE WORLD THE LOVE OF THE FATHER IS NOT IN HIM. That is a statement to be examined. If the love of the Father is not in you, what hope would you have about the future, how could you be assured that you would spend eternity with Him if you do not have His love in you? So what is it to love the world? Glad you asked because I asked and John was kind to tell us what it is and where it came from and ultimately what that means to our practical theology. Simply stated your “desires” reveal where your heart Is. Remember Jesus said “where your treasure is there your heart is also.” (Matt 6:21, Luke 12:34) What do you desire? Spurgeon put It best when he said in light of election, “do you desire to glorify Jesus Christ, then you are elect, do you not desire to glorify Jesus Christ, then you are not elect”. John explains “the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes and the pride of life are not from the Father but are from the world, and the world Is passing away along with its desires. Being made in the image of God allows that we have a free will. I’ve mentioned this before but the captain obvious statement is that though you have a “free will” it is still a slave. A slave to the flesh or a slave to the Spirit, a slave none the less. Paul explains this best In Romans 8 in light of sanctification. “By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Ro 8:3–8) On the heels of this magnum opus leaves you with the reality of what it means to truly be born again. What is your mind set on? “9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” (Ro 8:9–11) So paralleling 1 John, if you have been forgiven, you know Him who is from the beginning and you have overcome, how do you keep from loving the world…look at your desires! If you are born of God the Spirit of God lives within you and the things of this world should be losing their appeal as the Spirit of God works in you. I don’t mean to keep carrying on with this but this has been a big issue for me for a long time and Scripture has made this very clear. You were made for worship and lust in its clearest understanding is taking something that God has made as good and using it for what is not good (evil). To have (control) you’re affections. Hear me out (Think: do not be drunk on wine but be filled with the Spirit, do not be drunk on wine but be CONTROLLED by the Spirit). Money is good if it is used as God intends, Sex is good if it is used as God intends, work is good if it is used as God intends but when they control our desires…this is lust in its finest since because you are not worshipping God you are worshipping ________ (you fill in the blank). This is all revealed in our desires. What captivates your thoughts, what do you spend your time on and ultimately what do you spend your money on…this reveals your desires. Remember all these desires (flesh, eyes and pride of life) are not from the Father but are from the world-and they are passing away. Do not misunderstand or confuse as Paul explained to Timothy in 1 Tim 6:17b …”but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.” We are not stoics or masochists but we are lovers of God, not lovers of ____(see 2 Tim 3:1-9).
Now to what I really wanted us to look at “BUT whoever does the will of God abides forever.” Do you know what the will of God is? You can’t be doing it if you don’t know what it is. I might add if you don’t know what it is, and you are not doing it how will you abide forever?
We are going to spend 6 or 8 weeks studying what the “will of God is” then we can understand If we are doing it or not. I hope you’re enjoying this as much as I am. Thanks for hanging there.
Remember : Only the truth sets you free