Whoever believes or whoever does?

25 02 2010

I’d like to go back to 1 John again and look at 1 John 2:17:

“And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever”

I thought the second half of the verse was pretty interesting as it says “whoever does the will of God abides forever.”  What if this was the only verse we had from the whole bible!?  On the surface we may believe that we would have to “do stuff” in order to get into heaven…

But let’s look at the verse in light of John 3:16.  Here we have a verse written by the same author, inspired by the same Spirit and He says there “whoever believes….[will] have eternal life.”

Here in Scripture it may almost seem like a contradiction.  What must we do to inherit eternal life? Must we just believe? Or must we do? Or must we believe then do, or do then believe? I want to make the case that these two phrases should be seen as (for lack of a better term) “synonyms”.  I should clarify: There must be a point in every believer’s life where he confesses Christ as His Lord and Savior (cf. Rom. 10:9-10). However, this “confession” is synonymous with doing the will of God for the remainder of our lives here on earth!

Do you understand what the Word of God is saying? There is no “i was saved 5, 10, 20, 50, 80 years ago, but don’t do the will of God” salvation in the Bible! To trust in Christ as our Savior is to do the will of the Father! Practically, what does this mean in our lives? Does it mean that if you struggle with sin you aren’t saved? No, not necessarily…. But it does mean that as believers, we do the will of God.  In other words, we take the very Word of God and apply it to our lives.  For some this is difficult considering they do not read the Word of God!

You see the point is that our salvation is precious! In  1 John 2:15, as discussed in my last blog, John commands us to not love the world.  So many people who profess a belief in Christ, separate that belief from action as they also in love with the world.  Sure, Jesus is precious, but so are big screen tvs, fancy cars, houses, etc. I just heard an awesome message by David Platt (which you can watch below) where he challenged Christians with the question: Is Jesus enough?  Can we look past our wealth and ourselves and really say “Christ is sufficient.”?

The whole point of this post today is to get you examining your faith to see whether or not it is an action.  Is it living? Is it working? To John, James, Peter, and even Paul, etc. a belief in Christ that did not result in action by doing the will of God would have been impossible.

My challenge to you this weekend is to show the world that there is a Way… Show the world that we do not serve a middle class American Jesus, but that we serve the God of the Universe. That doesn’t just mean we need to rearrange our time, money, talents, etc. to follow Christ.  It means we must crucify our entire lives! We must take up the Cross and follow the King of Kings!

There is so much we could go into in application: Love Christ? Join and participate in a local church (actively)! Love Christ? Forgive that person who’s wronged you. Love Christ? Tip the waiter (even if they’ve been bad). Love Christ? Follow Phil. 2:3-4…. etc. etc. etc. The Word of God reveals the truth about God and what He desires for our lives. You want to know what doing the will of God looks like? Get into the Word. God bless…

The following message by Dr. David Platt was preached in Alumni Chapel at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY on February 25, 2010.

http://www.sbts.edu/resources/chapel/chapel-spring-2010/needs-a-title/?play=true





The love of the Father is not in him

18 02 2010

1 John 2:15-

“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.”

 

Most every translation I’ve looked in translates “the love of the Father” the same way.  In the Greek the word “Father” is in the genetive case.  What that means is by this construciton we can take this phrase as most likely meaning on of two things.

First of all it may mean the “Father’s love.”  This would imply that those who love the world do not have the Father’s love in their hearts.  I think you could get a new range of meaning from this phrase – meaning  that the Father’s love for those redeemed is different than the Father’s love for those who reject Him.  At first this may seem harsh and even unbiblical but remember “Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated” (Malachi 1:3).

The second way this phrase may be interpreted is the same way one would interpret: “the love of the game”.  This doesn’t mean the “game’s love” but rather the love one has for the game.  In this sense the text would say “the love for the Father is not in him.” This would mean that those who love the world, don’t love the Father.  In other words there is a direct contradiction here: One cannot love the world and be loving the Father at the same time.

What do I think it means? When you look at 1 John and even the Gospel of John and realize that there are things that intentionally have double meaning (for instance: the “I AM” statements in John) I think you would conclude that this passage also serves as meaning two things.  Therefore, those that love the world do not have the Father’s love w/in them and they do not possess love for the Father.

In 1 John 2:17, John goes on to say that the world is passing away.  Why  would a Christian be concerned with “the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions” (v.16) when the world is soon to pass away? As Christians we are to focus on the eternal things, and not be in love with the things of this world.  We have so many “gods” that we serve in this world: money, sports, sex, jobs, traditions etc.  1 John is clear that those who love those things are not saved. Obviously none of those things are “sins” in and of themselves, BUT when we love those things instead of loving God it does become sin.

Anyway, the Bible is very telling of the hearts of people.  Those who continue to put the priorities of the world above the priorities of the Kingdom aren’t struggling with “priority” issues.  They are struggling with a heart issue and more specifically may even be struggling with a salavation issue.

I hope that it is easy for you to make God #1 in your life.  I hope that if you’ve been struggling lately with missing church, quiet times, family devotions, etc. that you would turn those things over to the Lord and ask Him to help you serve Him alone. But….

If serving the world has got you wrapped up, then it doesn’t matter how many aisles you’ve walked or prayers you’ve prayed. It may be that the love of the Father is not in you.  I hope that if you find yourself in this situation that you would turn from your sin and self even now, and trust Christ alone…

As always please contact me or comment if you have questions or insight on more discussion. God bless!