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1 John 2:12-17

Talks for Growing Christians

A Test of Christian Fellowship: Separation from the World

1 John 2:12-17

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Lesson Number 4

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Separation from the world is a test of Christian fellowship.
    a. The standard operating procedure of this world system.
    b. The future of this world system.

Practical Application

  1. Use the word to separate from the world.

Questions

  1. See 1 John 2:1 and 1 John 2:12. The apostle John writes to “little children.” To what does this refer?
  2. See 1 John 2:13-14. List the three maturity groups into which John divides the Christian family.
  3. How are each of these groupings characterized?
  4. What is the exhortation given in 1 John 2:15-17? To whom is it addressed? Why is such an exhortation necessary?
  5. “Do not love the world or the things in the world.” (1 John 2:15). The New Testament uses the word “world” in three different ways. List these three meanings, and star the one that is meant in this reference.
  6. To whom did the Lord Jesus refer as the ruler of this world?

Answers

  1. It refers to all believers. The Greek word used here literally means, “born ones,” which conveys the idea of being born into god’s family.
  2. Fathers, young men and children. These groupings include both men and women.
  3. Fathers are characterized as mature believers; young men are characterized by vigor and combat and strength; children are characterized as babes in Christ.
  4. It is an exhortation to separate from the world, especially addressed to the young men category. This world system is appealing and attractive to this category of believers. Thus, separation from this world system becomes a test of Christian fellowship.
  5. The meanings of the word “world” - 1) the material world that God has created (Acts 17:24), 2) the world of people (John 3:16), and *3) the Satanic world system of values and attitudes that are opposed to God.
  6. He referred to Satan as the ruler of this world, the god of this world system.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Refer to 2 Corinthians 4:3-4. We are commanded in 1 John 2:15 not to love the world. In fact, it is a test of Christian fellowship. Remember, the essence of Christian fellowship is fellowship with those who love the Lord and are walking in the light.
  2. Review the areas of the standard operating procedure of the world system: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. All three of these strong areas of desire are not of the Father, but are of the world. Satan knows that we are vulnerable in all three of these areas because of our fallen, human and sinful nature. Review these desires as seen in Genesis 3:6. Recall these same desires as Satan presented them to the Lord Jesus. Eve succumbed to the temptations, but Jesus stood firm, countering the temptations with the word. Satan approaches us in the same way. Stand firm and counter with the word.
  3. A day is coming when there will be no more world system. Why are you investing so much of your time and effort in this world system? It is passing away. Consider what is going to count for eternity.

Challenge

  1. When Jesus was tempted, he quoted Scripture, “It is written… it is written… it is written.” Refer to these quotations in Matthew 4 and from the book of Deuteronomy. Do you want to overcome the wicked one? Then you must abide in the word. See 1 John 2:14. Abiding in the word means that you must know the word and it must become a part of you. Then the Holy Spirit can bring it to mind when Satan uses his world system appeal on you. Eve did not know the word and she misquoted what God had said. No wonder there was failure. What about you? How well do you know the word? How much time do you spend in the word?

Key Verses

  • “I write to you, little children…fathers…young men…” 1 John 2:12-14 “Do not love the world or the things in the world…” 1 John 2:15 “All that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the yes and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world.” 1 John 2:16 “The world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:17 (Wouldn’t you like to have this as your epitaph?)

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