1 John 2:13 to 17.
F. A. Hughes
(Extracted from Scripture Truth Vol. 44, 1971-3, pages 6-7)
I propose to speak of the meaning of the terms used in this Scripture in relation to three matters: the world; the Father; and those to whom the Scripture is addressed.
I refer first to the world. The world we are told not to love is not the people in the world that God in His infinite grace loved, but it is a system of which the character is clearly portrayed.
First, Satan is its God. In 1 John 5:19 we read that "the whole world lies in the wicked one." The world has rejected Christ; it has not a mother cradles her baby. The world has rejected Christ, it has not known the Father, it cannot receive the Spirit of God, so that it is a system completely alienated from Divine Persons in its responsibility. Next we see that the prince of this world, Satan, is judged, and the world itself is a judged system. Although the world is so attractive, it is already under the judgment of God. It is marked by the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. It is remarkable that when Babylon is judged, it is proclaimed, " God has judged your judgment upon her " (Revelation 18:20) . I particularly want you to come to a right judgment of the world in which you live. It is in God's sight less than two days since the world crucified your beloved Saviour. (2 Peter 3:8) Do you want to find all your ambition, all your hopes, all your pleasures in such a world?
Secondly, if we love the world we shall turn away from the love of the Father, for the love of the world stands in absolute contrast with the love of the Father. In the Lord's prayer in John 17, when He speaks of the world He says, "O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee." The system of this world is absolutely unrighteous, for righteousness in Scripture is that which is due to the name and honour of God, and this world knows nothing about it. When He prays about the saints, He says, "Holy Father." He wants them to be encompassed by the holy character and affections of the Father Himself.
Finally, in relation to the persons to whom these words were addressed, there are three classes of people here. We are brought into the family of God by receiving the Saviour. (John 1:12) Within that family, we find in 1 John 2 a gradation, but two features of the whole family of God are, that their sins are forgiven for His Name's sake, and that they have received the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the power for the true Christian life, and for the battleground. The victory is assured on the divine side. The desire of Divine Persons is that we should be brought into victory in the conscious sense of the Father's love which will never let us down, and will hold us to the end.
1. It is striking that this warning, "Love not the world", is addressed to those who have made real progress, that is, to young men. They need constant salvation through the written Word of God which warns of the world, promotes experience of the Father's love, and is the offensive weapon in this warfare.
2. The Lord did accept the Pharisee's invitation, but His testimony had power to dominate the situation.
3. Giving up the ways of the world is necessary to enjoy the Father's love, and the giving up and the enjoying help each other.
4. Meditate on the fact that Christ died to deliver us from the world: cultivate communion with God and the Father's love: and everything will fall into place.
5. The way to discern the will of God is (a) by prayer. (b) Scripture (c) Do not grieve the Spirit, who can lead us.
6. An acrostic of prayer in Acts: