Sunday – August 24, 2014 – Read the Word on Worship
Word On Worship – Sunday – August 24, 2014 Download / Print
1 John 2:15-17
“Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves 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 boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.”
We have been well taught that we are saved by FAITH! “Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved!” (Acts 16:31). But we have not been as well taught what saving faith is. For example, how often do we discuss the relationship between trusting Christ and loving Christ? Can you trust Him as Savior and not love Him? Evidently John doesn’t think so, because the issue in this text is whether you love God or love the world, and the result is whether you die with the world or have eternal life with God. But John knows that eternal life comes through faith.
John tells us later in 1 John 5:13, “I write this to you who BELIEVE in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.” Eternal life depends on believing in the Christ. So we go out to the world talking about the need to believe in Jesus Christ. But what is believing? If we let John speak for himself, his letter fills out what he means. When he says that not loving the world but loving God so much that we do his will is what leads to eternal life, we learn that saving faith and love for God are inseparable. Both are the path to eternal life because saving faith and love for God are the same path.
In John 5:42–44 Jesus confronts the Jewish leaders who do not believe on Him with these words, “I know that you have not the love of God within you. I have come in my Father’s name and you do not receive me … How can you believe, who receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” In other words the reason they do not receive or believe on Jesus is that they do not love God. They love the world – the glory of men – not the glory of God. So Jesus taught his apostles that where there is no love for God, there can be no saving faith.
What should we say then concerning love for God and faith in Christ? The path of victory that overcomes the world and leads to eternal life is the one path of faith toward Christ and love for God. Saving faith is part of love for God and love for God is part of saving faith. There are not two ways to heaven. There is one narrow way – the way of faith which loves God and the way of love which trusts God.