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Thursday, 29 October 2015

1 John 2:15-17 - How to defeat worldliness?

John’s remedy for worldliness is to love the Father and to obey his commandments. So affection for God and faithfulness to God are the opposite of worldliness. This is a reminder that mere abstinence from certain practices is not an appropriate response to the dangers of worldliness. We all can see that certain activities are wrong and, in a sense, it is easy to abstain from such outward actions. It is essential in defeating worldliness to undergo constant renewal of our heart and mind, of our affections and understanding.

The first antidote to a worldly spirit is fellowship with the Father. In the verses prior to this text John had reminded his readers that the mark of those he categorises as spiritual children, or those young in the faith, is that they know the Father. Fellowship with the Father is a basic feature of the Christian life.

Fellowship with the Father is a way of saying that an unworldly Christian spends time with God. If a believer does not spend time with God, then he is a worldly person, whatever his abstinences from outward activities. The way such fellowship is expressed is by communion with God. An unworldly Christian is often in the presence of the Father, enjoying the atmosphere created by the Father’s love.

The second antidote to a worldly spirit is obedience to the will of the Father. These commandments are summarised in the Ten Commandments and in passages such as the Sermon on the Mount. An unworldly Christian will desire to obey God from the heart and such a person will want to obey God positively (practice what God requires) and negatively (refuse to do what God forbids).

There are many commandments to obey and a spiritually healthy Christian will take each one of them seriously. Biblical principles and applications of divine commandments have to be made regarding every situation of life. We have to assess each situation according to God’s Word.

Worldliness is inappropriate for Christians because it is an attitude that belongs to what is temporary, to what is passing away. In contrast, those who follow Jesus focus on matters that have eternal consequences. They develop attitudes and engage in activities for which they will receive a gracious commendation from Jesus in the future, with a reward that will be eternal in its effects.

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