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1st John 2:1-17

Part 2 

Loving One Another

 

          "Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye have from the beginning.  The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning."  (verse 7)  The Word of God, what you've heard of the gospel, what you know.  "Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth." (verse 8) And it sounds like double-speak but it's not.  'It's not a new commandment, you know what you're supposed to do, you know the things of Christ, and particularly in regards to loving one another.  Particularly about letting him be the Lord of our lives.'  But it's new in this sense.  He says "Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you"-within the realm of your personal living relationship with Christ, there's always newness, he's saying, because, King James says, 'the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth."-the tense is, 'the darkness is presently passing away and the true light is now shining.'  What he says is, in our lives and in our personal walk with Christ, more and more the darkness is passing away and the light is shining.  I mean, I know more about Christ now than I did in 1972 when I got saved.  But more importantly, I know the presence of his Spirit more intimately now.  I'm more familiar with his Word than I was then.  And the truth is, I sin less, but I repent more, as I go on with Christ.  I sin less, but I repent more.  You know, when you first get saved, the biggies go.  You know, drugs, immorality, knockin' people out, you know, just those things that Christians should not have attached to them.  But you know as you go on, and you grow in grace and the knowledge of him, you're in a process where the darkness is passing, he's brought you out of darkness and into the light, and the light is increasing, and you realize-'Hey, wait a minute Lord, that attitude is wrong.'  The fact that I repeated that to someone, 'Lord forgive me, I shouldn't have said that, I should have just put that brush-fire out.'  'Lord, this hatred I have.'  You know, as we go, it's always something new.  [The late Dr. Bill Bright called it "Breathing in and out with the Lord", a constant process of confessing our sins, and repenting, like breathing in and out with the Lord.]  It's not a new commandment, but it's new, he says "in you and in him." in that relationship.  Because in the process, darkness is passing away and light is shining. 

          "He that sayeth he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now." (verse 9)-is constantly in the process of hating his brother, is in darkness even until now.  If someone's life is characterized by bitterness and hatred, they're walking in darkness, not in the light.  They're not walking in fellowship with Jesus, who's our advocate, who's made propitiation for our sins, who's provided forgiveness.  And this is even talking about Christians.  Remember back in 2nd Peter, he says "he that lacketh these things," talking about temperance, patience, godliness, virtue, diligence, faith.he says "he that lacketh these things is blind and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten"-talking about a believer-"that he was purged from his old sins."  He's forgotten, he has no perspective, he can't see where he's going, he's forgotten where he himself has come from.  What John says here is, we're in the process of living in bitterness and hatred-and look, if you are bitter at someone here tonight, and you are hating someone tonight, listen, you can get past that.  I don't care if it's somebody who's sexually abused you as a child, I don't care if it's a best friend who's stabbed you in the back-you can get past that, or God is not on the throne and his Word does not mean what it says.  You can get past it.  Oh, there's a cost involved.  That's to set aside your will, and to submit to his.  That's for sure.  But you can get past that.  Because he says, if you're doing that, you're in darkness, you can't see where you're going, and you've forgotten the same blood had to be shed to cleanse you, as this other sinner you're so mad at.  So he says, "Whoever is like that, he's walking in darkness even until now." 

          "He that loveth his brother abideth in the light,"-notice verse 10, that's not "he that sayeth", this is a person that's doing it, he that agape, he that's loving his brother sacrificially, is presently in the process of abiding in the light-"and there is no occasion of stumbling in him."  If you're loving the way Christ wants us to love, and he says, "as I have loved you", remember, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."  "Love one another the way I have loved you" says that if we're loving that way, we are in the light, and then because we're in the light, we're not going to stumble over anything.  And the word "stumble" there, [Strongs Greek # 4625] skandalon, it was a piece of the trap in this culture where the bait was attached, someone who is a trapper, was setting a trap for an animal, would attach, like a bear trap where you put the bait in the center, that was the skandalon.  And it says, if we understand how he wants us to love one other, and it's with a self-sacrificial love, it's without strings attached, and it's hard, and it can't happen except through his Spirit, and through his enabling, and through our dependence on him-but if we love one another like that, it says that we're in the light, and we're not going to be stumbled.  Because a little thing goes off, where Satan wants to put the bait on the trap is not going to, you know, turn us away.  You know, of all of the people that are closest to me in this world, and closest to me here where I work there isn't a single one of them that hasn't hurt my feelings.  There's not a single one of them that wouldn't take a bullet for me.  There's not a single one of them who would have hurt my feelings if they knew they were hurting my feelings.  And I'm always willing to step past that.  And when someone is deliberately trying, then I'm in the process of thinking, 'What's wrong with them?'  'What's wrong in their life that they would be this vindictive or this angry?'  Don't let me get into the ring, don't let me put the gloves on.  If you put the gloves on, you get into the ring, you have just become a participant instead of a spectator.  The best thing to say is 'Lord, let me be a spectator, let me stand outside the ring and look at this and say 'Man, this is crazy, Lord, help me get through this.''  Don't get personally involved.  "But he that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is no occasion of stumbling in him.  But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes." (verses 10-11)  Hatred is one of the things he warns us of here.  He tells us he doesn't want us to sin.  He tells us if we know that we know Christ, that in our hearts we really want to keep his commandments, if we walk with him.  One of the things that makes it evident that we're not walking with him is if we're not in the light because we're filled with hatred, we're filled with anger, we don't love one another.

          Now, one of the things he warns about is the world.  He says "I'm writing to you that you sin not".and he begins to warn Christians about the world, and loving the world and the fact that that can be a downfall and it can hurt the fellowship that we should have with one another.  Verse 12 he says, "I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake."  And I'll read these verses, because again it sounds a little like doublespeak.  "I write unto you little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake.  I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning.  I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one.  I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father." (verse 13)  Again, "I write unto you little children"-is born-ones again.  That's to all of us.  To all of us who have experienced a new birth he says this, 'I'm writing unto you, those of you that are born from above, because your sins are forgiven,'  and the idea is, they are permanently put away.  Those are the tenses.  Your sins have been forgiven once and for all, you that are born-ones.  And that, he says, 'for his name's sake', because he's the propitiation for our sins, not just for our sins alone, but for the sins of the whole world, he satisfied God's justice.  'So I write unto you children, born ones, so we have access, he's our Father, he's our Father.  I always want my kids to have access.  You know, one of the things that makes the office busy and noisy sometimes is I feel like all the guys who work there, their kids should be able to walk right in, and their wives should be able to walk right in.  I don't want their kids growing up with a wrong impression of what a father should be-they're church kids, they live here half their lives you know-but I want them to think 'I always had access to my father.'  And I don't want any secretaries to say 'You can't go in there, he's talking.'  At least with my kids, if they open the door and I'm talking to somebody or somebody's there crying, or a husband and wife are there rolling on the floor strangling each other, or something [laughter], they understand, they shut the door and they go.  I always want them to have access.  We're born-ones, we're in the family now.  And we always have access to the Father.  And we're forgiven for his name's sake, our sins have been completely forgiven once and for all.  And he says 'I'm writing to you because of who you are, I'm writing unto you fathers, those of you who have been in the faith longer, because you have known him from the beginning.'  And you know, the interesting thing is of course, we grow in Christ.  You're in Christ a year, two years, five years, ten years, twenty years, you start to be amazed as time goes on the Deity of Jesus Christ, with who he is, with what he's done, with the price that he's paid, with the incarnation, that he's come and subjected himself to his own creation, that he bore our sin.  He says, 'I write unto you fathers, those who know him from the beginning, I write unto you, young men-thirty year olds in this culture-because you have overcome the wicked  one, I mean, you've made that step, you're in your youth, you're not compromising, you've overcome the wicked one.  And then [he says in verse 13] 'I write unto you little children', he uses a different word than 'born ones', verse 12 seems like he's writing to everybody, now  it seems he's writing to folks in the church with a different level of maturity.  He says, 'I write unto you, little children,'-we get pediatric from that, from that word, it's a different word than little children up further [i.e. up further to verse 12 and before], and it means those who are under instruction.  You know, new believers, in one sense, there's some great stuff about new believers, I mean when they're just asking about everything.  They don't know the difference between an epistle and an apostle.  They don't know how many points Calvin has or doesn't have.  They don't know who Armenian is.  They're just on fire for Jesus, they love Jesus, they're asking questions, 'Oh really?! Show me that.  Where's that?  Oh, I love that song!  Oh, I love to go to church, I love the hug part.  And everything's brand new.  You see, sadly, as Christians mature, 'Oh, we're not singing this song again.  Don't sit over there, because when they hug this one always wants to hug and I don't feel like hugging.'  'I write unto you young ones, who are under instruction,' he says, 'because you know the Father.'  You're amazed with just the very open time in the life of a young child under instruction [and it's the same way with a new believer].

 

What we're producing in the church a spiritual fast-food culture

Now again, "I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning."  Now, very important.  I have written unto you young men, because ye are strong,"-and he adds the secret of their strength-"and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one." (verse 14)  The secret of their strength, the Word of God abideth in you.  You know, people come for counseling, they've got these problems, and you talk to them, and I'll say "Are you spending any time in the Word?"  "Oh yeah."  "Well how much?"  "Well, you mean every day?"  "Yeah, today, how much?"  "Well, it's not daily, sometimes it's daily bread, but it's not daily."  And one of the first things you try to find out is, 'Hey, are you spending time in the Word?', because if you're spending time in the Word, then the Word is spending time in you.  It's alive and it's powerful and sharper than a two-edged sword.  It's not laying their static.  If you're spending time in God's Word, something is happening in your life.  If you spend an hour a day in God's Word, and you're thirty years old now, or you're sixteen years old now, what are you going to be like by the time you're 70?  You're going to be a treasure for God's Church and God's people, and your family and your grandchildren.  "I write unto you young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one."  Where does strength come from?  Abiding in the Word, and letting the Word abide in you.  [You see, there's an interaction between the Holy Spirit who indwells you and the Word of God when you read it, one enabling the other, making the Word come alive within you.  The Jewish scribes that make the Torah scrolls, both historically and now, have a special calligraphy for the Hebrew letters they use in some of the Torah scrolls they write for the synagogues, and the letters appear to have flames coming off of them, symbolizing the Living Word of God, God breathed.  God's Word lives in a believer when it is mixed with the indwelling Holy Spirit within that believer in some mysterious way that brings spiritual life and strength into that Holy Spirit indwelt believer.]   It produces health.  We know all kinds of things about health now, you take supplements now, not just vitamins anymore, metabolic enhancers, you take all of these different things they're discovering-co-enzyme Q10 does this for your heart, and if you take acetocartatene.improve the mitacondria of your cells.there's like all of this stuff out there.  And they're constantly finding out more and more.  And now, all this stuff that's in vegetables, they're finding that out, so I can take a pill and not have to eat the vegetables-I was never really big on vegetables, with all the polyphenols and bioflavinoids, now I can get them in a pill form.  You know we're finding out all this stuff for the physical frame.  Well spiritual health is produced through your spiritual diet, and what we're producing in the church a fast-food culture, we're MacDonald-sizing or whatever that movie is [Super-size Me].  In our culture, one of the problems is, we're producing poor health because of fast-food restaurants, drive-through restaurants.  And there's no meat, no wholesome healthy diet that's being produced [or there's no vegetables, and poor meat loaded with fat].  Well the same thing's happening in the church.  Churches are filling people with their overhead projectors, and the rock music, and they have the best of this, and they have CEO's from corporations coming in, and famous people, and it becomes an entertainment center, it becomes a multimedia center-because you sit in front of your multi-media center all week and you have surround-sound and you have the Big Screen now, and the Big Screen now is High Definition, you never just watch a regular old TV anymore.  But I read something about hi-definition TV's, this report that said when they put hummingbirds in front of this hi-definition television for awhile, they lose their way, they can't find out when the let them go, the emf's are high enough.  And when they put porpoises in front of a hi-definition television their sonar doesn't work right afterward, and you see people just sitting in front of those things and afterwards they're just wandering around.[laughter]  But then, you know, when we come to church, we're bored.  'I mean, I went to church, that guy's sitting there with a book open [laughter], and he talks.  It's because this industry out there is called "Amusement".  Muse the word from the Latin to think.  Amuse means to not to think.  It's the biggest industry in the country, making you "not think".  And we're producing fast-food diets in the church now, across America.  And you deserve to come here and be fed, that's what Jesus said.  ["Feed my lambs, feed my sheep"]  And he said it to Peter, and he said it to John, "If you love me, feed my sheep.  You deserve to come and get the Word of God, chapter by chapter, verse by verse, Paul said "I didn't neglect to declare unto you the whole counsel of God."  Isaiah said "here a little, there a little, line upon line, precept upon precept."  Jesus said "Father, sanctify them through thy truth, thy Word is truth."  And all through the Scripture we hear how important the truth is, and not to turn away from the truth.  And the church and the world we're living in doesn't want to hear about truth.  And the church is becoming an entertainment center.  And in the long-term that fast-food diet is going to produce the same unhealthy fat, lazy Christians with bad cardiac heart problems, and in the spiritual realm they're going to look the same way-pubitatus, not doing anything, not walking.  Jesus is walking, it says.  "The Word of God abideth in you."  Martha, busy, busy, busy-Mary, sitting.  You know, spend time-I can't give you any better advice than to spend time in the Word.  Never come here and believe what I say [without reading in the Word to see if those things be so], if you do, you are foolish.  Paul said the Bereans were more noble because they searched the Scripture to see if the things he preached were true or not.  That's your responsibility, Acts 17:11.  It should be written in the first page of your Bible, it should say Acts 17:11.

 

"These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so" Acts 17:11.

 

You should search the Scripture, you have an open Bible.  You have to see if I'm telling you the truth.  What if you come here and I tell you "Let's go wait on the hill for the flying saucers, the mother-ship is getting close".  "Hey, it's not in here", you'd tar and feather me and run me outa here.  What a great privilege we have to study the Bible chapter by chapter and verse by verse [which is the way Calvary Chapel's study and  preach from the Word of God.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/pom/philofmin.htm].  How long will we have it?  If Christ tarries, how long will it be before we're persecuted for believing and teaching and embracing the things on this page.  I don't know.  It's happening in many other places.  [Some pastors in Canada have been locked in jail for preaching the clear teaching about proper morality and that homosexuality, along with any immorality is wrong.  Shame on you, government of Canada!]  "But I've written unto you young men because you are strong, the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one."  You've had victory over the enemy through the Word of God, and he says this now.

 

Warning About the World

 

          "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.  If any man love 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 pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof, but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." (verses 15-17)  Love not the world, it's very interesting.  It's [in the] emphatic, and it says "stop considering the world precious", that's what the Greek says.  It's assuming that we already struggle with that.  And he's telling us there's another world.  We've come from darkness to light.  God has given us his Word, and we can have victory over this world, and the prince of this world, called the devil.  "So stop" he says "loving this world.  Stop considering it precious.  And don't love the world or the things that are in the world.  Now, the world, what's he talking about?  You're supposed to hate the Earth and wish you were on Mars?  Ah, stop loving the world.  You know, John says a little further on, "he who has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need", and he's talking about the material world.  And he uses the same word.  John uses the word world, cosmos, in his writings, more that the rest of the New Testament combined, more than anyone.  He says here, "Stop loving the world."  What's he talking about?  Because he says "God so loved the world, same word [cosmos] that he gave his only begotten Son, so that whoever believes on him should never perish and have everlasting life."  There, he's talking about the world of humanity.  God so love the world, the world of humanity.  There's the material world.  He speaks of the world that is the literal physical world, and God made this, it's God's creation and there's beauty there, and John appreciates that.  But here he's talking about the world of men's standards and values, and he says it in 16, "All that is of the world."  This is the world he's talking about, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father, it's of the world.  So stop loving the that world, in that sense.  Because if any man is filled for the love of the physical, the material, the sensual, it says the love-not for the Father-but the love of the Father is not in him.  Remember he said, same author, John in John chapter 14, he says "if a man love me, he will keep my words, and my Father will love him, and we-Jesus says-me and my Father will come and make our abode in him.  He only uses that word "abode" twice in his writings.  Earlier in the chapter he says "You believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father's house are many mansions, many abodes.  If it were not so, I would have told you.that where I am you may also be."  He's been preparing a place for us now for 2,000 years.  What is that like?  He created the heavens and the earth in six days.  And they're pretty amazing.  What's the place he's been fixing up for us for 2,000 years?  He says, 'What I'm asking of you is, if you will keep my commandments, the word that I give you, and the Father will love you, and I and the Father, we will come and make our mansion in you.  Now it's funny, because I look in the mirror and think I'm a fixer-upper.  He says 'you're a mansion'.  He says, this is what it's all about for us.  The world, and all of the beauty, the physical cosmos, all of that was just the stage for the romance of redemption to be worked out for God in time and eternity to take a Bride for his Son.  And it will all pass away and be rolled up like a scroll, an old rag [and be recreated, both heavens and earth, cf. Revelation 21:1], the Bible says.  [And then the New Jerusalem will come down out of heaven, and be placed in the area that is now the Middle East, on the recreated planet earth.  Read Revelation 21:1-17.  That is the mansion of the saints, gonna be 1,500 miles square and that distance high, rising up from the earth.]  But when he sees Christ in us, and he sees our hearts turn towards him, it says "then he comes" and the verse before that says "and we will manifest ourselves to you."  It's talking about reality, knowing Christ.  And then he says "the Father and I, we will come and make our mansion in you."  Seems like a bad trade, doesn't it?  We get saved, our sins get forgiven, and we're headed to glory, to go to a mansion in heaven [in the kingdom of heaven, biblically] that's unimaginable, and he did all the work and paid the price, and went under God's wrath for us to pay for our sin, and he gets us for his mansion.  But he says here "If you love the world, if you're drawn away by how sensual and pleasurable the world is, and it is, and you're heart is there," he said, "then the love of the Father finds no room in you."  God's heart is infinite, he can love all of us individually.  Our heart is not infinite, we can only have a certain amount of attractions in it.  And Jesus says, if we get caught up with the cares of this life and the riches of this world, it chokes the Word, there's not enough room.  Here it says, "if we stop loving the world, and we really look to the things of God, the Father finds great place in us then, in us and through us to this lost world."  "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world"-he says in verse 17, look-"passeth"-'eth' in the King James tells us that it's in the tense of "the world is presently passing away."  Where are you building your future?  This world, this ball of dirt, is presently passing away.  The price of gas is never going to be where you want it to be.  [that's a bit prophetic, since this sermon was given in 1996, and look where the price of gas is now in 2006!]  I remember when I could fill up my gas tank for two bucks (well, then it was my father's gas tank).  And that was a big boat, too.  I remember when Burger Chef, before Burger King, across from Northeast High School, when you could get a hamburger for ten cents, and a cheeseburger for 15 cents.  I told my kids, you could pull up there with a twenty dollar bill and say "Give me 200 hamburgers."  [laughter] This world, this economy, this morality, the societies of this world, it's in the process of failing, of disintegrating.  The world, the present world with its standards, moral standards are being devaluated.  All we have to do is look around us.  There's a greater gulf between darkness and light than there has ever been.  The world, he says, is presently passing away.  Why put all of your affection there?  'The world is passing away, and the lust thereof'-and it's being caused to pass away-"but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.'  (17) Now this is what he says, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life-that's what takes us down.  From the Garden of Eden, Eve saw the lust of the eyes, and it was good to the taste, the lust of the flesh.  To make one wise, the pride of life.  Satan got Eve alone and he appealed to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life to take her down. 

 

James 4:1-7, "From whence come wars and fightings among you?  Come they not hence, even of you own lusts that war in your members?  Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.  Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.  Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?  Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.  Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?  But God giveth more grace.  Wherefore he said, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.  Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

 

When God said to the children of Israel, Deuteronomy 17, 'When you come into the land that I'm going to give you, and you chose a king, see that he's not a foreigner, but one of your brethren, and there's three things that I'm going to ask.  I don't want him to multiply wives'-lust of the flesh-'I don't want him to multiply gold and silver to himself'-pride of life, lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes-'and I don't want him to go back to Egypt and multiply horses'-pride of life, military strength.  Satan comes to Jesus in the wilderness to tempt him, and says, "Since you're the Son of God, turn these stones into bread."-the lust of the flesh, hunger-he shows him all the kingdoms of the world and says 'all of these are yours, if you will bow down and worship me I'll give them to you.'-lust of the eyes-He says to Jesus, there's the pinnacle of the temple, you're the Son of God, Scripture says that he'll give his angels charge over thee to bear thee up lest you dash your foot against a stone, cast yourself down, make a grand entrance, and everybody will know you're Messiah.'-pride of life.  And in all three places, when that temptation came, Jesus said, "It is written."  'Since you're the Son of God', and got him at his weakest point.  You ever notice the devil does that?  He doesn't wait till you're really doing great.  No he's there all the time to hassle us, and he doesn't personally do it, he's got his minions.  But when you're having a really terrible week, and life has really fallen apart, and things really stink, and you feel like throwing in the towel, you feel like giving up.  The devil doesn't say, 'Oh the poor Christian, I'm going to leave them alone till they get back on their feet, because I love a fair fight.'  No, that's when he pours it on.  Jesus hadn't eaten for forty days, it says at that point his body was breaking down, he's given to hunger, he could feel the hunger, and Satan comes and says 'Hey, hey, you're the Son of God.  This is the way God treats his own kid?  Since you're the Son of God, turn these stones into bread.'  Jesus could have turned the whole wilderness into a bakery.  He could have Crispy Crème'd all of Judea if he wanted to.  [laughter]  He could have turned Satan into bread, that's what I'd have done.  And what he says to him is, 'You know what?  I don't have to be the Son of God to whup you.  Man doesn't live by break alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'  He did that for us and on our behalf.  And he said to the devil, 'All I have to be to beat you is a man who is filled with the Spirit and submitted to the Word of God.'  'Man, doesn't live by bread alone.'  And in all three places, he quoted the Scripture.  Let me tell you something.  If Satan comes to him, because the Spirit descended from heaven, he heard the voice from heaven say 'This is my beloved Son in whom I'm well pleased', he [Satan] says forty days later, 'Well, since you are the Son of God'-it's not "if", the class condition in the Greek, it's "since you're to Son of God, do this."  No doubt about it.  And the temptations he came to Christ with were the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.  That means, those are the best three things he has in his arsenal.  If he used those three things in Eden, and he used those three things against the Son of God, you can be sure those are the three things that will come against you-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life.  The lust of the flesh may be tougher when we're sixteen, seventeen, eighteen.  But the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life are there-the lust of the eyes may come to the forefront when we're middle aged, but the lust of the flesh is still there, the pride of life is still there.  The pride of life may come to the fore when we're 70 years old and we're tempted to say to our grandkids 'Ah, let me tell you, you'll find out someday what life is all about kid.  When I was a kid I walked ninety-four miles to school every day.'  And you know, different aspects of those may come to the fore at different points in our life, but they're all there, they're all there.  And we've overcome because of our strength, and we have strength because the Word of God abides in us, and we abide in the Word of God.  And when the enemy comes, we don't have to be anything but a man whose walking in the Light, filled with God's Spirit, submitted to God's Word.  Man doesn't live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.  'Well Pastor Joe, what if I blow it?'  Well, if you blow it, we have an advocate with the Father, and he goes up to the Judge and says 'Dad, this one blew it, but the price is already paid, because I'm the propitiation too.'  Provision has been made.  Provision has been made.  The challenge is, John says, "I'm writing that you sin not."  Are you this evening, living in a sexual relationship-outside of marriage?  You shouldn't be.  It's sin, and the Bible says that it's sin [remember, sin is the transgression of God's law, 1 John 3:4], and God is the one who invented sexual intimacy, and he's the one who has the right to proscribe what it should be for, he wants it to be pleasurable, he wants it to be fulfilling, and he wants it to be in marriage.  And it has a great purpose there.  Are you drunk all week?  You're in sin.  God made grapes, I know that.  Don't tell me.  Jesus drank.  'Well I want to be like Jesus.'  Well I want to be like Jesus too.  And he said "I'm going to drink no more of the fruit of the vine till I drink anew in my Father's kingdom', and when Jesus drinks wine, I'm gonna drink wine with him-okay?  Until then, I want to be like him.  Drugs, if you're using drugs, you're a sap.  I know that from experience.  The Bible uses the word pharmakia, when it talks about being involved in witchcraft.  We get pharmacy from it.  Pharmakia, pharmacose, is the using and selling of drugs.  Paul could have used other words to describe sorcery, but he knew most of us aren't going to put a pentagram on our living-room floor and sacrifice a chicken in our house.  The way Satan gets us involved in another realm is through the use of drugs.  [Timothy Leary, a brilliant chemistry professor at Harvard invented LSD in an attempt to achieve Nirvana in a quick, drug induced manner.]  And it opens us up to a spiritual realm we're not supposed to be opened to.  It takes us somewhere we're not supposed to be taken.  Besides, it reduces us to being an idiot.  You sit in a park stoned and say, 'Looook at those weeds, man, how beautiful they are, they're all arranged, look at the bark on that tree, man.'  You're drooling like.Look, the point is, are you living in sin, tonight?  Are you deliberately, willfully, daily, rebelling against something you know is completely wrong?  If you are, you're not walking in the Light, and you're not walking in fellowship with him, because he's not walking there.  That's what the Bible says.  But the great news is, if we confess, if we repent, he's faithful and just to forgive us, to cleanse us.  We have an Advocate with the Father.  He's paid for every drop of our sin, he came under the wrath of God on our behalf.  And through his Word and through his Spirit he has given us what's necessary to appropriate, that we can live in spiritual victory.  I encourage you to read ahead.  Next week it's going to start to talk about the antichrist, and deceivers in the church, and certainly we're getting close to all of that.  I encourage you to read ahead and look at those things.  Let's stand.  Let's pray."  [transcript of a sermon on 1st John 2:1-17 ge's Heiven by Pastor Joe Focht, © Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116.]

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