Having listed the privileges of the church: their sins are forgiven; they know Jesus who is from the beginning; they know God the Father; they are strong because the Word of God lives in them and so are able to overcome the evil one. Here is the reason why John is writing:
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2 v 15-17)
How is it possible that the Church can move from experiencing Jesus Christ and loving each other to loving, desiring, lusting after other things?
It is possible.
Without falling into the trap of producing a list which alienates and produces arguments let me take what John says and apply to the Church today. The problem is far greater than lust and boasting. Here is what I see:
- The revelation the Church should have is of Jesus Christ nothing else. That has to be the strategy, the vision, the mission, the plan, the desire of our lives personally and in the Christian community. Anything less is faulty revelation. Anything that doesn’t draw us nearer to Jesus is useless. Is this glorifying Jesus? A good question.
- The Church should always be able to be seen to need a Saviour. We have never arrived. We need God. Some testimonies have a flavour of arrogant accomplishment where we end up scratching our heads at who actually did this amazing act. Pride tells us we are entitled to something. Pride focuses on achievement and not obedience. Pride talks to others not God.
- If the Church falls into the above it will die with the world. If it does not abandon its position it will live.