To derail trust in God we simply present a new thing to trust in. This sales pitch will be effective because, in our city ‘new’ means more up-to-date, more relevant, faster, more affordable… better. John, in his first letter to the churches, tells us that at each stage of life the commandment to love in the way Jesus showed love, is always new and we need to work it out at each stage of our lives. The things we so easily love in the world are passing away – they are not our future, so it is time to make some long term investments in what will last.
1 John 2.7-17 | Do not love the world (the old is new)
The darkness is passing and the true light is already shining (7-11)
I am writing to you… (12-14)
Do not love the world but do the will of God (15-17)
For further thought
Q: Some want to move on from the teaching of Christ and his apostles (summarised by the old yet new command to love as I loved you – see John 13.31-35) yet rather than move beyond that teaching, John wants us move deeper into it. Why?
Q: Why does light about God (see 1.5-7) and our response of love go together in verses 8 to 11?
Q: We say that love is blind but John insists it is hate that is blind. Why?
Q: In verses 12 to 14 John reminds us that our sins are forgiven on account of Christ’s name, he then applies this teaching to three stages of life: to those at the outset of life, to those in the prime of life and to the elders. How does the new but old command to love vary at different times of our lives? Why are we to keep on growing like this?
Q: In verses 15 to 17 John describes the competing love that denies the love of Christ. It has three characteristics; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. What do these look like in our lives?
Q: How does love for the world diminish love for our brothers and sisters in Christ?
Q: This competing love is common in our lives and churches, why is it destructive?
Q: What would it mean for our churches to do the will of God today in verse 17?