The Love God Hates

October 12, 2018 Preacher: Gareth Franks Series: Letters of John - Knowing, Walking & Living the Truth

Topic: The Church, Christian Living Scripture: 1 John 2:15–17

Home Group Study

Sermon Date: 05 October 2018

Text: 1 John 2:15-17


Opening Discussion: With social media, the tug of the world is greater now than it ever has been. Daily we are bombarded with attractive people telling us that we can’t be happy unless we own the product that they are selling or adopt the lifestyle that they are pursuing. What are some of the most bizarre adverts you have seen or heard? Share your story…

 Observation - What does God’s word say?

Worldliness is, at its core, a matter of the heart. If your heart is captured by the world, you will love the things of the world. If your heart is captured by the love of God, you will be drawn to Him and to the things of God. The only way that our hearts can be transformed so that we love God is by the supernatural new birth.

What are your observations?


  • Titus 2:11-12
  • Romans 12:2
  • 2 Peter 1:3-4
  • 1 John 2:15-17

Meaning - What does God’s word mean?

John wrote this letter to churches that were being infected and confused by certain heretics. They claimed to have enlightenment, but John says that they were still in the darkness. They tried to draw people into their inner circle of knowledge, but their doctrine and their practice revealed that they did not truly know God. John gives three tests by which his readers could evaluate these teachers and by which they could tell whether their own faith was sound: the moral test (obedience); the relational test (love for others); and, the doctrinal test (believing the truth about Jesus Christ).

In 2:3-6, John applies the first test: authentic faith obeys God’s commandments. In 2:7-11, he applies the second test: authentic faith loves God’s people. Then he pauses (2:12-14) to give an assuring clarification. Now, he resumes his application of the tests by showing that authentic faith is not of the world (2:15-17). John characteristically draws a sharp line, with no middle ground: If you love the world, you do not love the Father. He shows that…

You must choose your love and then maintain your choice: you love either the world or the Father, but not both.

He’s saying the same thing that Jesus said in Luke 16:13, “You cannot serve God and Mammon.” He did not say, “You should not serve God and Mammon,” but, “you cannot” serve them both. You must make a basic decision in life: Will you live to know God and His eternal love, or will you live for this world and its fleeting pleasures? You can’t take a little of both. “Love” is the Greek agape, indicating that it is a commitment, not a feeling, that John is commanding. The only way that you can fight the love of the world is to maintain and grow in your love for the Father. 

Read:  James 4:1-8

What are your observations from these verses?

Application - How must I change?

  •  Is there a Truth to be believed?

Why does John not give us the option, which seems possible, to be partially committed both to God and to the world?

  • Is there an Attitude to be fostered?

Does “not loving the world” mean that it is wrong for a Christian to seek to succeed in business or a career? Why/why not?

Secondly. How can those who live in affluence know when enough is enough? How do we choose a permissible level of luxury?

  •  Is there a Behavior to be changed?

Christian attempts to counter worldliness often have swung to the opposite direction: withdrawal from the world, along with extra rules to reign in the flesh. Why does Paul say in Colossians 2:23 , that this rules approach to the problem of worldliness doesn’t work? What is the correct approach to worldliness?


We all battle these temptations daily, and we often fail. But John’s point is, if you go on yielding to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life as your way of life, you are not maintaining love for the Father. Rather, you are maintaining love for the world. Worldly people wallow in these things; God’s children fight them continually. How do we maintain our love for the Father?

To obey the Father is to maintain your love for Him. As Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” and in John 15:10; “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love”.

If you love the world or the things in the world, you will lose them all at death. All that the worldly person lives for is gone in an instant and means nothing in light of eternity. Even if you have attained your worldly desires, what good are they at death? But, if you do God’s will, you will abide with Him in heaven throughout all eternity!



Closing Prayer: Thank you Lord, that while we were still in our sins, Christ died for us. Help us to turn our eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, so that the things of this world will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace. Amen

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