Who or What Do You Love Most?

1 John 2:15-17 ESV

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”

Do not agape the world or the things in the world. Do not make the world and the things of the world your preference, what you long for, what you desire above all else. Do not look to the things of this world to make you happy and to satisfy the deep longings of your hearts and souls. For this world and all that is in it is soon passing away, but it is whoever is doing (obeying) the will of God who abides with Christ/God forever.

And don’t look to the things of this world to heal what ails you or to make you happy. And don’t let happiness or financial security or good health in this world be the condition upon which you decide whether or not to obey the Lord. For we are called to share in the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible we may attain the resurrection from the dead (Philippians 3:11).

For, although it appears that the majority of what is being taught as the gospel in America is “Once Saved Always Saved,” that is not what Jesus and his apostles taught. Yes, in ourselves we can do nothing to earn or to deserve our own salvation. Our own fleshly good works will never be good enough to be approved by God. But our salvation is not absent of works. It is just that they are the works of God which he planned for us to do.

[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 8:51; Jn 14:15-24; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:16; Rom 8:8; 1 Co 10:1-22; 1 Co 15:58; 2 Co 5:9; 2 Co 9:8; Gal 5:6,16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 5:10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:9-14; 1 Thes 2:4; 1 Thes 4:1; 2 Thess 1:11-12; 2 Tim 2:4,21; Tit 2:11-14; Tit 3:8; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; Heb 5:9; Heb 11:6; Heb 13:6; Jas 1:21-25; Jas 2:17; 1 Pet 1:1-2; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10,22-24; 1 Jn 5:2-3; 2 Jn 1:6]

For the Scriptures teach our salvation as progressive sanctification: We are saved (past), we are being saved (present active), and we will be saved (future) when Jesus returns to take his bride to be with him for eternity. But this is conditional upon us daily denying self, dying daily with Christ to sin, and us walking in obedience to his commands (New Covenant). And we must persevere in this God-given faith steadfast until the very end.

[Matt 7:21-23; Jn 8:31-32,51; Jn 14:15-24; Jn 15:1-12; Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Col 1:21-23; 2 Tim 2:10-13; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 5:9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:1-5; 1 Pet 2:24; 2 Pet 1:5-11; 2 Pet 2:20-22; 2 Tim 1:8-9; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,15-17,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10,24; 1 Jn 5:2-3; 2 Jn 1:6; Jas 1:21-25; Eph 4:17-24; Jude 1:1-25; Lu 9:23-26]

Now we need to pay close attention to what this says here. If we agape love (prefer, desire, long for) the world and the things of the world, the love of God the Father is not in us. We are not his children. We are illegitimate. We do not belong to him and he does not belong to us. And it doesn’t matter what words we repeated in a prayer or what public confessions we have made of Christ as Lord. For he is not Lord unless our lives are surrendered to him and unless he is our desire. He is the one we long for above all else.

Now, this is not saying that we must live in sinless perfection. But our Lord has made a clear “line in the sand” which we are not to cross over. If we are in Christ, then we have been crucified with Christ in death to sin and we have been raised with him to walk in newness of life in him. Our old lives of living in habitual sin are to be cast off and we are to be transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God to now walk in holiness and in righteousness.

So, if we continue in deliberate and habitual sin, and sin is what we practice, and righteousness and holiness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, then we do not have the hope of heaven when we die. We will not inherit eternal life with God. So we need to take this seriously, for many people are going to stand before our Lord one day claiming him as Lord and bragging about all the things they did in his name, and he is going to say to them, “I never knew you! Depart from me you workers of lawlessness.”

[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; 1 Jn 1:5-10; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:23-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

A Believer’s Prayer

An Original Work / July 31, 2012

With my whole heart, Lord, I pray
To be Yours, and Yours always.
Lead me in Your truth today.
May I love You and obey.
Lead me in Your righteousness.
When I sin, may I confess;
Bow before You when I pray;
Live for You and You always.

Love You, Jesus, You’re my friend.
Life with You will never end.
You are with me through each day,
Giving love and peace always.
You will ne’er abandon me.
From my sin You set me free.
You died on that cruel tree,
So I’d live eternally.

Soon You’re coming back for me;
From this world to set me free;
Live with You eternally.
Oh, what joy that brings to me.
I will walk with You in white;
A pure bride, I’ve been made right
By the blood of Jesus Christ;
Pardoned by His sacrifice.

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