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One of the greatest tragedies of life is the inability or the neglect of a father to pass on to his children the benefits of his experience.

Fathers must instruct, warn, and encourage their children.

For the next while Wednesday evenings messages will be from John’s first epistle and are titled “The Counsel of a Spiritual Father to His Children.”

Today we are discussing Counterfeit Christianity: What Is It?

Text

1 John 2:16 (AMP)

16 For all that is in the world—the lust and sensual craving of the flesh and the lust and longing of the eyes and the boastful pride of life [pretentious confidence in one’s resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father, but are from the world.

Scripture Reading

1 John 2:15-17 (AMP)

Do Not Love the World

15 Do not love the world [of sin that opposes God and His precepts], nor the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 

16 For all that is in the world—the lust and sensual craving of the flesh and the lust and longing of the eyes and the boastful pride of life [pretentious confidence in one’s resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father, but are from the world. 

17 The world is passing away, and with it its lusts [the shameful pursuits and ungodly longings]; but the one who does the will of God and carries out His purposes lives forever.

Introduction

One of the most distasteful and unpleasant words in the human vocabulary has to be the word counterfeit.

We usually think of things being counterfeit as something being purposely designed to deceive.

Even more devious than those selling counterfeits in the market place, are those guilty of counterfeiting in the spiritual realm.

The tragedy connected with this kind of counterfeiting is that many times those involved are victims rather than agents!

Satan is the master counterfeiter of all time.

He seizes vulnerable people, deceives them in the business of spiritual reality.

In today’s Scripture reading, John exposed the essence of counterfeit Christianity.

  1. John introduced a strange kind of love.
  1. What “world” was John talking about?

It was not the world of nature, the beauty of which often defies description.

Instead, John was speaking of the “world system”, the total of human life that exists without God, alienated from or hostile to God.

The forces of evil in this world seduce men and women away from God and righteousness.

The system is ordered, not haphazard.

Much of it is cultured, intellectual, even religious.

B. John was aware of the evil power of the word system.

Throughout his gospel and letters, John repeatedly dealt with this subject.

In his gspel, he said that the world is in the dark.

He quoted Jesus’ words in John 8:12 (AMP)

Jesus Is the Light of the World

12 Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, “[a]I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

The world is in darkness because it does not know God in John 17:25

It does not know Christ in John 1:10.

It does not know the spirit in John 14:17.

And it does not know or understand Christians in 1 John 3:1.

C. What “love” for the world was John talking about?

Surprisingly, it was agape love, a self sacrificing kind of love.

This is an example of how satan can counterfeit that which is spiritual.

Just as Christians who are filled with agape love offer themselves to God’s perfect will, so those who are victimised by satan offer themselves to the false brilliance of the world.

A sad example of this kind of love is seen in the case of Demas, one of Paul’s coworkers in 2 Timothy 4:10 (AMP)

10 for Demas, having loved [the pleasures of] this present [a]world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia.

Paul use the word agape to describe Demas’s love for the world.

2. Joh talked about a strange manifestation of this love.

  1. Verse 16 briefly defines the world system, the kosmos.

First is the desire to have things, “the lust of the flesh”.

“Flesh” refers here to the depraved human nature that governs a person’s will, reason, and emotions.

As desperately as unbelievers may try to please God, they cannot.

Paul said in Romans 8:7-8(AMP)

7 the mind of the flesh [with its sinful pursuits] is actively hostile to God. It does not submit itself to God’s law, since it cannot, 

8 and those who are in the flesh [living a life that caters to sinful appetites and impulses] cannot please God.

B. Second is the desire to have whatever attracts the eye.

John called this “the lust of the eyes”.

It may express itself in an inordinate desire for expensive clothes, a new car, a larger home, or power to control all that we see.

Slaves to this sin worship at the alter of mammon!

C. The third is the desire to be “the pride of life.”

The word translated pride is the same word used in James 4:16 and translated as “boastings”.

It amounts to the arrogant, proud dependance on your own achievements, resources, or wealth.

These sins are always surrounding us.

James said in James 1:14-15 (AMP)

14 But each one is tempted when he is dragged away, enticed and baited [to commit sin] by his own [worldly] desire (lust, passion). 

15 Then when the illicit desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin has run its course, it gives birth to death.

Conclusion.

John summarised in 1 John 2:17 (AMP)

17 The world is passing away, and with it its lusts [the shameful pursuits and ungodly longings]; but the one who does the will of God and carries out His purposes lives forever. 

John meant that the world would pass in a futile show.

In spite of its glitter and appeal, it would not last, it is headed for destruction.

But those who continue to do God’s will because it has become their lifestyle will abide forever!

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

2020 IS A YEAR OF CLARITY

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