1 John 2:12-17 … There is an urgency to the Gospel message. When these words were written, the Apostle John was much older and is speaking with a sense of urgency to his readers. He is affirming them as those whose sins are forgiven (v.12), as those who know Christ (v.13), and as people who have overcome the temptations of Satan. These are descriptors of the privileged position a believer has in Christ when we take advantage of the Scriptures that can bring us into increasing knowledge of Him (2 Timothy 3:15). But there are dangers in the world. A caution is given in 1 John 2:15-17 so that we can identify and be aware of these dangers. The dangers are variously described as “the world” and as a series of “lusts.” Lust is an older word, not yet archaic but nearly so. Lusts are inner desires, sometimes sensual desires, although it could be said that you’d lust after a piece of cake. Typically the things you might lust after aren’t good for you. There are worldly temptations that are best avoided. They come to us as physical desires (lusts of the flesh), and as things we might covet (lusts of the eyes) and the temptation of pride (things we desire because of the status or the envy they produce for us). The believer is reminded that he or she has an eternal perspective and the things of the world need to be viewed from that eternal purpose, so that we’re not drawn in by them.
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