Discuss: “The world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God remains forever.” How might this verse, when used as a lens for seeing the world through, impact what you think and feel about world events and personal events? How might it impact what impresses or depresses you? How might it impact how you deal with and think about sorrow, setbacks and success?
Read: 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 everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God remains forever. 1 John 2:15-17
Definitions: A test 🙂
- What are the three ways the word “world” is used in Scripture?
- What is lust and how is it different from a good desire?
- What the ways the word “flesh” is used in Scripture?
- What does John mean by his use of “eyes”?
- What does John mean by his use of the phrase “pride in one’s possessions”?
Q1: The lust of the flesh is not just about sexual sin, what does it mean in fuller terms?
Q2: What are some distinctions between healthy and unhealthy discontentment?
Read: “Death and Destruction are never satisfied, and neither are the eyes of man.” Proverbs 27:20
Q3: What does it mean that “eyes of man or never satisfied” and how does this help understand the “lust of the eyes”?
Q4: What might it mean for you to use your eyes to “scan for the goodness and glory of God” in your life?
Read: Ps. 73. Discuss the digression then progression of the Psalmist’s perspective.
Q5: How can you in recent and honest ways related to the Psalmist? Are you current in “digression” or “progression” of perspective?
Q6: What are you in “possession of” that you take pride in (or are regularly tempted to take pride in) rather than in fully giving glory to God for? Things, talents, skills, opportunities, etc.
Q7: How would you explain the impossibility of loving God and the world at the same time? John has already said that we will sin so this is clearly not about perfection. Imagine you were trying to explain this to a child or young person, how would you do it?
(This is a good mental exercise to make sure we personally and practically understand biblical principles)
Q8: “The world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God remains forever.” What can you do, in practical ways, to train yourself to see through this lens as you live your everyday life? If you already have things in place, what are they?