Shelby G. Floyd
The Bible declares, “Do not love the world or anything in the world” (l John 2:15). John is thought of as the apostle of love. He teaches us to love God and each other. But here, we are commanded not to love the world. This means that we are not to love the evil things of this world or set our affections on the things of this world.
Satan uses three principles to lead us into temptation and sin: 1. the lust of the flesh; 2. the lust of the eyes; and 3. the pride of life. Satan used these same avenues very successfully in the fall of Adam and Eve (See Genesis 1-3). He was not successful in using these same avenues against Christ (Matthew 4:1-11).
“IT IS WRITTEN” IS THE BEST OFFENCE
Three times Christ answered Satan when he was tempted by him—“it is written.”
1. “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:3);
2. “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test’” (Matthew 4:7); and,
3. “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only’” (Matthew 4:10).
FAITH IS THE VICTORY
Will the devil be victorious against us with these same strategies? Each one of us must answer that question with a definite yes or no! John declares that our best offence for victory is our faith in God and his word:
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God (1 John 5:1-5).
John declares that if we do the will of God we will live forever—“The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:17). While on the earth Jesus taught people to pray that God’s will be done on earth even as it is done in heaven. Our goal as a Christian is to live with God and the Lord Jesus Christ in heaven. Let us remember that the world and all of its desires are passing away.
Shelby G. Floyd, Minister, Heartland Church of Christ, 1693 West Main Street, Greenwood, Indiana 46142