161023 1 John 2:15-17

Last Updated on Sunday, 23 October 2016 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Sermon Text: 1 John 2:15-17

Sermon Theme: What is the World to Me!

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

I want to begin today by having you think of something or someone that you don't really like all that much. Now, I want you to think of something or someone that you love. Are they the same thing or the same person? Most likely not. I just read for you words that John, led by God the Holy Spirit, wrote in chapter 2 of his first letter: "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." Yet, in the Gospel that bears his name, John was led by the same Holy Spirit to write the Good News that "God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." Do we have a contraction here in the Bible? Which is it? Are we to hate the world or love the world? We just finished singing the hymn, "What is the world to me!" Today from God's Word we will see that you and I are to hate the world but we are also to love the world.

How can you and I hate the world and love the world at the same time? It all depends on what your definition of "the world" is. Here in 1 John chapter 2, you and I are told that "everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world." It is the sinful things of this world that you and I are to hate.

But do we? You and I will confess that we don't always act like or talk like we hate the sinful things of this world. Far too often, deep down you and I crave the things the Lord says we are to stay away from. Far too easily, you and I allow our hearts to fill with lust. Far too quickly, you and I speak up with prideful boasting, making sure everyone sees or knows what great things we have done. These sins make you and me guilty. These sins make you and me deserving only of eternal punishment.

It is at the beginning of chapter 2 of this letter that John writes to you and me, "My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world." Not once did Jesus crave the things of the sinful world. Not once did Jesus allow lust or sinful pride to fill his heart. Rather, our perfect Savior came as the sacrifice for your sins and mine. The Lamb of God shed his blood and died on the altar of the cross to pay in full the price for your sins and mine. It is Jesus who won for you and me the forgiveness of all sins. Now our risen Savior is in heaven, speaking on our behalf as our Great Defense Attorney before the Father in heaven.

By winning the forgiveness of all of our sins, it is Jesus who made you and me at one with our Father in heaven. It is Jesus who brought you and me into a right relationship with him. By the power of God the Holy Spirit, you and I live for our Father in heaven and are able to say, "What is the world to me!" It is the powerful Word of God that the Holy Spirit uses to give you and me the strength and the desire to hate the things of this sinful world.
What is the world to me! It is that same powerful Word of God that gives you and me the strength and the desire to love the world. No, it is not the sinful THINGS of this world that you and I love. Rather, you and I do love the sinful PEOPLE of this world. Just as Jesus showed his great love to sinful mankind (which includes you and me), as his love fills our hearts to overflowing, you and I look for ways to show that same love to others. As a congregation, we want many, many more people to know the wonderful Good News of their loving Savior, Jesus Christ. In love for others, you and I are willing to give back to the Lord our very best gifts, our sacrificial gifts, so that we can continue to carry out the Lord's Great Commission of making disciples of all nations.

That's what our FORWARD campaign is all about! We are going FORWARD not because we crave the material things of this world and simply want something that is bigger and better. We are going FORWARD not because we want to build something that we can boast about to the rest of Oconomowoc on the land that we own out on Highway P. We are going FORWARD, because you and I want to share the love of Jesus with the world. You and I want to share the love of Jesus with those living in the Oconomowoc area now and with the generations yet to be born!

During the next few weeks, we plan to share with you several brief video segments featuring some of our members who were interviewed as part of our FORWARD campaign. As you watch these videos, you will notice a common theme in each of them: those that you will hear from are all VERY thankful for the love they have been shown by their Christian family here at St. Matthew's. This week, we will get to know better Melissa Mason and her family. Let's watch the video at this time.

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In the video, Melissa mentions that one of the great blessings for her and her family is the Tuition Assistance that is offered by our congregation. This certainly is a blessing for our families who need that help. It enables children to attend our school and to hear on a daily basis that Jesus loves them. Another very important way that we as a congregation can provide the blessing of a Christian education for this generation and the generations to come is by "paying it FORWARD." In your mailbox during this coming week, I want you to look for a special mailing that will provide more information about this exciting opportunity that the Lord of the Church is placing before us. Empowered by Jesus love for you, filled with a desire to share that love of Jesus with others, prayerfully consider your response to our FORWARD campaign. As you do, think to yourself: What is the world to me! Amen.

 

 

Our Mission Statement:

Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.

 

Worship Schedule

Sunday
8:00 A.M. & 10:30 A.M.

9:15 A.M. Bible Study for All Ages

Monday at 7:00 P.M.

Television Broadcast
Thursday at Noon & 7:00 P.M.
Sunday at 10:00 A.M.
on Charter Cable Station 985

 

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
818 West Wisconsin Avenue
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
262-912-6060

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