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3. Do All Things through Love

The Christian Fights Against...

Loving the World
John tells us not to love the world nor the "things" in it. Why such a strong command? Because if we do, we do not have God's love within us (1 John 2:15). This means that if we love the world, we have rejected God and have become His enemies (James 4:4).

Loving Mammon
Jesus used the word - mammon - to mean "earthly riches and possessions" (Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13). He tells us if we love riches and possessions, we will not love God. There is nothing wrong with being wealthy. What makes it "sinful" is when we make "things" more important in our lives than God. Also, the amount of money and possessions we have do not have to be large. The main point is that we love it more than we love God.

Loving Self Over God
This is the concept of being self-centered. We see "self" as so great, wonderful, and important that we become our own god. Jesus told His disciples if they wanted to live eternally, they had to "lose" their lives for His sake (John 12:25-26).

God created us as both physical and spiritual beings. There is nothing wrong with taking care of the physical part of our being. What makes it "sinful" is when we love ourselves more than we love God or others (Matthew 6:5; 10:39; 16:25-26; Mark 8:35-36; Luke 9:24-25).

Loving Satan
Few people will admit that they love Satan. They might not realize it, but the life they live shows that they do. Loving Satan is the same as loving sin over righteousness, darkness over light, or the flesh over the Spirit.

We show our love for Satan when we do his deeds. We show our love for Satan when we continue in our rebellion against God. We show our love for Satan when we refuse to accept God's Son as our Savior (Luke 15:11-32; John 3:19-20; 12:33).

Hating a Brother
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told the crowds that when we hate someone, it is the same to God as if we had murdered him (Matthew 5:21-26). What Jesus is telling them is that the "attitude" that causes us to hate someone is the same as the attitude that causes one to commit murder. Hate is the first step toward murder. John expanded on this idea when he wrote that we cannot "love one another if we do not love God" (1 John 3:10-16; 4:20-21).

Feeling Fear
Why do we experience fear? For some, it is about having the necessities of life (food, water, shelter, safety, clothing, etc.). For others, it has to do with not being accepted or loved by others. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told the crowds that feeling fear and anxiety was ungodly (Matthew 6:25-34). We become free from fear when we love and trust God to fulfill His promises to protect and provide for us (1 John 4:18).

Loving Chief Seats
In Jesus' day, the "chief seat" was a place of honor and power. So loving them means that we want to believe that we are so important that others must accept us as their superiors. Arrogance, pride, and greed are the deeds of the flesh that make us believe that we are more important than we are (Matthew 23:6; Luke 11:43; 20:46).

Loving One Over Another
Today, we call this favoritism, prejudice, and bigotry. This is the idea of showing partiality to someone because he is rich, powerful, good looking, or can do something for us. James tells us that when we show prejudice, we are acting in an evil way and committing sin (James 2:1-9). Instead, we are to accept and treat all men as being created in God's image. We are ALL people of significance and worth (Romans 2:10 -11; Philippians 2:2). When we discredit and demean others, we are dishonoring God in whose image they have been created.

 
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