From Grace To You…
“First John for tonight is our study as we turn to the truth of God’s Word, 1 John chapter 2 verses 15 through 17. And we’ve titled this particular study, “The love God hates,” thelove God hates.
Let me just read these three verses so that you have them in mind and then we’ll address this wonderful and helpful portion of Scripture. First John 2:15, “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts. But the one who does the will of God abides forever.”
Here is the love God hates, the love of the world. Now the Bible is clear that God is a God of perfect love. If you look over to 1 John chapter 4, a number of times in this chapter the love of Godis noted. Verse 7, “Let us love one another for love is from God.” Verse 8, “The one who doesn’t love, doesn’t know God for God is love.” Verse 11, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also tolove one another.” Down in verse 16, “We come to know and believe the love which God has for us,God is love and the one who abides in love, abides in God and God’s abides in him.” So there are several verses, four in that chapter alone, that tell us that God is a God of love. And the love of God, as you well know, is a theme throughout all of Scripture, particularly emphasized, of course, in the New Testament. God’s love is manifest in common grace and it’s manifest in redemptive grace.God is a God of perfect love.
But because God loves perfectly, He also hates perfectly. The two are actually inseparable, to loveperfectly is to hate perfectly. That is to say if you love something, you hate whatever threatens that something. If you love someone, you hate whoever threatens that someone. And the greater your love, the greater your hatred. The more your affection for what is right, the more your disaffection for what is wrong. That’s why Psalm 97:10 says, “Hate evil, you who love the Lord.” And Psalm 119:104 says, “From your precepts I get understanding, therefore I hate every false way.” Pardon me if I hate error because I deserve to be pardoned, it’s my love for the truth that causes me to hate that error. Pardon me if I hate sin, it’s my love for righteousness that makes me hate sin.
It was God’s love manifest in Jesus Christ for what was right that made Jesus make a whip and cleanse the temple, because He hated what He saw and what He found in that place that had been turned into a den of thieves. The psalmist said, “I love Your Law, but I hate those that are double-minded. I love Your Law, but I hate those people who vacillate, sometimes showing affection for Your Law and sometimes not.” Psalm 119 again, verse 128 says, “I esteem all Your precepts so I hate every false way.” Psalm 119:163, toward the end of the chapter, “I hate and despise falsehood, I love Your Law.” That’s just the way it is. Whatever it is that you love most causes you to hate whatever is contrary to that. And the absolutely perfect love of God demands an absolutely perfect hatred of those things which are contrary to that love. God loves perfectly, and He hatesperfectly.
We love imperfectly and hate imperfectly, but nonetheless it reflects a shadow of what we see in the perfection of God. Let me give you an illustration of this from the Old Testament. If you would turn back to the book of Proverbs perhaps a familiar portion of Scripture is found in the sixth chapter. Proverbs chapter 6 and verse 16, the verse says there are six things which the Lord hates, yes seven which are an abomination to Him. And the going from the six to the seven was just a Hebrew way of speaking to put emphasis. There are six things which the Lord hates, even seven which are an abomination to Him.
What are they? God hates, the old Authorized Version said, “A proud look,” the NAS says, “Haughty eyes.” The actual Hebrew is “lofty eyes.” That is to say looking from above down with disdain on those who are beneath you in value and significance. It indicates a swelling kind of pride that fills the heart and shows disdain for others, as if they were of less significance. Pride is the first thing God hates and it’s listed first because it really is at the fountain of all kinds of sin. All kinds of sin no matter what the sin is reflect pride, attitude of disobedience and rebellion against God’s Law. Everything else is sort of built on the basic iniquity of pride, self-will. Psalm 18:27 says that God will abase those who have haughty eyes. Psalm 73:6 describes the wicked as having pride as their necklace and they are those whom God will cast down to destruction.
God says no one who has a haughty look and an arrogant heart will I endure. Isaiah 2:11 says, “The proud look of man will be abased and the loftiness of man will be humbled and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.” God is going to bring about a judgment day to all who are proud.
Well in addition to haughty eyes or a proud look, go back to verse 16 again and you will see thatGod also hates in verse 17 a lying tongue. God is the God of truth. God hates lies. Then you will find in verse 17 God hates hands that shed innocent blood. He hates murderers. He hates those who have a cruel disposition. The person who will lust and who will wanting that lust so severely kill in order that he may obtain that lust, as James describes it, the kind of person who takes a life, the kind of person who reeks havoc on someone else is hated by God.
And then verse 18 says God hates a heart that devises wicked plans. God hates the fabrications that we talked about this morning, the machinations, the imaginations of that profoundly human fallenness that corrupts our rationality. God hates the devising scheming, planning, fabricating that turns the heart into the workshop of wickedness.
God also hates feet that run rapidly to evil. That is to say not the person who witlessly stumbles into things, not the person who because he’s not circumspect or wise or watching, trips and falls into some iniquity, but those who purposefully plot and scheme and run to evil. They are in a hurry to fulfill their devisings.
God hates a false witness, in verse 19, who utter lies. God hates perjurers. God hates false witnesses who lie and whose lies are destructive of other people and whose lies assault justice, as well as truth. And amazingly at the end of verse 19, God hates one who spreads strife among brothers. God hates troublemakers, people who are divisive.
You know, there’s a certain kind of crescendoing here, it seems on the one hand that haughty eyes would be the starting point of sin because sin is really a reflection of one’s pride and rebellion against God. It precedes through what we would assume to be the worst of things, lying tongue, murder, but before you know it, it starts to get into things that are more familiar to us, devising wicked plans, rushing into sin, lying about someone else bringing damage to them and that seemingly popular sin, making trouble by using your mouth to sow discord among brothers.
There are other things God hates. God hates divorce, Malachi 2:16, He says, “I hate divorce.”Jeremiah 44:3 and 4 says God hates idolatry. Amos 5:21 says God hates hypocrisy. Revelation 2:6 and 2:15, God hates false religion. And the reason God hates all these things is because they are opposite all the things that God loves, all the things that are consistent with His holy nature.
There is another thing God hates and that takes us to our passage. God hates the world and Hehates those who love the world. “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” So don’t love the world. God sets Himself against those who love the world.
Now you remember, just backing up a little bit, that John is giving us a series of tests by which Christians can know they’re Christians. The objective of his epistle, as we’ve said numerous times, is not to make true Christians doubt, but to make true Christians trust. Chapter 4 verse 13, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God in order that you may know that you have eternal life.” The epistle is written so you can know, not so that you can doubt. All you have to do is read what it says and take a look at your life and do a little spiritual inventory and if you match up with the standard, both in terms of doctrinal tests and moral tests, then you can know that you have eternal life. So John’s theme in the book is to help us to know.”