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The Lust of the Eyes, The Lust of the Flesh, and the Pride of Life

I woke up lamenting my sorry state as a sinner. I genuinely did. I look at my life and see how I sent Jesus Christ to die by my sin, and that the one innocent man in all of history took the burden and weight of my choices, bearing the full wrath of God on Himself. And I am a repeat offender! This broke my heart! And when asking God why, the words of John came to mind “The lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16). It’s a worldly way of living that says “I want it, I desire it, I deserve it.” We envy what our neighbors have, or see things and don’t get our way; we desire and take for ourselves, and so fulfill our flesh; and we think of ourselves arrogantly, and so justify ourselves and what we do with our eyes and in our flesh. Good Christian, you are not immune to this, and neither am I! We all sin, at least within our hearts, and are murderers, adulterers, liars, enviers and thieves! We’re more worldly than we care to admit, but we all must weep, wail and lament, dropping to our knees humbly and submit ourselves to the Savior!

And this is why Jesus came, because we are, by our nature, rebellious against our designer. We see, so we covet, we desire, so we take, we are prideful, so we justify our actions. Yet we’re reminded that to be worldly is opposite of what God calls us to be. And Jesus came, lived the life we could not as one of us, and died for the sins of the world to set us free. This freedom, because of the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life, is something we take for granted. We don’t consider the price paid for our sins, and so we live as though we were given diplomatic immunity because of Jesus Christ and His Grace. How we fool ourselves! Sin is a stain against us, and not something to be proud of. We shouldn’t revel in it, we should, like Paul, say of ourselves “Wretched man that I am!” instead of “I was born this way, there’s nothing I can do about it!” Being born again is difficult, but when we surrender to the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ, He sets us free, not merely from the consequence of sin, but grows us away from the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life, and we should seek to stay far away from them!

1 John 2:15-29

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 all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life.

I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.

And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.

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