Flee and Pursue

Saturday, December 12, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

1 John 5: 20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. 21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

Since believers have so much in Jesus, why did John write, "Keep yourselves from idols"? William Barclay's commentary offers the following explanations of the word "idol."

(i) In Greek the word idol has in it the sense of unreality. This may well mean, as Westcott has it, "Keep yourselves from all objects of false devotion."

(ii) An idol is anything in this life which men worship instead of God and allow to take the place of God. A man may make an idol of his money, of his career, of his safety, of his pleasure. Again to quote Westcott: "An idol is anything which occupies the place due to God."

(iii) It is likely that John means something more definite than either of these two things. It was in Ephesus that he was writing, and it was of conditions in Ephesus that he was thinking. It is likely that he means simply and directly, "Keep yourselves from the pollutions of heathen worship." No town in the world had so many connections with the stories of the ancient gods; and no town was more proud of them.

Paul wrote in 1 Tim. 6:9-12,  "But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses."

There are things from which we should "flee" and there are things that we should "pursue."

FLEE: What three things/activities sometimes occupy the place of God in your life? What things use up time, money and focus that should be directed towards God?

PURSUE: What are three the things that you are presently pursuing in relation to what God wants you to do?

“Pursue” is a faith-filled word in relation to the things of God.