“Having the attitude of the ’spirit of the law’ is the attitude of the mind of Christ!”
Love Not the World!
Satan lives the way of sin. He maintains an unrighteous or sinful frame of mind. He harbors a mental attitude that is aggressively hostile toward God’s law of love and will not submit to it. Satan and his demons are blazing with wrath because they know they are in the “last hour” of their dominion over Earth (1 John 2:18; Revelation 12:12). In the context of Satan’s last-hour rage, God warns: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world” (1 John 2:15).
For 6,000 years, Satan has held sway over the minds of men through the world and things that are in the world. Here, in the last hour of his great wrath, he has really turned up the heat on “baiting” us to sin. Never before in history has Satan been able to so effectively “educate” humans in his degenerate and perverse way of thinking and living.
John continues, “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (verse 15). We cannot love God and the world. The two are as opposite as light and darkness! A love of the world will, eventually, alienate us from God. “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (verse 16).
Here we are at the climax of the age and our loving Father, as He did through Mr. Armstrong, takes us back to reinforce the lesson of the two trees! “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food [the lust of the flesh], and that it was pleasant to the eyes [the lust of the eyes], and a tree to be desired to make one wise [the pride of life], she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat” (Genesis 3:6).
In the same way he deceived Eve, Satan wants to con us into believing him and disbelieving God. He uses his world and the things that are in his world to appeal to our physical senses and tempt us to sin—to influence our thinking. He knows that sin begins in the mind—that the thought fathers the action. That’s why our loving Father impresses upon us that ”the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:17).
Think as God Thinks
In his book The Last Hour, Gerald Flurry wrote: “God is love. When we say we are becoming God, it means we arebecoming love—as we live and die for Him ….
”God wants us to think as He thinks! That is what conversion is all about. We need to understand the extent of that sacrifice by the Father and Son, and get our minds off ourselves. We are all far too steeped in selfishness. This is asacrificinglove.
“Christ said, ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another’ (John 13:34). This is not letter-of-the-law obedience. Can you comprehend that incredible depth–loving others as Christ has loved you? And He wants us to love God the way Heloved God. He called this a ‘new commandment’ because it is only possible to obey it with the Holy Spirit—it is taking the Holy Spirit into ourselves and then expressing the very love of God! This is giving and sacrificing for God and for each other as Christ did.”
This is the way of righteousness!
The Sin Question
So what is sin?
Sin is the acquired nature of Satan. It is thinking as Satan thinks. Sin is an attitude, or frame of mind, that is self-reliant, self-sufficient, self-centered and self-exalted. Its root and core—its essence—is vanity! And it is the attitude of self -love, or vanity, that transgresses the spirit of God’s law.
Vanity is sin!
“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law”! (1 John 3:4).