Question: Please explain 1 John 2: 16.
Answer: 1 John 2: 16 reads, “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.”
The first – “the lust of the flesh” – includes all those appetites and passions which are right and proper when used legitimately under the full control of reason and conscience, but which, when unduly cultivated until they become the masters of reason and conscience, debase the person.
The second – “the lust of the eyes” – includes all those ambitions to possess whatever things the eye (the natural eye or the eye of the understanding) perceives to be good – that is, to be gratifying to the carnal mind, the old, unregenerate nature. This disposition impels to self-gratification regardless of the rights of others. It craves wealth, or fame, or power, or sex indulgence, or social distinction, and to these ends it will harness every energy of mind or body.
The third – “the pride of life” – is the epitome of selfishness, which is so abhorrent to God and to all good men. It is the disposition which glories in its shame. When the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes have brought their curse of narrowness, bigotry and conceit, and when they have gone further in depriving fellowmen of their rights and privileges, then pride, in its meanness, triumphs, and towers above the unfortunate subjects of its power and gloats over the desolation it has worked out.
These three points of attack by the great enemy are the points which the Lord would have us guard with unwearied vigilance.