This study was conducted during the winter months of 2013 at Peter and Jennifer’s home as we memorized and meditated upon 1 John 2:15-17,
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love 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 pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
What is here meant by “the world” ?
In the New Testament, the word “world” [kosmos] can refer to at least seven different things:
1. The Entire Universe (Acts 17:24)
2. The Planet Earth (John 13:1, Eph. 1:4)
3. The Evil World-System (John 12:31, 1 John 5:19)
4. The Whole Human Race (Romans 3:19)
5. The Unbelievers (John 15:18, Rom. 3:6)
6. The Gentiles (i.e., non-Jews) (Romans 11:11-14)
7. The Believers (John 1:29, 3:16-17, 6:33, 12:47)
The usage in 1 John 2:15-17 must therefore be option # ___
Why should we not love the world?
1. Enmity – The world loves darkness and hates Christ. It will also therefore hate his followers (John 3:19, 15:18-19, 17:14). This enmity cannot be erased or escaped.
2. Impossibility – No one can serve two masters; so love for God and love for the world simply cannot coexist in our hearts (Matthew 6:24, 1 John 2:15, James 4:4).
3. Irrationality – The world has been marked for judgment, is presently passing away, and will soon be incinerated (John 12:31, 1 John 2:17, 2 Peter 3:10).
4. Incentive – Those who love Christ and keep his commands will be loved of God and live forever in a better world (John 14:21, 15:10, 1 John 2:17, Revelation 22:12-14).
How does the world seek to seduce us?
1. The world seeks to seduce us by appealing to our flesh (i.e., the internal foes we already studied) through carnal enticements aimed at three distinct weakness:
2. The Lust of the Flesh: The world makes constant appeal to our carnality through food, drink, sex, sugar, chemicals, entertainment, sleep, etc., saying, “Don’t you want it?”
3. The Lust of the Eyes: The world targets our eyes through seductive advertisements, deceitful packaging, pop-up windows, etc., saying, “Doesn’t it look good?”
4. The Pride of Life: The world will always appeal to our materialistic spirit, sinful self-reliance, and our entitlement mindset, saying, “Don’t you deserve it?”
How can we avoid loving the world?
1. FAITH – If we have true faith (i.e., knowledge, assent, and trust) in the finished work of Christ we will overcome the world (John 16:33, 1 John 5:5).
2. CONFESSION – If we are quick to acknowledge our worldly loves and lusts, and to confess them, God will forgive us and also cleanse us (1 John 1:9).
3. SEPARATION – If we avoid and/or remove ourselves from regular contact with worldliness, God will receive and reward us (2 Corinthians 6:17, Psalm 1:1-4.
4. MEDITATION – If we set our minds on heavenly things, the things of this world will lose their luster and we will be less easily seduced (Colossians 3:1-5).