1 John, Bible Studies

1 John 2:15-17

1 John 2:15-17

[15] 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. [16] 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. [17] And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

Outline of Passage

A. The appeal not to love the world (2.15-17)

1. Love for the world and love for God are mutually exclusive (2.15)

2. The world consists of an unholy trinity: the lust of the flesh, the idea is sensuality; the lust of the eyes, materialism; the boastful pride of life, arrogance about who I am or what I’ve done. (2.16)

3. We should not love the world because of its transitory nature, while the one who does God’s will abides forever (2.17)

1.) Love for the world and love for God are mutually exclusive

•As we grow in our sanctification, we will through the work of the Holy Spirit, desire less of what the world has to offer us and more for what God desires.

•In verse 15, we see that the love for the world and love for God are mutually exclusive. John makes it clear that love for the world pushes out love for God, and love for God pushes out love for the world.

•According to verse 15 in our text, if your love for God is cool this evening it is either because you do not knowHim or because the love for the world has begun to take over your heart and choke out your love for God.

2.) The world consists of an unholy trinity

•In verse 16, we see that the world consists of an unholy trinity: the lust of the flesh, the idea is sensuality; the lust of the eyes, materialism; the boastful pride of life, arrogance about who I am or what I have done.

•The person controlled by his craving for self-indulgence is not free; he is, in fact a slave to the devil.

•The world can only offer short-term satisfaction. It is like drinking salt water. Far from bringing satisfaction, the unquenchable thirst is in fact increased, you will have to drink more and more until what you thought would quench your thirst actually ends up killing you. And that slavery to short-term pleasures is no way for a child of God to live. Therefore, the Christian has to learn to say “NO” to the world’s temptations and “YES” to the greater pleasures that God offers us.

3.) We should not love the world because of its transitory nature, while the one who does God’s will abides forever.

•We now see in verse 17 that we should not love the world because of its momentary nature, while the one who does God’s will abides forever. In the first part of this verse John writes, “And the world passes away, and the lust of it.” Nobody buys stock in a company that is sure to go bankrupt. Nobody sets up house in a sinking ship. No reasonable person would lay up treasure where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal, would they? The world is passing away! To set your heart on it is only asking for heartache and misery in the end.

•In summary, the text contains one commandment and three arguments, or incentives. The commandment is, “Don’t love the world or the things in the world.” The first incentive is that if you love the world, you do not love God. The second incentive is that if you love the world, you will perish with the world. And the third incentive is that if you love God instead of the world, you will live with God forever.

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