What do you love? Who do you love? What is interesting about our concept of love is the nebulous nature of love. We throw the word “love” around very loosely – we love everything. I love God. I love my wife. I love college football. I love chocolate cake. Each of those has a different level of meaning. That is to say I don’t love God as much as I love chocolate cake nor do I love college football as much as I love my wife. Of course, my love for my wife is different that my love for God. When it comes to fellowship with God and the Christian’s love for God, John has five reasons why the Christian should not the world and should therefore love God (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.
Do not love the world—this is the inordinate desire for the world and the things of the world. It is a mindset set on the earthy and earthly. In a word: worldly. It is not only action but these actions are produced by the attitude. Why not love the world? V.17, its passing away.
The world—ordered system of which Satan is the head (5.19). This is the dominion of Satan.
If anyone loves the world—if your desire is for the world (continued practice, habit, career), God has no part with you (fellowship). See Matt 6.24; Luke 16.13. You cannot sacrifice yourself to the world and then sacrifice yourself to God. We cannot serve two masters.
The love of the Father… – It is impossible for the love of God to coexist with the love of the world. Hence, God’s love is not in us for the love of the world has consumed us.
16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.
All that is in the world—everything the world can produce and promise. Promises of sensual, transient gratification; these promises go unfulfilled, just ask Hollywood.
Desire— “lust” (ASV, KJV). This is a longing (passionate), a craving for a particular thing. In Spanish, it is a “grano” (nothing seems to satisfy until you satisfy that appetite); in the South they call it a “hankerin’.”
The desire of the flesh—Those things internal that we do not have (come of which are essential to survival). Those sensual and impure desires which seek gratification in women/men, strong drink, delicious viands, and the like. Combating this: Rom 13.14
The desires of the eyes— Those things which are external that we do not have. Those desires for the finer things such as gaudy dress, splendid houses, superb furniture, expensive equipage, trappings, etc. ex. Matt 4.8; Luke 4.5
Pride in possessions—Concerning things internal that we do have. Not only the desire but also the boasting of what you have be it honors, titles, and pedigrees; boasting in ancestry, family connections, great offices, honorable acquaintances; bragging about control over future events and destiny, and the like. Ex. Dan 4.30
Not from the Father but…the world—these do not have their origin or end in God.
17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
The world is passing away—It is passing away even now. It will cease to exist, end.
Along with its desires—its all fading away: the vain pursuits, worldly pleasures, generations.
Whoever does the will of God—that is you seek the pleasure, honor, and profit from above. Specifically, in the context, this has to do with not loving the world, loving one another, obeying the commands of God, walking in the light.
Abides forever—Why? Because we are in God (v.5b-6) and God is eternal and unchangeable, unfading. The world will end, but God (and we) will go unendingly in eternity. This is a striking contrast between the believer and the world; the world is passing away but the believer remains (keeps on remaining) forever.
Five reasons not to love the world
- Love of the Father (v.15b)
- Command (v.15a) – Do not love the world
- All this world can give us is unfulfilled promises (v.16) – lust and pride
- These things are not from God (v.16b)
- The world is passing away (v.17) – it will not last forever.
Therefore, love God.