1 John 2:15
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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
1 John 2:15-17. To you all, whether fathers, young men, or little children, I say, Love not the world — Pursue your victory by overcoming the world, and all the temptations which may assault you from it, whether from prosperity or adversity, from riches or poverty, honour or reproach, pleasure or pain, life or death; from the persons of the world, or from the things that are in the world — Whether they assault you through the medium of your senses, or your appetites and passions. If any man love the world — Esteem, desire, or pursue it, or any thing in it, inordinately, so as to place his happiness in the enjoyment of it; the love of the Father is not in him — There being a real inconsistency between the love of the world and the love of God; between being carnally minded, esteeming, desiring, and pursuing immoderately visible and temporal things, which is death, and being spiritually minded, having our thoughts and affections set on invisible and heavenly things, which is life and peace, Romans 8:6. For all that is in the world — That is tempting and alluring; the lust Επιθυμια, the desire; of the flesh — The pleasure arising from gratifying the outward senses, whether of the taste, smell, or touch, or the bodily appetites; the desire of the eyes — Those things, which, being seen by the eyes, are earnestly desired and sought after, and which they take pleasure in beholding, especially riches, including also the pleasures of imagination, (to which the eye chiefly is subservient,) of that internal sense whereby we relish whatever is grand, new, or beautiful; and the pride of life — Those things wherein men are wont to take the greatest pride, and which chiefly feed pride of heart; all that pomp in clothes, houses, furniture, equipage, manner of living, things which generally procure honour from the bulk of mankind, and so gratify pride and vanity. It therefore directly includes the desire of praise, and, remotely, covetousness. All these desires are not of the Father, but of the world — That is, from the prince of this world, or from that corruption of nature that prevails in worldly men. And the world passeth away — Namely, all the enjoyments of the world; and the desire thereof — All that appears desirable in it, and causes it to be so much sought after; or all that can gratify the above-mentioned desires, passeth away with it; but he that doeth the will of God — That loves him, and not the world, and seeks happiness in him, and not in worldly things, abideth in the enjoyment of what he loves, and makes the object of his pursuit, for ever.2:15-17 The things of the world may be desired and possessed for the uses and purposes which God intended, and they are to be used by his grace, and to his glory; but believers must not seek or value them for those purposes to which sin abuses them. The world draws the heart from God; and the more the love of the world prevails, the more the love of God decays. The things of the world are classed according to the three ruling inclinations of depraved nature. 1. The lust of the flesh, of the body: wrong desires of the heart, the appetite of indulging all things that excite and inflame sensual pleasures. 2. The lust of the eyes: the eyes are delighted with riches and rich possessions; this is the lust of covetousness. 3. The pride of life: a vain man craves the grandeur and pomp of a vain-glorious life; this includes thirst after honour and applause. The things of the world quickly fade and die away; desire itself will ere long fail and cease, but holy affection is not like the lust that passes away. The love of God shall never fail. Many vain efforts have been made to evade the force of this passage by limitations, distinctions, or exceptions. Many have tried to show how far we may be carnally-minded, and love the world; but the plain meaning of these verses cannot easily be mistaken. Unless this victory over the world is begun in the heart, a man has no root in himself, but will fall away, or at most remain an unfruitful professor. Yet these vanities are so alluring to the corruption in our hearts, that without constant watching and prayer, we cannot escape the world, or obtain victory over the god and prince of it.Love not the world - The term "world" seems to be used in the Scriptures in three senses:

(1) As denoting the physical universe; the world as it appears to the eye; the world considered as the work of God, as a material creation.

(2) the world as applied to the people that reside in it - "the world of mankind."

(3) as the dwellers on the earth are by nature without religion, and act under a set of maxims, aims, and principles that have reference only to this life, the term comes to be used with reference to that community; that is, to the objects which they especially seek, and the principles by which they are actuated.

Considered with reference to the first sense of the word, it is not improper to love the world as the work of God, and as illustrating his perfections; for we may suppose that God loves his own works, and it is not wrong that we should find pleasure in their contemplation. Considered with reference to the second sense of the word, it is not wrong to love the people of the world with a love of benevolence, and to have attachment to our kindred and friends who constitute a part of it, though they are not Christians. It is only with reference to the word as used in the third sense that the command here can be understood to be applicable, or that the love of the world is forbidden; with reference to the objects sought, the maxims that prevail, the principles that reign in that community that lives for this world as contradistinguished from the world to come. The meaning is, that we are not to fix our affections on worldly objects - on what the world can furnish - as our portion, with the spirit with which they do who live only for this world, regardless of the life to come. We are not to make this world the object of our chief affection; we are not to be influenced by the maxims and feelings which prevail among those who do. Compare the Romans 12:2 note, and James 4:4 note. See also Matthew 16:26; Luke 9:25; 1 Corinthians 1:20; 1 Corinthians 3:19; Galatians 4:3; Colossians 2:8.

Neither the things that are in the world - Referred to in the next verse as "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life." This explanation shows what John meant by "the things that are in the world." He does not say that we are in no sense to love "anything" that is in the material world; that we are to feel no interest in flowers, and streams, and forests, and fountains; that we are to have no admiration for what God has done as the Creator of all things; that we are to cherish no love for any of the inhabitants of the world, our friends and kindred; or that we are to pursue none of the objects of this life in making provision for our families; but that we are not to love the things which are sought merely to pamper the appetite, to please the eye, or to promote pride in living. These are the objects sought by the people of the world; these are not the objects to be sought by the Christian.

If any man love the world ... - If, in this sense, a person loves the world, it shows that he has no true religion; that is, if characteristically he loves the world as his portion, and lives for that; if it is the ruling principle of his life to gain and enjoy that, it shows that his heart has never been renewed, and that he has no part with the children of God. See the James 4:4 note; Matthew 6:24 note.

15. Love not the world—that lieth in the wicked one (1Jo 5:19), whom ye young men have overcome. Having once for all, through faith, overcome the world (1Jo 4:4; 5:4), carry forward the conquest by not loving it. "The world" here means "man, and man's world" [Alford], in his and its state as fallen from God. "God loved [with the love of compassion] the world," and we should feel the same kind of love for the fallen world; but we are not to love the world with congeniality and sympathy in its alienation from God; we cannot have this latter kind of love for the God-estranged world, and yet have also "the love of the Father in" us.

neither—Greek, "nor yet." A man might deny in general that he loved the world, while keenly following some one of THE THINGS IN IT: its riches, honors, or pleasures; this clause prevents him escaping from conviction.

any man—therefore the warning, though primarily addressed to the young, applies to all.

love of—that is, towards "the Father." The two, God and the (sinful) world, are so opposed, that both cannot be congenially loved at once.

What he here means by the forbidden object of our love, must be gathered from his own explication, 1Jo 2:16. The love itself forbidden, in reference thereto, is that excess thereof, whereby any adhere to terrene things, as their best good; wherewith, as he adds, any sincere love to God is inconsistent, as Matthew 6:24 Luke 14:3: a consideration so awful and tremendous, that it is not strange the precept it enforces should have so solemn and urgent an introduction. Love not the world,.... The habitable earth, the world in which men live; this is not to be loved by saints, as if it was their habitation, where they are always to be, and so loath to remove from it, seeing they are but sojourners, and pilgrims, and strangers here; this is not their rest, nor dwellingplace, their continuing city, or proper country, that is heaven. Nor should they love the men of the world, who are as they came into it, are of it, and mind the things of it, and lie in wickedness, and are wicked men; for though these are to be loved, as men, as fellow creatures, and their good, both spiritual and temporal, is to be sought, and good is to be done to them, as much as lies in our power, both with respect to soul and body; yet their company is not to be chosen, and preferred to the saints, but to be shunned and avoided, as disagreeable and dangerous; their evil conversation, and wicked communications, are not to be loved, but abhorred, and their works of darkness are to be reproved; nor are their ways to be imitated, and their customs followed, or their manners to be conformed unto:

neither the things that are in the world; good men that are in the world, though they are not of the world, are to be loved; and the kingdom of Christ, though it is not of the world, yet it is in the world, and is to be regarded and promoted to the uttermost; and there are the natural and civil things of the world, called this world's goods, which may be loved within due bounds, and used in a proper manner, though they are not to be loved inordinately and abused. This is the character of worldly men; so the Jews call such, , "such that love world" (g). Near relations and friends in the world, and the blessings of life, may be loved and enjoyed in their way, but not above God and Christ, or so as to take up satisfaction and contentment in them, to make idols of them, and put trust and confidence in them, and prefer them to spiritual and heavenly things, and be so taken with them, as to be unconcerned for, and careless about the other; but the evil things of the world, or at least the evil use of them, and affection for them, are here intended, as appears from the following verse. Now it is chiefly with respect to the fathers, and young men, that this exhortation is given; and the repetition of what is said to them before is made, to introduce this; which is exceeding suitable to their age and characters. Old men are apt to be covetous, and love the world and worldly things, just when they are going out of it, and about to leave them; and young men are apt to be carried away with lust, vanity, ambition, and pride: and therefore, from each of these, the apostle dissuades, from the following arguments,

if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him; that is, "the love of God", as the Alexandrian copy and the Ethiopic version read; who is the Father of Christ, and of all the elect in him; and who is indeed, by creation, the Father of all men, the Father of spirits, of the souls of men, and of angels, and the Father of mercies and of lights, and by the love of him is meant, either the love with which he loves his people, and which being shed abroad in the heart, attracts the soul to himself, and causes it to love him above the world, and all things in it; and such an one esteems of it, and an interest in it, more than life, and all the enjoyments of it, and is by it loosened to the world, and sets light by it, and can part with all good things in it, and suffer all evil things cheerfully, under the constraints and influence of this love; so that it is a clear case, that when the affections of men are set upon the world, and they are glued to the things of it, their hearts are not warmed with a sense of the love of God, or, that is not sensibly in them, or shed abroad in their hearts: or else by the love of God is meant love to God, which is inconsistent with the love of the world, or with such an inordinate love of mammon, as to serve it; for a man may as soon serve two masters, as serve God and mammon, which he can never do truly, faithfully, and affectionately; and which also is not consistent with friendship with the men of the world, or a conversation and fellowship with them in things that are evil, whether superstition or profaneness; see Matthew 6:24.

(g) Kimchi in Psal. xlix. 9. Ben Melech in ib. ver. 14.

{14} Love not the {l} world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the {m} love of the Father is not in him.

(14) The world which is full of wicked desires, lusts or pleasures, and pride, is utterly hated by our heavenly Father. Therefore the Father and the world cannot be loved together: and this admonition is very necessary for young and growing youth.

(l) He speaks of the world, as it agrees not with the will of God, for otherwise God is said to love the world with an infinite love, Joh 3:16 that is to say, those whom he chose out of the world.

(m) Wherewith the Father is loved.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 John 2:15. μὴ ἀγαπᾶτε τὸν κόσμον] The meaning of ἀγαπᾶν depends on that of the idea κόσμος.

κόσμος is with John eminently an ethical conception = mankind, fallen away from God, and of hostile disposition towards Him, together with all that it lives for and has made its own; comp. on Jam 1:27; Jam 4:4 (similarly Gerlach, Besser, Düsterdieck, Myrberg, Ebrard, Braune[132]). The explanations that deviate from this are divided into three leading classes—(1) Those in which ΚΌΣΜΟς is regarded as a total number of men indeed, but in a limited way; either = “the heathen world” (Lange), or more indefinitely: “the mass of common men” (Oecumenius: Ὁ ΣΥΡΦΕΤῸς ὌΧΛΟς, Ὃς Οὐ ΤῊΝ ΤΟῦ ΠΑΤΡῸς ἜΧΕΙ ἈΓΆΠΗΝ ἘΝ ἙΑΥΤῷ; Calovius: homines dediti rebus hujus mundi), or “the greater part of men” (Grotius: humanum genus, secundum partem majorem, quae in malis actionibus versatur); Storr limits the idea here “to that part of the world which the antichristians constituted.” (2) Those which understand κόσμος not of the human world itself, but of the evil dwelling in it; so says the Scholiast: ΚΌΣΜΟΝ ΤῊΝ ΚΟΣΜΙΚῊΝ ΦΙΛΗΔΟΝΊΑΝ ΚΑῚ ΔΙΆΧΥΣΙΝ ΛΈΓΕΙ, Ἧς ἘΣΤῚΝ ἌΡΧΩΝ Ὁ ΔΙΆΒΟΛΟς; Luther: “the world, i.e. godlessness itself, through which a man has not the right use of the creatures;” to this class belong also the explanations of Calvin, Morus, S. Schmid, Semler;[133] but in this abstract sense the word never appears elsewhere; and besides, taking this view, difficulties appear in the sequel which can only be overcome by arbitrary interpretations. (3) Those explanations in which κόσμος is regarded as the total of perishable (actual) things; these things being regarded as purely physical, there lies in the idea κόσμος, in and by itself, no ethical meaning, but this appears only through the ἀγαπᾷν which is connected with it; the κόσμος as a creature of God is in itself good and irreproachable, but the love to the κόσμος, through which man centres his affections on it, and makes it the single aim of his activity, is to be blamed, because amid all association with earthly things it is not they, but God, that must be loved; thus there results for the command: μὴ ἀγαπᾶτε τὸν κόσμον, certainly an appropriate idea; but what follows in 1 John 2:16-17 has induced almost all commentators who accept this view to give, nevertheless, to the idea κόσμος itself, more or less distinctly, an ethical reference; thus Lücke indeed says: “ὁ κόσμος is, as the sum total of the temporal and sensuous, in contrast (!) to the πνεῦμα, always only the objective sphere of evil, i.e. to which it tends as ethical direction and disposition,” but immediately afterwards he explains the same idea “as the sum total of all sensuous appearances, which excite the desire of the senses;” still more definitely de Wette says: “the sum total of that which attracts desire, the temporal, sensuous, earthly—regarded in contrast with God;” but this connection of the ethical reference with the idea of actual things is itself rather unsuitable; not in the things, but in man himself, lies the cause of the seductive charm which things exercise upon him; besides, it is not possible to retain this conception of the word without modification to the end of the 17th verse.[134] It is true some commentators[135] distinctly say that John here makes a sort of play upon the word, but such an assumption does too much violence to the clearness and certainty of the thought for us to approve of it. The right view, therefore, is to take ὁ κόσμος here in the same sense that the word prevailingly has throughout John’s works, so that it signifies the world lying ἘΝ Τῷ ΠΟΝΗΡῷ. This ΚΌΣΜΟς, this is the meaning of the apostle’s warning, is not to be the object of the ἈΓΆΠΗ of believers. From this it follows that ἈΓΑΠᾷΝ here means neither “to love too much,” nor “to love with unhallowed sense,” but love in the strictest sense of the word, consisting in a life of inner fellowship.[136]

μηδὲ τὰ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ] As κόσμος is an ethical idea, natural objects as such cannot be meant by τὰ ἐν τ. κ., but only these in so far as they are taken by the ungodly world into its service; or better, the apparently good things which the world pursues, or with which it delights itself, and which therefore belong to it, as riches, honour, power, human wisdom, and such like. Ebrard erroneously understands thereby “the different kinds of sinful impulse, thought, and action, e.g. avarice, ambition, sensuality, and such like,” for either of these is plainly a love (although a false, unholy love) which cannot itself again be regarded as the object of love.

ἐάν τις ἀγαπᾷ τὸν κόσμον, οὐκ ἔστιν κ.τ.λ.] By this sentence the apostle confirms the previous exhortation, expressing the incongruity of love to the κόσμος with the ἀγάπη τοῦ πατρός; Bede: Unum cor duos tam sibi adversaries amores non capit. By ἀγάπη τοῦ πατρός is to be understood neither the love of God to us (Luther II., Calovius), nor the charitas quam Pater praescribit (Socinus); but, as by far the most of commentators (Bede, Beza, Grotius, Vatablus, Spener, etc., and all the modern commentators, even Ebrard, despite his erroneous interpretation of 1 John 2:5), interpret, love to God.[137]

If πατρός is the correct reading, then the name Father is here to be explained from the filial relationship of Christians to God, and points to their duty not to love the world, but God.

Between the two sorts of ἀγάπη there is the same exclusive contrast as between the Θεῷ δουλεύειν and μαμωνᾷ δουλεύειν, Matthew 6:24. Compare also Jam 4:4 : ἡ φιλία τοῦ κόσμου, ἔχθρα τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐστίν.

[132] It might not be incorrect to suppose that John, when he here and afterwards in his Epistle places the κόσμος in sharp contrast with believers, specially understands the sum-total of those who, as the light has come into the world, love the darkness rather than light (Gospel of John 3:13), and therefore not unsaved humanity as such, but those of mankind who resist salvation, while by ὅλος ὁ κόσμος (1 John 2:2) the whole human race, as needing salvation, is to be understood.

[133] Calvin: Mundi nomine intellige, quiequid ad praesentem vitam spectat, ubi separatur a regno Dei et spe vitae aeternae. Ita in se comprehendit omne genus corruptelae et malorum omnium abyssum. Morus explains κόσμος by: malum morale; S. Selimid by: corruptio peccaminosa; Semler by: vulgata consuetudo hominum, res corporeas unice appetentium. Here may be enumerated also the interpretation of Erdmann: totus complexus et ambitus mali, quatenus hoc non solum toti generi humano, verum etiam propter hominum a Deo defectionem omnibus rebus humanis totique rerum naturae inhaeret.

[134] Thus Lücke finds himself compelled in the case of πᾶν ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ to make an abstraction of the things themselves, and to understand thereby their ethical reference; and here results the certainly unjustifiable thought that this ethical reference of things has its origin in the things themselves (ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου). Still more decidedly, de Wette says that in the words ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου ἐστί, ver. 16, “ὁ κόσμος is not regarded as the sum total of earthly things, but as the sensuous life alienated from God, or as the sum total of worldly men who enjoy this;” somewhat differently Brückner: “that the sum total of earthly evil, of the κόσμος, is here regarded rather of real things, is clear from the subordinate clause μηδὲ τὰ ἐν τῷ κ.; in ver. 16 the personal aspect prevails.” Neander, on ver. 16, equally deviates from the explanation which he had given of ver. 15; in the latter he regards ὁ κόσμος as “the world and earthly things,” but in the former as “the predominating tendency of the soul to the world, the growing worldliness of the soul, which blends itself with the world.”

[135] Thus a Lapide says (after he has assigned to the word three meanings, namely (1) homines mundani, in his proprie est concupiscentia; (2) orbis sublunaris, in hoe mundo proprie et formaliter non est eoncupiscentia; sed in eo est concupiscentia materialis i.e. objectum concupiscibile; (3) ipsa mundana vita vel concupiscentia in genere): omnibus hisce modis mundus hic accipi potest et Johannes nunc ad unum, nunc ad alterum respicit; ludit enim in voce mundus.

[136] Lücke groundlessly thinks the idea of love must necessarily be weakened to that of “mere longing for,” if by κόσμος the human world is understood.

[137] A combination of both interpretations: amor patris erga suos et filialis erga patrem (Bengel), is clearly unjustifiable.

1 John 2:15-17. A warning against love of the world, which is directed neither specially to the children (Oecumenius: ἐπτόηται γὰρ ἀεὶ τὰ παιδία περὶ τὸ φαινόμενον ἡδύ), nor specially to the young men (Bengel, Semler, Besser), but to all (Bede: omnibus haec generaliter ecclesiae filiis scribit).1 John 2:15. He is dealing with believers who have a large experience of the grace of Christ, and on this fact he proceeds to base an appeal, a call to further advancement and higher attainment: “Love not the world”. Yet God “loved the world” (John 3:16). Observe that the Apostle does not say that the world is evil. It is God’s world, and “God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). His meaning is: “The things in the world are transient. Do not set your affection on them, else you will sustain a bitter disappointment. The world is a good and beautiful gift of God, to be used with joy and gratitude; but it is not the supreme end, it is not the home of our souls”. “Let the Spirit of God be in thee,” says St. Augustine, “that thou mayest see that all these things are good; but woe to thee if thou love created things and forsake the Creator!… If a bridegroom made a ring for his bride and, when she got it, she were fonder of the ring than of the bridegroom who made the ring for her, would not an adulterous spirit be detected in the very gift of the bridegroom, however she might love what the bridegroom gave?… God gave thee all those things: love Him who made them. There is more which He would fain give thee, to wit, Himself who made these things”. Again: “There are two loves—of the world and of God. If the love of the world inhabit, there is no way for the love of God to enter. Let the love of the world retire and that of God inhabit, let the better get room.… Shut out the evil love of the world, that thou mayest be filled by the love of God. Thou art a vessel, but thou art still full; pour out what thou hast, that thou mayest get what thou hast not”. ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ Πατρός, like ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ Θεοῦ (1 John 2:5), either (1) “love for the Father,” in antithesis to ἀγαπᾷ τὸν κόσμον, or (2) “the love which the Father feels for us”. In fact the one implies the other. The sense of the Father’s love for us awakens in us an answering love for Him. Cf. 1 John 4:19.15. Love not the world] The asyndeton is remarkable. S. John has just stated his premises, his readers’ happiness as Christians. He now abruptly states the practical conclusion, without any introductory ‘therefore’. As was said above on 1 John 2:2, we must distinguish between the various meanings of the Apostle’s favourite word, ‘world.’ In John 3:16 he tells us that ‘God loved the world’, and here he tells us that we must not do so. “S. John is never afraid of an apparent contradiction when it saves his readers from a real contradiction … The opposition which is on the surface of his language may be the best way of leading us to the harmony which lies below it” (Maurice). The world which the Father loves is the whole human race. The world which we are not to love is all that is alienated from Him, all that prevents men from loving Him in return. The world which God loves is His creature and His child: the world which we are not to love is His rival. The best safeguard against the selfish love of what is sinful in the world is to remember God’s unselfish love of the world. ‘The world’ here is that from which S. James says the truly religious man keeps himself ‘unspotted’, friendship with which is ‘enmity with God’ (James 1:27; James 4:4). It is not enough to say that ‘the world’ here means ‘earthly things, so far as they tempt to sin’, or ‘sinful lusts’, or ‘worldly and impious men’. It means all of these together: all that acts as a rival to God; all that is alienated from God and opposed to Him, especially sinful men with their sinful lusts. ‘The world’ and ‘the darkness’ are almost synonymous; to love the one is to love the other (John 3:19): to be in the darkness is to be of the world.

neither the things that are in the world] Or, nor yet the things, &c., i.e. ‘Love not the world; no, nor anything in that sphere.’ Comp. ‘Not to consort with … no, nor eat with’ (1 Corinthians 5:11). ‘The things in the world’, as is plain from 1 John 2:16, are not material objects, which can be desired and possessed quite innocently, although they may also be occasions of sin. Rather, they are those elements in the world which are necessarily evil, its lusts and ambitions and jealousies, which stamp it as the kingdom of ‘the ruler of this world’ (John 12:31) and not the kingdom of God.

If any man love the world] Once more, as in 1 John 2:1, the statement is made quite general by the hypothetical form: everyone who does so is in this case. The Lord had proclaimed the same principle; ‘No man can serve two masters … Ye cannot serve God and mammon’ (Matthew 6:24). So also S. James; ‘Whosoever would be a friend of the world maketh himself an enemy of God’ (1 John 4:4). Comp. Galatians 1:10. Thus we arrive at another pair of those opposites of which S. John is so fond. We have had light and darkness, truth and falsehood, love and hate; we now have love of the Father and love of the world. The world which is coextensive with darkness must exclude the God who is light. By writing ‘the love of the Father’ rather than ‘the love of God’ (which some authorities read here) the Apostle points to the duty of Christians as children of God. ‘The love of the Father’ (a phrase which occurs nowhere else) means man’s love to Him, not His to man: see on 1 John 2:5. A fragment of Philo declares that ‘it is impossible for love to the world to coexist with love to God’.

15–17. The Things to be Avoided;—the World and its Ways

Having reminded them solemnly of the blessedness of their condition as members of the Christian family, whether old or young, and having declared that this blessedness of peace, knowledge, and strength is his reason for writing to them, he goes on to exhort them to live in a manner that shall be worthy of this high estate, and to avoid all that is inconsistent with it.1 John 2:15. Μὴ ἀγαπᾶτε τὸν κόσμον, love not the world) This has special reference to you, young men. Follow up your victory against the wicked one, in whom the world lies: ch. 1 John 5:19.—οὐκ ἔστιν, is not) Contraries do not exist together.—ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ Πατρὸς) the love of the Father towards His children, and filial love [of the children] towards the Father.Verses 15-17. - Secondly, walking in the light excludes all love of the world. This is another form of darkness. Verse 15. - Love not the world. Obviously, both "love" and "the world" are used in a different sense in John 3:16, where it is said that "God loved the world." The one love is selfish, the other unselfish. In the one case "the world" means the sinful elements of human life, in the other the human race. It is most important to distinguish the different meanings of κόσμος in the New Testament. Connected with κόμειν and comere, it means

(1) ornament (1 Peter 3:3);

(2) the ordered universe, mundus (Romans 1:20);

(3) the earth (John 1:9);

(4) the inhabitants of the earth (John 3:16);

(5) all that is alienated from God, as here and frequently in St. John's writings. The things of the world are not those things in the world which may become objects of sinful affection, such as wealth or honour, still less such as scenery or physical objects. St. John is not condemning a love of those material advantages which are God's gifts, nor of nature, which is God's work. He is forbidding those things the love of which rivals and excludes the love of God - all those immoral tendencies and pursuits which give the world its evil character. The world κόσμος is order; the things in the world are the elements of disorder - those things which arise from each man making himself the center of the world, or of some little world of his own creation. These rival centers clash with one another, and also with the one true Center. All this St. John forbids. With τὰ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ, cf. τί η΅ν ἐν τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ (John 2:25). Note the μηδέ (not μήτε), nor yet: "Love not the world; no, nor any of its ways." As so often, St. John goes on to enforce his words by a negative statement of similar but not identical import. Love of the world absolutely excludes the love of the Father. "Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Some important authorities have τοῦ Θεοῦ for τοῦ Πατρός; the balance is decidedly for the latter. The world (τὸν κόσμον)

See on John 1:9.

The love of the Father (ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ πατρὸς)

The phrase occurs only here in the New Testament. It means love towards the Father, yet as generated by the Father's love to man. Compare 1 John 3:1. See on love of God, 1 John 2:5.

Is not in him

This means more than that he does not love God: rather that the love of God does not dwell in him as the ruling principle of his life. Westcott cites a parallel from Philo: "It is impossible for love to the world to coexist with love to God, as it is impossible for light and darkness to coexist." Compare Plato. "Evils, Theodorus, can never pass away; for there must always remain something which is antagonist to good. Having no place among the gods in heaven, of necessity they hover around the earthly nature, and this mortal sphere. Wherefore we ought to fly away from earth to heaven as quickly as we can; and to fly away is to become like God, as far as this is possible; and to become like Him is to become holy and just and wise" ("Theaetetus," 176).

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