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.…
Let us not confuse "the world" with the earth, with the whole race of man, with general society, with any particular set, however much some sets are to be avoided. Look at the thing fairly. Yet let us read the letters of Mary Godolphin. She bore a life unspotted by the world in the dissolute court of Charles II, because the love of the Father was in her. In small serious circles are there no hidden lusts which blaze up in scandals? Is there no vanity, no pride, no hatred? In the world of Charles II's court Mary Godolphin lived out of the world which God hated; in the religious world not a few, certainly, live in the world which is not God's. For once more, the world is not so much a place — though at times its power seems to have been drawn into one intense focus, as in the empire of which Rome was the centre, and which may have been in the apostle's thought in the following verse. In the truest and deepest sense the world consists of our own spiritual surrounding; it is the place which we make for our own souls. No walls that ever were reared can shut out the world from us; the "Nun of Kenmare" found that it followed her into the seemingly spiritual retreat of a severe Order. The world in its essence is subtler and thinner than the most infinitesimal of the bacterian germs in the air. They can be strained off by the exquisite apparatus of a man of science. At a certain height they cease to exist. But the world may be wherever we are; we carry it with us wherever we go, it lasts while our lives last. No consecration can utterly banish it even from within the church's walls; it dares to be round us while we kneel, and follows us into the presence of God.
(Abp. Wm. Alexander.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.