Love not the world

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JP: I found this helpful in my study this week.

There are three ways the Greek word κόσμος (the world) is used in the New Testament

  1. As the universe: Example John 1:10 (underlined word): “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.”
  2. As the world of mankind: Example John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
  3. As the world system that is in rebellion against God. Examples:
    • John 1:10 , “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him
    • 1 John 5:19, “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one”
    • 1 John 3:1, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him”

When John says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world”, he is using the world in the third sense. In the first sense, God made the universes and it was good. We are to appreciate the creative work of God. In the second sense, we are to have a passion for the lost and a love of mankind. In the third sense we are to abhor the world’s system of thought, values and morals which stand against God.

I found this quotation helpful:

Do not court the intimacy and favor of the unchristian world around you; do not take its customs for your laws, nor adopt its ideals, nor covet its prizes, nor seek fellowship with its life

Source: James Montgomery Boyce, The Episles of John, p 63. Boyce cites Robert Law, The Tests of Life: Law rephrases the apostle’s appeal

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