“Do not love the world…” I John 2:15
The exiled apostle had reminded the church of the new command Christ had given, that of loving one another (Read John 13:34). He had described Love’s benefit of living with a clear perspective toward others. He had contrasted the clarity of love with the confusion brought through hate: while love clears one’s perspective from the fog of darkness, hate clouds one’s perspective as if walking blindly – stumbling through life in darkness. In today’s five understandable words, John moved to advising what not to love: the world (in the original Greek, kosmon).
But didn’t God declare everything in the world good? (Genesis 1:31) When studying God’s Word, one must be sure to do so within the context of the passage, as well as within the context of scripture in its entirety. God DID proclaim His creation as good… before the fall… before man’s rejection of God’s loving parameters for life in the Garden of Eden, the world was good. When man rebelled against God everything changed. Theologians call it “The Fall of Man”, though in reality, it was the fall of everything in God’s creation. The world He had created was now tarnished by the wickedness of man’s sin.
But didn’t God love the world (kosmon) so much that He gave His only son? (John 3:16) God’s love for the world described in John 3:16 is more aptly described as His love for the people in the world. All people are made in God’s likeness, with an eternal component – one’s spirit. God’s love for us was and is so great that He Himself came and paid the penalty for our sin, and the sins of everyone in the world.
So, how do these five simple words apply to us today? We live in a fallen world, a world whose systems may lure us into great lusts or desires for riches, power, influence. These are not bad in and of themselves, though they are often exercised in evil ways. If we are to love the world (the people whose eternal destinies await the judgment seat of Christ), we are to reject those things which seek to bend our knees in idolatry to fame, fortune, power, and personal glorification. When we seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, we will then inherit an everlasting reward with those who have discovered this same understanding.
May we bow before the Father and never before fame…
Peace and blessings to all.