Loving the World is Inferior to Doing the Will of God

Concerning my previous rant, 1 John 2:15-17 comes to mind when I think about what’s been said so far:

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. 16 For all that is in the worldthe desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessionsis not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

Concerning verse 16, the English Baptist scholar John Gill writes:

For all that [is] in the world,…. This is the sum of the evil things in the world; or these following are the objects of sin in the world, or about which wicked men are conversant; even such as are carnal or grateful to the flesh, visible to the eye, and belong to this vain life, or serve to fill with pride and vanity; or these are the main things, which men that love the world most highly value and esteem:

the lust of the flesh; by which is meant, not lust in general, or concupiscence, the corruption of nature, which is the fountain of all sin, or indwelling sin, the flesh, or that corrupt principle which lusts against the Spirit; nor the various lusts of the flesh, fleshly lusts, which war against the soul, and which are many, and are also called worldly lusts; but some particular one, “a lust of the body,” as the Syriac version reads; either the lust of uncleanness, which includes all unchaste desires, thoughts, words, and actions, fornication, adultery, rape, incest, sodomy, and all unnatural lusts; and which make up a considerable part of the all that is in the world: or else intemperance in eating and drinking, gluttony and drunkenness, excess of wine, surfeitings, rioting, and revellings, and all the sensual pleasures of life, by which the carnal mind, and the lusts of it, are gratified; whereby the soul is destroyed, the body is dishonoured, and a wound, dishonour, and reproach brought on the character, not to be removed; for which reasons the world, and the things of it, are not to be loved: the next follows,

the lust of the eyes: after unlawful objects, and may design unchaste and lascivious looks, eyes full of adultery, and whereby adultery is committed; see Matthew 5:28; but then this falls in with the other, unless that be confined to intemperance; rather then this may intend a sinful curiosity of seeing vain sights, and shows, with which the eye of man is never satisfied, Ecclesiastes 1:8; and against which the psalmist prays, Psalm 119:37, or rather the sin of covetousness is here designed, the objects of which are visible things, as gold, silver, houses, lands, and possessions, with which riches the eyes of men are never satisfied, and which sin is drawn forth and cherished by the eyes; and indeed a covetous man has little more satisfaction than the beholding his substance with his eyes, and in which he takes much sinful pleasure; see Ecclesiastes 4:8; and what a poor vain empty thing is this! therefore, love not the world, since this is a principal thing in it: as is also

the pride of life; by which seems to be meant, ambition of honour, of chief places and high titles, as in the Scribes and Pharisees, Matthew 23:6, or of grand living, for the word signifies not so much life as living; living in a sumptuous, gay, luxurious, and pompous manner, in rich diet, costly apparel, having fine seats, palaces, and stately buildings, and numerous attendance; all which is but vanity and vexation of spirit; see Ecclesiastes 2:1. The Syriac and Arabic versions read, “the pride of the age”; and every age has some peculiar things in which the pride of it appears. Now neither of these

is of the Father; of God the Father, as the Ethiopic version reads; the things which are desired and lusted after are of God, but not the lust itself; God is not the author of sin, nor is it agreeable to his will:

but is of the world; of the men of it, and agreeable to their carnal minds; and is a reason why things of the world are not to be loved by the saints, who are not of it, but chosen and called out of it; and besides, all these things are mean, base, vile, and contemptible, and unworthy of their love and affection.

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