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A Warning Not to Love the World

15 Don’t set the affections of your heart on this world[a] or in loving the things of the world. The love of the Father and the love of the world are incompatible.[b] 16 For all that the world can offer us—the gratification of our flesh, the allurement of the things of the world, and the obsession with status and importance[c]—none of these things come from the Father but from the world. 17 This world[d] and its desires are in the process of passing away, but those who love to[e] do the will of God live forever.[f]

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  1. 2:15 Or “Stop loving the world system” (the ways of the world).
  2. 2:15 Or “If anyone persists in loving the world, there is no love for the Father in him.”
  3. 2:16 These are the three areas of temptation that the serpent used with Adam and Eve in the garden to pull them away from the Father and what the devil used to tempt Jesus in the wilderness. He is an expert at using these cravings to dilute our love for the Father and cause us to turn our affections to the things of this life. See Gen. 3:6; Matt. 4:1–11. But the values of the kingdom of God are setting our affections on things above, living in the fruit of the Spirit (self-control), and humility, which always waits for God’s timing for promotion.
  4. 2:17 That is, the world system and the desire to be in a world system that leaves God out of the picture are disappearing. Planet earth is not fading away here, but the systems, structure, and world order are.
  5. 2:17 Implied in the Greek present-tense verb, which means “to continually [habitually] do the will of God.”
  6. 2:17 There is an interesting word play in the Aramaic in this verse. The Aramaic word for “world” is alma, and the word for “forever” is alam.

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