Is 1 John 2:15-17 talking about (loving) this life or afterlife?
(loving added to make the question more focussed)
And, also sub-questions, I will attempt to address in this exegesis and comments:
Text: 1 John 2:15-25 (ESV)
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 world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and (the) pride of life—is 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."
The main point of the context is (Believers who truly love God!-implied v1-) *DO NOT LOVE the world and things of the world (The emphasis is in the ἀγαπᾶτε (love-verb-present, imperative, active 2nd pl).
Apostle John expounds,
A. Do not love the world
v 15: "Do not love the world or the things of the world"
Do not (μή - NOT), appeal to "loving behavior is emotional, not rational" e.g. I do because I feel & love it.
love (ἀγαπᾷ, V-PSA) uses of the present imperative denotes the idea of the verb, for loving is continuous. The ἀγαπᾷ is the word that has marks of will, intelligent and purposeful choice, meaning carnally minded.
"World and things of the world - see v 16 & 17
It depicts someone who lives a double life, a believer living immersed in the world. e.g pendulum; i.e. the branch grafted into the true vine, but not bearing fruit-Jn. 15:2)
"The love of God (=God's love)" (ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ Πατρὸς-genitive). The ultimate referent is " Jesus Christ, God's loving Son, the Savior of us). In John 14:23 "Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him."
"is not in him" means Jesus is not in him fully and always, or on-and-off and less than the "world is." e.g. The wife is not the only woman. His mind goes after other women, is more full of other women.
Sum: Apostle John is saying, Children, you are a citizen of Kingdom of God living in this world, you should not let the world occupy your heart and not live pursuing after things of this world, that's what the enemies of God are and does. Must live more "seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you" (John 6:33 - Aramaic in Eng).
v 16: "For all that is in the world....
- "the desires of the flesh"- sinful desire springing from the flesh or depraved nature
which seeks sinful gratification. (Lensky)
- "the desires of the eyes" -the lust that reaches out beyond what a person can actually
get a hold of in his sinning. The lustful eyes rove afar for sinful pleasure.(Lensky)
- "the pride of life" - pride of possessions - ἀλαζονεία(pride,vainglory) - "Hollow
the arrogance which presumes that it can decide and direct the course of life without God,
determine what it will do, gain, achieve, enjoy." (Lensky)
"For all that .....is not from the Father but is from the world." :
- ἐκ (from) denotes the source. = "All that is in the world is not out of the Father but
is out of the word." (Lensky)
v 17:And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of
God abides forever.
-The "world" -signifies a system of sin and lust and evil and pride and rebellion
against God. All things from it are only "dazzling glitters of gold, not the gold.
"passing away" - The world is the very source of "all that" is passing away
(παράγεται - v-present, indicative, passive)- is occurring now and that is fact,
being passed away by the decree of God for the consummation by fire and for the
arrival of the Kingdom of God here "New Heaven and Earth" (Rev. 11:15).
"but whoever does the will of God abides forever." -The believer who lives loving
God more than this world, and following His will of God. He is a wise man aligned
with something eternal.
We, children of God are living in a world where we're constantly facing two choices:
either we love God or the world or love God more or the world.
James 4:4 says, Adulterers, do you not know that friendship with the world means
hostility toward God? So whoever decides to be the world's friend makes himself
In Mt. 10:37, says, "Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not
worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of
V 17 b: *but whoever does the will of God abides forever."
C. But, We are NOT perfect! We will never be perfect!
The Answer is **"Repent & Confession!"** (goes together like two sides of a coin,
some times in different order)
"To Repent (μετανοέω) - a compound word formed from “meta”- “amid” or “with,” and “noeo,”- “to exercise the mind.” literal meaning - “accompanied by an exercise of the mind,” or with understanding, conscientious and rational decision in action for better.(Bible Dictionaries)
to confess (ὁμολογέω) -a compound word formed "homoú," - "together" and légō,- "speak to a conclusion" – properly, to voice the same conclusion, i.e. agree; to profess, declare, admit (without excuse or dow-n play) because in full agreement, align with (endorse) the Word of God. (Bible Dictionaries)
Uses in the Bible:
Repent & confession, i.e The prodigal son (Luke Ch. 15)
Confession & repent for Children (living in the presence of Father)
1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and
to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
1 John 2: 1-2 - "My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may
not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ the righteous. 2He is the propitiation for our sins, and not
for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
Note: As we do "confess" more always and immediately, lesser needs for
Confession helps us (list is not exhaustive):
- to be humble and become more like Jesus.
- to overcome habits of vice.
- will make us more aware of doing things against God's will, and stronger to resist
- lead us to the Holy Spirit for His help and powers.
He is "Another Helper" (ἄλλον Παράκλητον -advocate, advisor- helper called to one's
aid, sent by Jesus-John 14:6)
- Remove the guilt of sin, and restore the peace and joy
- to receive blessings of God more fully