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Worldliness Definition #1 – 1 John 2.15-17

March 9, 2009

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 pride in possessions–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.

Perhaps the most popular of passages dealing with worldliness, it is also the one that leads to the most proof-texting (having an idea, and making the verse fit the idea instead of the idea fit the verse). This is the verse where many of us have learned that we shouldn’t go to movies, drink, smoke, get tattoo’s, dance, watch commercials, wear fashionable clothing, etc. etc. The problem is, that’s not what the passage says!

Here are some of the discussion questions we worked through for this passage:

What are the things of the world? If you had to boil that down to one or two words, what would it/they be? Why are we told to not love the world? The term worldliness has been used a lot. What have you heard that worldliness looks like?

Some suggested ideas (I say ideas, because I can’t read most of my writing of people’s definitions… that being said, if you want to clarify one, or add your own, feel free to comment!!!!) were:

A mindset of trying to please me over God.

The pursuit of anything in my life that replaces, takes the place of or competes with Jesus.

My definition has become this:

Living a life of “atheistic passions,” where I make stuff, the accumulation of stuff and the resulting status my highest good.

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