Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What is meant by the words "the world?" in 1 John 2:15-17 by Tuese Ahkiong

1 John 2:15-17 What is meant by the words "the world?" by Tuese Ahkiong

October 14, 2013 at 1:28am
What is meant by the words "the world?" in 1 John 2:15-17  by Tuese Ahkiong
I wrote this in light of hearing a sermon on 1John 2:12-17.

The word "world" or “the world” here is “the world of Judaism” or the First Covenant World.   It is not today’s system of loving things or being worldly or of flesh, pride and possessions. 

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 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.

It was “the world of Judaism” that was passing away along with its desires in the first century.  Paul brings this out in a couple of passages:

1 Cor 7: 31 and those who deal with THE WORLD as though they had no dealings with it.  For the present form of THIS WORLD is passing away.

In this passage, Paul says that “THE PRESENT FORM OF THIS WORLD IS PASSING AWAY” first century. What world passed away in the first century?  The world of Judaism; the 1st covenant world.

The sermon also sited Romans 12 as relating to the flesh, pride and possession loving mentality…  I do not think that is what Paul means here.  The context shows that he is talking about “THIS AGE” which is “Old Covenant Age.”

The word "world" in this passage is the greek word "aioni" or "aeon" which is age but is typically translated "world." Now how does that change our popular view of Romans 12:1-2? What "age" was Paul, Christ and the Gospel writers in?  The Old Covenant Age in which Christ was born under The Law.

Gal 4: But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman,born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

Let me know if you experienced the aha moment. What maybe helpful is looking at Romans 11 and how that supports the context of "this age."

Romans 12:1-2

ESV 1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to THIS WORLD, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

YLT 1 I call upon you, therefore, brethren, through the compassions of God, to present your bodies a sacrifice -- living, sanctified, acceptable to God -- your intelligent service;2 and be not conformed to THIS AGE, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, for your proving what [is] the will of God--the good, and acceptable, and perfect.

Here’s another verse that will help us to see that “this world” is referring to “the world of Judaism” which got judged in the first century as Jesus predicted.

John 12:31  Now is the judgment of THIS WORLD; now will the ruler of THIS WORLD be cast out.

What world was receiving a NOW judgment pronounced by Yeshua?  The world of unbelieving Jews.

Notice how Paul and the writer of Hebrews state that the end of the ages HAD COME UPON THEM and that Jesus APPEARED at the end of the age?  What age did Jesus appear at the end of?  The Old Covenant Age.
  1. 1 Corinthians 10:11
    Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.
  2. Hebrews 9:26  for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.The world system and age of Judaism came to end in the first century in 70AD.

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