Welcome Valley Bible Studies

Lesson 6: 1 John 2:15-17

1 John 2:15-17

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.

Background Information

The term world has more than one use in the Bible.  Sometimes it seems to refer to the planet earth. Perhaps more often it refers to the people of the world. In John 3:16, world obviously refers to people, and God Himself loves the world in that sense. There is another use as found here in 1 John. Bible teachers typically think of this use of the word world as meaning “this world’s system” or something similar. Actually, a simple reading of 1 John 2:15-17 probably gives about as good of idea of what God means when he speaks of the world in the negative sense as does any definition we could come up with. As you become more familiar with the Bible, you will likely come to believe that these different uses of world sometimes overlap. Consider these verses carefully.

The word lust refers to strong desire. In the Bible and elsewhere, lust usually refers to a desire for something evil. Sometimes the object of lust is something good, but the desire is out of control and leads to sin. Today, we usually think of lust in relation to sexual desires. This type of lust answers to John’s “lust of the flesh”—although desires for such things as alcohol, drugs, and too much food would also fall under this category. It is hard to know where the lust of the flesh stops and the lust of the eyes begins. The two kinds of lust may well overlap much of the time. It would seem that desire for things that we see relates to what the Bible calls covetousness, an inappropriate desire for property that we don’t have a right to.

Pride is something that most of us are tempted with. The irony is that God chose to refer to the pride of life. Life and the things that fill it are gifts from God that we have much less control over than we think we do. When we realize that what we have is a gift from God, it puts our superior feelings into perspective.

Related Scriptures

Proverbs 6:16-17 (Feel free to read through verse 19 to finish the thought)

John 3:16 (for a use of the word world that refers to people)

John 18:36

Acts 17:24-28 (This text includes a use of world in the sense of the physical planet)

1 Corinthians 6:1-7 (Especially verse 2)

1 Corinthians 10:6

1 Corinthians 11:31-32

2 Corinthians 4:3-7

Galatians 1:3-5

Galatians 6:14

Ephesians 2:1-3

Ephesians 6:12

Philippians 2:15-16

1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 (especially verse 5)

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (especially verse 2)

James 1:13-15

James 4:5-6

1 Peter 5:5-6

2 Peter 1:2-4


1. What is the person lacking who loves the world?

2. List the three things that 1 John 2:15-17 says are in the world.

3. It is the one who confesses and forsakes his sins who finds mercy from God. Pride is a sin. There is a definite link between lust and sin. If we find joy in lust and pride, what impact will that attitude have on our willingness to turn away from sin?

4. How beneficial are the lusts of the world in the long run?

5. a) Who gives eternal life? b) What, based on the texts you are studying, tends to give eternal death?

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