“…the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins, that He might rescue us out of this present evil age,…” Galatians 1:4
(To see parts one through three, scroll down to the end of this blog.)
The picture, which is reported to be the largest outdoor mural in the world, is to me a good composite of mankind that Jesus came to rescue. Notice the eyes that are looking to the side as if something has caught his attention. May Jesus catch man’s attention with His love.
Continuing our previous discussing on the corrupting influence of this evil age, God warns us about the world in I John 2: 15-17:
“Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves 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 boastful pride of life, is not from the Father but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.”
We are commanded not to “love” (agapao) the world nor the things in the world. The Greek word for “love” in this context means “a love called out of one’s heart by the preciousness of the object loved.” Apostle John was warning some believers to “Stop loving the world with a love called out of your hearts because of its preciousness.”. The verb used, speaks of the act of forbidding the continuance of an action already going on. The world system that God rescued them out of was still precious to them. John was telling them to stop loving the world.
The Greek word for world here is kosmos and is defined by Vincent as follows:
“The sum-total of human life in the ordered world, considered apart from, alienated from, and hostile to God, and of the earthly things which seduce from God.”
Kenneth Wuest says:
“Kosmos refers to an ordered system. Here it is the ordered system of which Satan is the head, his fallen angels and demons are his emissaries, and the unsaved of the human race are his subjects, together with those purposes, pursuits, pleasures, practices, and places where God is not wanted. Much in this world-system is religious, cultured, refined, and intellectual. But it is anti-God and anti-Christ.”
After reviewing the NT scriptures that use the word kosmos I put this composite together:
“Jesus called Satan the “ruler of the world” (John 14:30) and the whole world lies in his power (I John 5:19). All unsaved people are deceived by Satan (Rev 12:9) by his blinding of their minds, (2 Cor 4:4) preventing the light of the gospel from shining in. Therefore the kosmos is a dark spiritual place and a place of bondage. This is why Jesus came as a Light into the kosmos. Ephesians 2:2 tells us there is a “course of this world” which is “according to the prince of the power of the air”, unsaved people behave according to their cravings for things of the world thinking this is the way to true happiness and fulfillment only to find out it is a satanic illusion. They love the world because it is precious to them (II Tim 4:10); have worldly values (I John 4:5) which manifest through their words (Titus 2:12), Paul tells us to avoid worldly and empty chatter (I Tim 6:20) and worldly fables (I Tim 4:7). Jesus said there are “stumbling blocks” (Matt 18:7) in the world.
“Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world (John 18: 36). Jesus chose you, the born again believer, OUT of the world (John 15:19). After discipleship, Jesus sends His disciples back INTO the world (John 17:18) as lights in the world (Phil 2:5). Jesus prayed that the Father would not remove His disciples from the world but protect them from Satan (John 17:5). Believers can be conformed to the world (Rom 12:2, James 1:27) and be defiled by the world (2 Pet 2:20). The “worries of the world” and the “deceitfulness of riches” choke out the word of God in the believer’s heart making him unfruitful in the things of God (Matt 13:22). Disciples will have tribulations in the world but we will overcome the world (I John 5:4, I John 4: 17, John 12:25). The abiding word of God makes believers strong and helps us to overcome Satan (1 John 2: 14) The saints will judge the world in the end times (I Cor 6:2).
In summary, the modern world (kosmos) we live in today exist in the same pernicious age (aion) that Paul and Peter lived in. The moral characteristics of the age will not change until the Lord Jesus establishes His millennial reign on the earth. Technology has leaped forward a thousand fold but the evil moral characteristics of man remain. The predominate religion today is the false religion of works, whether it be works by themselves or mixed with belief in Jesus Christ.
This concludes our study of the world. Next post will explain the remainder of I John 2: 15-17. Hope you will join us again.
May the Holy Spirit search our hearts to show us where we are still considering the world precious. The next post will reveal some characteristics of the world.
“… because everything that has been born of God is constantly coming off victorious over the world. And this is the victory that has come off victorious over the world, our faith. Who is he who is constantly coming off victorious over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
(I John 5: 4-5 Kenneth Wuest Expanded Translation)