Bible Study

1 John Bible Study, Day 9: Love Not the World

Today’s passage: 1 John 2:15–17

Focus verse: Do not love the world or anything in the world. (1 John 2:15)

John reminds his audience to not love the world or anything in it. Loving what the world offers is incompatible with loving God, as Jesus commands us to do. 

We can’t have the world’s love and the Father’s love inside us at the same time. Jesus says we cannot serve two masters, for we can only love one at a time and will therefore hate the other (Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13).

Though Jesus talks about the love of money in these two passages, loving money exemplifies loving the things of the world.

In his prayer just before his execution, Jesus acknowledges that his disciples and followers are not of this world, just as he is not of this world (John 17:16). The same applies to us today. If we are not of this world, why should we love what it offers?

John mentions three worldly temptations we should guard against: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16).

The Lust of the Flesh

The lust of the flesh refers to a physical craving or desire. It’s a longing to find satisfaction or fulfillment from the world that we live in. We can think of this as pursuing our old sinful nature even though we have a new nature through Jesus.

We must put on our new self, one that aligns with our Lord (Colossians 3:10).

The Lust of the Eyes

Just as our body can lust, so too can our eyes. The things we look at can distract us from Jesus. We covet what we see in the world around us, craving what others have. We want to be like them and have what they have. 

This can include wealth, possessions, and relationships. Though these pursuits have their place, when we chase them with wrong motives or out of a disregard for others, we live with a worldly focus that does not honor Jesus.

The Pride of Life

The third category addresses our own arrogance over what we’ve done, the things we own, and the esteem we receive from others. We want to impress them, to impress the world, with our accumulations and standings. The lust of the eyes feeds into the pride of life.

Though we live in the world, we need to not act as the world does or let its many sinful distractions influence us. These things are temporary, but what we do for God lives on. 

That’s why it’s important to not love the world or anything in it.


  1. What does the lust of the flesh mean to you?
  2. What does the lust of the eyes mean to you?
  3. What does the pride of life mean to you?
  4. Which of these three areas do you struggle with the most? 
  5. What worldly pursuits do you need to turn away from?

Discover more about loving the world in John 12:25, John 15:19, and 2 Timothy 4:9–10. Then read what God did out of love for his world in John 3:16–17.

Tips: Check out our tips to use this online Bible study for your church, small group, Sunday school class, or family discussion. It’s also ideal for personal study. Come back each Monday for a new lesson.

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Discover practical, insightful, and encouraging truths in Love One Another, a devotional Bible study to foster a deeper appreciation for the two greatest commandments: To love God and to love others.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

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