The love of the Father is not in him

18 02 2010

1 John 2:15-

“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.”


Most every translation I’ve looked in translates “the love of the Father” the same way.  In the Greek the word “Father” is in the genetive case.  What that means is by this construciton we can take this phrase as most likely meaning on of two things.

First of all it may mean the “Father’s love.”  This would imply that those who love the world do not have the Father’s love in their hearts.  I think you could get a new range of meaning from this phrase – meaning  that the Father’s love for those redeemed is different than the Father’s love for those who reject Him.  At first this may seem harsh and even unbiblical but remember “Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated” (Malachi 1:3).

The second way this phrase may be interpreted is the same way one would interpret: “the love of the game”.  This doesn’t mean the “game’s love” but rather the love one has for the game.  In this sense the text would say “the love for the Father is not in him.” This would mean that those who love the world, don’t love the Father.  In other words there is a direct contradiction here: One cannot love the world and be loving the Father at the same time.

What do I think it means? When you look at 1 John and even the Gospel of John and realize that there are things that intentionally have double meaning (for instance: the “I AM” statements in John) I think you would conclude that this passage also serves as meaning two things.  Therefore, those that love the world do not have the Father’s love w/in them and they do not possess love for the Father.

In 1 John 2:17, John goes on to say that the world is passing away.  Why  would a Christian be concerned with “the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions” (v.16) when the world is soon to pass away? As Christians we are to focus on the eternal things, and not be in love with the things of this world.  We have so many “gods” that we serve in this world: money, sports, sex, jobs, traditions etc.  1 John is clear that those who love those things are not saved. Obviously none of those things are “sins” in and of themselves, BUT when we love those things instead of loving God it does become sin.

Anyway, the Bible is very telling of the hearts of people.  Those who continue to put the priorities of the world above the priorities of the Kingdom aren’t struggling with “priority” issues.  They are struggling with a heart issue and more specifically may even be struggling with a salavation issue.

I hope that it is easy for you to make God #1 in your life.  I hope that if you’ve been struggling lately with missing church, quiet times, family devotions, etc. that you would turn those things over to the Lord and ask Him to help you serve Him alone. But….

If serving the world has got you wrapped up, then it doesn’t matter how many aisles you’ve walked or prayers you’ve prayed. It may be that the love of the Father is not in you.  I hope that if you find yourself in this situation that you would turn from your sin and self even now, and trust Christ alone…

As always please contact me or comment if you have questions or insight on more discussion. God bless!