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016 Kernels of Wheat – If ‘God So Loved the World,’ Why Am I Not Allowed To?

Jim Kerwin’s Show Notes for Kernels of Wheat Podcast
Episode 016 – If ‘God So Loved the World,’ Why Am I Not Allowed To?

Picture of a confused man with questions.

"Come again?"

Review and Tie-Up of Last Week: 1 John 2:12-14

A “Worldly” Word Study—A First Look at 1 John 2:15-17

Different Uses of the Word World in the New Testament

  • κοσμέω (kos MEH oh, kosmeo –> cosmetics)
    • Pre-New Testament Greek:
      • setting troops in order
      • women “putting themselves in order”— clothing, make-up, etc.; adorn
      • regulating
    • New Testament Usage:
      • Put in order
        • (in the sense of trim): Matthew 25:7—Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.
        • Matthew 12:44—Then [the unclean spirit] says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. (|| Luke 11:25)
      • Adorn, decorate
        • 1 Timothy 2:9-10—Likewise, I want women to adorn them­selves with proper clothing…
        • Revelation 21:2—…made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.
        • 1 Peter 3:3-6—Your adornment [κόσμοςkosmos – this is the noun form; see below] must not be merely external…For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn
      • Do credit to
        • Titus 2:9-10—…so that they will adorn [do credit to] the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.
  • κόσμος (KOHS-mohs, kosmos –> cosmos –> cosmonaut)
    • Pre-New Testament Usage:
      • That which is well assembled or ordered (e.g., Homer: Trojan Horse); well-integrated into the whole
      • From Greek philosophy: a developing concept—the order around us –> the earth and what it contains –> all of creation –> the universe (even “ideas”). Some philosophers maintained a distinction between kosmos and ouranos (οὐρανός, oo-rah-NOHS, heaven), while others combined the two.
      • Earth, humanity, the inhabited world.
    • New Testament usage:
      • Half of the uses of kosmos are in John’s writings (78 times)
      • Earth (or perhaps a larger scale, creation)— John 1:10— He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.
      • Mankind: John 3:16— “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
      • That order (perhaps we should say world-order) that is now alienated from its Creator and Lord, the stage of salvation history:
        • James 1:27— Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
        • James 4:4 (and see entire context)— You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
        • John 15:19— “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.”
          • The Church, the ekklesia, the “called out” ones. Called out of what?
          • Our relationship to “the world”—strangers, exiles, aliens (Hebrews 11:13; 1 Peter 2:11 [& 12]); also ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:19-20; Ephesians 6:20).
        • Our present passage: 1 John 2:15-17—”Love not the world[-system]…”, etc.
  • Hangovers from the King James—when a word other than “world” should have been used.
    • οἰκουμένη (oy-kou-MEN-ay, oikoumenē) — the inhabited earth (compare Luke 2:1 KJV with NASB) or the “Roman world,” that is, the Empire.
    • αἰών (ay-OWN, aiōn –> eon) — a very long segment of time; an age or era; even (in certain contexts) eternity. The adjective is αἰώνιος (ay-OWN-ee-os, aiōnios)— without beginning or ending; eternal.
      • Romans 12:2—And do not be conformed to this world [lit. age], but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (nasb)
      • 2 Timothy 4:10— …for Demas, having loved this present world [lit. age], has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia.
      • Hebrews 1:2— [God]…in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world [literally, the ages].
      • Hebrews 11:3— By faith we understand that the worlds [literally, the ages] were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.
      • Matthew 12:32—“Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age [kjv=world] or in the age [provided by translators] to come.
      • Matthew 28:20—“…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age [kjv=world].”
      • Luke 20:34-36— Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age [kjv=world] marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age [kjv=world] and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage…
      • 1 Corinthians 2:6-8— Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age [kjv=world] nor of the rulers of this age [kjv=world], who are passing away; but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages [kjv=world] to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age [kjv=world] has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory…
      • 2 Corinthians 4:3-4— And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world [lit. age] has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
  • So if “God so loved the world,” why am I not allowed to love it? Because:
    • God so loved all the people in His Creation.
    • We’re commanded not to love the world-order and the things it prizes and offers.
  • Now that we have this background, next week we’ll look at these three verses more in depth – the warning, the dangers, and the mindset and heart-change that allow us to walk free of the world-order, the world-system.

Related Messages:

Kernels of Wheat Episode #1—Words We Think We Know


  • Read through the First Epistle of John once a week
  • Remember to substitute the phrase “the Anointed One” for Christ or Messiah for the next few weeks, to get in practice.

Next Week: Why the Impossible Is Impossible


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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Joe Ryan January 29, 2012, 5:06 pm

    Jim, Gail and I are visiting Elisha in Co. Springs, and I saw your posting on Gail’s facebook and see that you and Denise are celebrating your 40th anniversary. That is great and I want you to know that you two are wonderful examples of God’s love and grace. Congratulations and many, many more.
    Also, I listened to your Kernals of Wheat pod cast 016 and it was great. I will definetly listen to more in the future. May God bless you and your family.
    Much love from us to you and Denise. Joe and Gail

    • Jim Kerwin January 30, 2012, 12:04 pm


      How great to hear from you and Gail! We saw Elisha’s engagement-party photos online, so congratulations are in order going your way as well.

      Thanks for the encouragement about the Kernels of Wheat podcast. It’s proving to be a blessing to many. And it’s one of those serendipitous quirks of the Internet that we pick up a new Upstate New York listener who happens to hear us first in Colorado. I’ll be following up with an e-mail.


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