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Assorted and general Bible questions that really don't fit any of the other categories

Are we to love the world or hate it?

Postby Hot Dog » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:36 am

If "friendship with the world is enmity with God" but "God so loved the world he gave his only Son," why is loving the world bad for us but good for God?
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Re: Are we to love the world or hate it?

Postby jimwalton » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:03 pm

The texts are using "world" in different senses. When James 4.4 says that "Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God," we read the context to see what it's talking about. Verse 1 talks about self-oriented fighting and arguing with people; verse 2 talks about selfishness and greed; verse 3 talks about praying with the wrong motives (i.e., selfish ones oriented to your own pleasure). Therefore when James says "friendship with the world is enmity with God," he means that if you're just indulging your own desires, your selfish ways, and putting other people down, there's nothing godly about that. The point of the section is: Is your aim in life to gratify your own desires or to submit to the will of God?

John 3.16, however, is a completely different flavor and meaning. There John has been talking about how the world has been rebelling against God and rejecting him (Jn. 1.10-12; 3.17-20), but God wants a relationship with everyone person anyway. He would rather have a loving relationship than see you separated from Him (Jn. 3.17). John 3.16 speaks of the whole cosmos of humanity. God loves not only the whole human race, but more specifically each individual. God's love is wide and deep enough to embrace all people.

I hope this helps you see how both are true and they are not contradictory.
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