by Mike Ratliff
13 Καὶ μὴ θαυμάζετε, ἀδελφοί, εἰ μισεῖ ὑμᾶς ὁ κόσμος. (1 John 3:13 NA28)
13 Do not marvel brothers if the world hates you. (1 John 3:13 translated from the NA28 Greek text)
There are many ministries in our time that are run by people who have either forgotten that friendship with the world is a sin or they are deliberately overlooking it. If a ministry operates in such a way that the world loves it then there is at least one missing component within it. That of course is obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. Scripture is clear that Christians cannot be friends of the world. Why? Satan is the one who dominates the evil world system, which is in rebellion against God (John 14:30). Therefore, the world not only hates Jesus, but also those who follow Him. This hatred is also focused toward the Father because He sent Jesus to testify against it. Now, since this is true and clearly taught in Sacred Scripture, what does this say about those ministries who work overtime to accommodate the secular and to appeal to temporal ways and means?
18 Εἰ ὁ κόσμος ὑμᾶς μισεῖ, γινώσκετε ὅτι ἐμὲ πρῶτον ὑμῶν μεμίσηκεν. 19 εἰ ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου ἦτε, ὁ κόσμος ἂν τὸ ἴδιον ἐφίλει· ὅτι δὲ ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου οὐκ ἐστέ, ἀλλ’ ἐγὼ ἐξελεξάμην ὑμᾶς ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου, διὰ τοῦτο μισεῖ ὑμᾶς ὁ κόσμος. (John 15:18-19 NA28)
18 If the world hates you, know that before you that it has hated me. 19 If you were of the world, the world would have loved its own, but because you are not from the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore, the world hates you. (John 15:18-19 translated from the NA28 Greek text)
The word hate in this passage is a form of the Greek verb “μισέω” or “miseō.” Jesus is telling us that those who hate Christians actually “detest” them. This hatred is prone to lead to persecution. He then tells us that those who “μισέω” Christians hated Him first. Who hates Christians and our Lord? It is the world. This is the Greek word “κόσμος” or “kosmos.” This word refers to space not time. The “κόσμος” is the sum total of the material universe, the beauty in it; the sum total of persons living in the world. In other words, this is the temporal or secular. It is the world system. Jesus is saying here that those who belong to Him are no longer part of “κόσμος.” No, they are now new creations and have been saved out of it. This is why it is so tragic for Christians to be in love with the “κόσμος” to the point they take on its ways and mind set.
Jesus tell us that the “κόσμος” loves those who are part of it, but since Christians are not they are hated because Jesus chose (ἐξελεξάμην) them out of it. The Greek word “chosen” is “ἐκλέγομαι” or “eklegomai,” is the root of ἐξελεξάμην. This is an interesting word. It means to speak intelligently; to choose, select, choose for oneself, not necessarily implying the rejection of what is not chosen but giving favor to the chosen subject, keeping in view a relation to be established between him and the object. Jesus says the He has “ἐκλέγομαι” believers “out of” the “κόσμος.” The Greek word translated as “out of” is “ἐκ,” or “ex.” This speaks of the primary object formerly being in one object, but is now separated from it either in respect to place, time, source, or origin. What is this saying that salvation causes for the believer? We must never overlook the fact that our salvation came as a result of Christ choosing us out of the world. Salvation has actually separated us from being part of the world. We are no longer “of the world.”
20 μνημονεύετε τοῦ λόγου οὗ ἐγὼ εἶπον ὑμῖν· οὐκ ἔστιν δοῦλος μείζων τοῦ κυρίου αὐτοῦ. εἰ ἐμὲ ἐδίωξαν, καὶ ὑμᾶς διώξουσιν· εἰ τὸν λόγον μου ἐτήρησαν, καὶ τὸν ὑμέτερον τηρήσουσιν. (John 15:20 NA28)
20 Remember the saying, which I told you: ‘A slave is not greater than his lord.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. (John 15:20 translated from the NA28 Greek text)
The Greek word for slave here is “δοῦλος” or “doulos.” A “δοῦλος” is one who is in a permanent relation of servitude to another. His or her will is altogether consumed in the will of the master. Master or Lord is the Greek word “κύριος” or “Kurios.” This is the word most translated as “Lord” in the New Testament and in the Septuagint. It means Lord, master, or owner. Jesus is the “κύριος” of His “δοῦλος,” and they should not expect that they would escape persecution if He is persecuted by the “κόσμος.” Conversely, those who listen to Christ will listen to His disciples as well.
21 ἀλλὰ ταῦτα πάντα ποιήσουσιν εἰς ὑμᾶς διὰ τὸ ὄνομά μου, ὅτι οὐκ οἴδασιν τὸν πέμψαντά με. 22 Εἰ μὴ ἦλθον καὶ ἐλάλησα αὐτοῖς, ἁμαρτίαν οὐκ εἴχοσαν· νῦν δὲ πρόφασιν οὐκ ἔχουσιν περὶ τῆς ἁμαρτίας αὐτῶν. 23 ὁ ἐμὲ μισῶν καὶ τὸν πατέρα μου μισεῖ. 24 εἰ τὰ ἔργα μὴ ἐποίησα ἐν αὐτοῖς ἃ οὐδεὶς ἄλλος ἐποίησεν, ἁμαρτίαν οὐκ εἴχοσαν· νῦν δὲ καὶ ἑωράκασιν καὶ μεμισήκασιν καὶ ἐμὲ καὶ τὸν πατέρα μου. 25 ἀλλ’ ἵνα πληρωθῇ ὁ λόγος ὁ ἐν τῷ νόμῳ αὐτῶν γεγραμμένος ὅτι ἐμίσησάν με δωρεάν. (John 15:21-25 NA28)
21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name because they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I did not come and speak to them they would not have sin, but now they do not have a cloak around their sin. 23 The one hating me hates my Father also. 24 If I had not done the works among them that no one else did, they would not have sin, but now they have both seen and have hated both me and my Father. 25 But that the word written in their law may be fulfilled, ‘They hated me without cause.’ (John 15:21-25 translated from the NA28 Greek text)
No one is sinless my brethren. If Jesus had not come those who rejected Him would not be sinless. Our Lord is telling us that His coming incited the most severe and deadly sin, which is the rejecting and rebelling against God and His truth. Their rejecting of Him as the Messiah was deadly for them. They hated our Lord without a cause. The“κόσμος” hates His people without a cause as well.
26 Ὅταν ἔλθῃ ὁ παράκλητος ὃν ἐγὼ πέμψω ὑμῖν παρὰ τοῦ πατρός, τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας ὃ παρὰ τοῦ πατρὸς ἐκπορεύεται, ἐκεῖνος μαρτυρήσει περὶ ἐμοῦ· 27 καὶ ὑμεῖς δὲ μαρτυρεῖτε, ὅτι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς μετ’ ἐμοῦ ἐστε. 1 Ταῦτα λελάληκα ὑμῖν ἵνα μὴ σκανδαλισθῆτε. 2 ἀποσυναγώγους ποιήσουσιν ὑμᾶς· ἀλλ’ ἔρχεται ὥρα ἵνα πᾶς ὁ ἀποκτείνας ὑμᾶς δόξῃ λατρείαν προσφέρειν τῷ θεῷ. 3 καὶ ταῦτα ποιήσουσιν ὅτι οὐκ ἔγνωσαν τὸν πατέρα οὐδὲ ἐμέ. 4 ἀλλὰ ταῦτα λελάληκα ὑμῖν ἵνα ὅταν ἔλθῃ ἡ ὥρα αὐτῶν μνημονεύητε αὐτῶν ὅτι ἐγὼ εἶπον ὑμῖν. Ταῦτα δὲ ὑμῖν ἐξ ἀρχῆς οὐκ εἶπον, ὅτι μεθ’ ὑμῶν ἤμην. (John 15:26-16:1-4 NA28)26 “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, 27 and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning. 1 “These things I have spoken to you so that you may be kept from stumbling. 2 “They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God. 3 “These things they will do because they have not known the Father or Me. 4 “But these things I have spoken to you, so that when their hour comes, you may remember that I told you of them. These things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you. (John 15:26-16:1-4 NASB)
My brethren, the “κόσμος” hates all who belong to Christ. However, genuine Christians have the Holy Spirit. What does He do? He proceeds from the Father. He bears witness about Christ. He causes believers to bear witness as well. The Greek word for “bear witness” is “μαρτυρέω” or “martureō.” It essentially means to testify. In this context our Lord is saying that the Holy Spirit testifies about Him and genuine believers testify about Christ in the “κόσμος.” They tell of the excellent greatness of Christ and why He came and had to die on the cross. They testify about the dire need of people to be saved from the consequences of their sins. This incites the ire of the “κόσμος” because it is seen as a direct attack on it. Jesus does not sugar coat this. He tells us that persecution will come on all who testify about Him. This is not talking about those who have created a world friendly Jesus who accuses no one and simply wants everyone to have their best life now. No, the “κόσμος” loves that Jesus. However, they hate the one found in the Bible. It is Him we must preach and then not be surprised when the “κόσμος” “μισέω” us.
Soli Deo Gloria!