1 John 2:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 John 2:17, NIV: The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

1 John 2:17, ESV: And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

1 John 2:17, KJV: And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

1 John 2:17, NASB: The world is passing away and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God continues to live forever.

1 John 2:17, NLT: And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.

1 John 2:17, CSB: And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God remains forever.

What does 1 John 2:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Verse 17 concludes John's condemnation of worldly thinking. John notes that this world is temporary. The world is temporary for each person, since every person dies. The physical earth is also temporary, since God will make a new earth in the end (Revelation 21—22). As a result, the desires of this world are also temporary. Believers are to resist evil desires, following the example of Jesus (Matthew 4:1–11).

This is the only place where the apostle John mentions the "will of God." However, this phrase has a rich usage in the New Testament. Jesus stated, "For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother" (Mark 3:35). Romans 8:27 notes, "the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God." Romans 12:2 adds, "be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God." Doing God's will or desires is to be the goal of the believer.

Doing God's will cannot save us, of course—no good works can overcome our sin. We are saved by Christ's sacrifice, when we put our trusting faith in Him (Ephesians 2:8–9). However, a natural outcome of salvation is a desire to do God's will (Ephesians 2:10). This is a hallmark of the believer, and only the believer will live with God forever. More immediately, John is explaining that a life lived in fellowship with God will go on forever, while earthly things will someday be gone.