THE CHRISTIAN'S RELATIONSHIP TO THE WORLD
April 15, 2021, 5:44 AM

 

THE CHRISTIAN'S RELATIONSHIP TO THE WORLD

It is important to note that the word "world" in the New Testament does not always mean "people," as in John 3:16 and 1Jn 2:2, but frequently means "age;" as when we read, "The god of this world (age)," "Be not conformed to this world (age)," "The harvest is the end of the world (age)," "The world to come," lit., the age, or ages, to come.

 

  1. ITS CHARACTER.

This world, then, is represented as governed by principles that are not in harmony with the revealed will of God; for "the god of this age hath blinded the minds of them which believe not" (2Co 4:4). What can be expected from an age that has been blinded by Satan to the glories of the risen Christ? "We know that we are of God," said John, and that "the whole world lieth in wickedness" (1Jn 5:19). When we mediate on the fact "that every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God" (1Jn 4:3), but savours of the spirit of Antichrist, well may we wonder and adore the God of Love, who gave His Son to die for a world like this.

 

  1. HOW THIS CHARACTER IS MANIFESTED. IT IS EXPRESSED-
    1. In the Lust of the Flesh. They that are after the flesh-controlled by their earthly nature-do mind the things of the flesh (Romans 8:5), the things they can touch, and taste, and boast of. The lust of the flesh is the antagonist of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:24).
    2. IN THE LUST OF THE EYE. Cravings for things which minister to sight and the desire of the mind. This is seen in the love of fashion and the greed of gain.
    3. In the Pride of Life. If the lust of the flesh is the bud, the lust of the eye the blossom, then the pride of life is the matured fruit of conceit and self-satisfaction. Alienated from the life of God, such things are not of the Father, but of the world (1Jn 2:16).

 

  1. WHAT IS OUR RELATIONSHIP TO THIS WORLD.
    1. Delivered from It. "He gave Himself for our sins, that He might rescue us from this present wicked age" (Gal 1:4). Being rescued from our sins, the link of connection with this evil age has been broken, and a new centre of attraction formed. We love Him because He first loved us. "They overcame the world who believe in the Son of God" (1Jn 5:5).
    2. Crucified to It. "I glory in nothing except the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, upon which the world is crucified unto me, and I am crucified to the world" (Gal 6:14). Here is a double crucifixion. "Our old man (nature) is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed" (Romans 6:6), and when the body of sin, that was subject to, and served the world, is destroyed, then it also becomes to us a dead thing.
    3. Unknown by It. "Behold, we are the sons of God, therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not" (1Jn 3:1). Godliness separates from the world and is foreign to it. "The world loves its own, but because ye are not of the world, therefore the world hateth you" (John 15:19). Jesus said, "Marvel not if the world hate you, because it hated Me." "Be not conformed to this age" (Romans 12:2).
    4. Witnessing in It. "I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil. As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world" (John 17:18). Believers are called out of the world into fellowship with Himself, then gifted with His Spirit, are sent into it as witnesses for Him and His saving Gospel (John 20:21). Now then we are "ambassadors for Christ to beseech men in Christ's stead to be reconciled to God" (2Co 5:20).
    5. Victors Over It. "Because "greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world" (1Jn 4:4). He that is in the world is great. He has all the wisdom of a fallen angel, all the venom of the serpent, all the ferocity of the dragon, all the resources of Hell, and all the uncleanness and deceivableness of a sinful humanity in his favour. But greater is He that is in you, the Almighty Spirit of God and the victorious Christ is with you. "Lo, I am with you alway, even to the end of the age." This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith (1Jn 5:4). "Thanks be unto God, who giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 8:37

 

Smith, James; Lee, Robert. Handfuls On Purpose: For Christian Workers and Bible Students .