Friday, June 17, 2011

A Healthy Christian's Relationship to the World

            1.   Do Not Love the World

I John 2:15 – “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world the love of the Father is not in him.”

‘Do not love’ is in the present tense. This denotes on-going action. In other words, John is warning against loving the world as the pattern of your life. Love for the world shows that God’s love is not in you. It may take time to prove itself, but it will happen. Take Demas, for example. In Philemon v.24  he is called one of Paul’s “fellow laborers.” But look what happened to Demas in 2 Timothy 4:10 – “for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world,” The pattern of Demas’ life was love for the world. Even though he could hide it for a while, the truth about his life came out eventually.

Loving the world is a serious offense to God. James even goes so far as to call it adultery. James 4:4 – “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity (feeling or condition of hostility, hatred) with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” God considers those who love the world to have committed spiritual adultery.

2.   Do Not Be Conformed to the World

Romans 12:2 – “and do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Do not be conformed to this world – literally means STOP being pressed into the world’s mold. ‘conformed’ is a word that denotes something visible is happening. Others can see when you are being conformed to the world. It is something that we allow to happen in our lives. ‘world’ – could be better translated ‘age’ and speaks of the system of beliefs and values of the world.

But be transformed – metamorpho – complete change. Just as a caterpillar completely changes into a butterfly, so the Christian must completely change from the pattern of the world. There needs to be a visible difference. Christians need to show daily that God has saved them from the power of sin
The renewing of your mind – “The renewed mind is one saturated with and controlled by the Word of God.” – John MacArthur

Philippians 4:8 – “Finally, brethren, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things.”

3.   ‘They are not of the world’

John 17:14 – “I have given them your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”

The person who is living the Christian life effectively is one who does not love the world or the things in the world, and is not being conformed to the world. The result of such a life is that the world around you will hate you. This will manifest in different ways. In many Muslim countries, if you are a believer, you could be killed for your faith. Here in America, where people are supposed to be tolerant, it isn’t quite as extreme. Instead, you will probably be made fun of and may even lose some friends.

“The world hates God’s Word because it uncovers who they are as sinners.” – The same is true if you are living a godly life. Take comfort in the fact that the hate the world shows to you is really hate for God. When others look at your life and see you living as Christ, they are hating the image of Christ. Look at the following verse:

2 Corinthians 3:18 – “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

So what about you? do you have a healthy Christian's relationship with the World? Do not love the world, do not let the world press you into its mold, and realize that you are not of this world.

No comments:

Post a Comment