The Believer and the World

The previous articles looked at the ‘Kingdom of this World’ with its ruler and king, a fallen angel who opposes everything concerning God, His word and His people. We also considered the ‘Character of this World’ with its rebellious and evil content masterminded by him who is called ‘The Lawless One’! In conclusion the believer’s attitude to it and how should we respond?

Our relationship to the world

In John 17:14 the Lord in His prayer speaking of His disciples said, they are not of this world, even as I am not of this world, and He prays not for them to be taken out of the world but kept from evil. The Lord does not expect us to be isolated from the world but to be separate from its evil practices.

In Colossians 3:5 Paul says, “Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth, fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness which is idolatry.”  The believer is to be dead to the basic principles of worldliness. In Galatians Paul says, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world.” (Gal 6:24)

Our responsibility in the world

The Apostle John in 1 John 2:15-17 reminds us, “Love not the world nor the things in the world, if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life is not of the Father but is of the world.” 

Those very challenging words makes us to take note of where our priorities lie! James says in his epistle James 4:4 said, “Know you not the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

Be careful who your friends are

These are very strong words of exhortation so we must be careful with the friends we chose and spend most of our time with! Peter’s denial came because he distanced himself from the Lord and followed afar off joining himself with the wrong company.

Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 6:14, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers, for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness, and what communion has light with darkness?” A complete contrast should be seen in the believer’s life revealing the ongoing working of divine grace that makes the positive changes necessary!

Our separation from the world

Here are a few Scriptures to apply daily to help us keeping apart from the trends of the World.

  • 2 Corinthians 5:14, “For the Love of Christ constrains us because we thus judge that if one died for all, then we are all dead: and  that He died for all, they which live should not live unto themselves, but unto Him who died and rose again.” 
  • Titus 2:11 speaks of God’s grace in salvation also teaches us to “deny ungodliness and worldly lusts we should live soberly, righteously and Godly in this present world.”
  • 1 Corinthians 6:18-19, “Flee sexual immorality, every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own (NKJV).”
  • Hebrews 13:4, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”  
  • Philippians 4:8, The best way to keep our thought life pure in a world that is polluted is found in those verses, “Finally brethren, Whatever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good report, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things!!!!”

In conclusion remember we have considered our relationship to the ‘Kingdom of the World’. While being separate does not lessen our responsibility to reach out to the people still under its influence. There are some excellent articles on reaching the lost in ‘Assembly Hub” which can be a help to you.

Jim Paul
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