Monday, June 9, 2014
We are told in God's Word that we are to be IN the world but not OF the world. What exactly does that mean? What is "the world" anyway?
Well, the concept of "The World" in scripture comes from the Greek word cosmos. Sound familiar? It should. Cosmos is a word we use today to describe the universe. But back in Jesus' day cosmos described the inhabited earth and the people who lived on it. Our present-day definition is typical of how we humans tend to see our importance, bigger than we really are.
To help us understand this concept let's listen to what our Lord has to say. In this example Jesus is talking to his disciples.
"19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you." - John 15:19
So if we are "of the world" worldly people will think we are normal. That makes sense. And if we are "not of the world" people will hate us and think that we don't belong. I have found that to be true.
In this next example Jesus is praying to God. He is seeking God's protection for the disciples.
"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. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world." - John 17:14-16
If we are disciples of Christ would He not also pray for us? Would He not seek to protect US from the evil one? I think He would. That's why he warned us several times here not to become part of the world!
It is so easy to find ourselves pulled, pushed, nudged, diverted and cajoled in it's direction, just like gravity. We are made to think that joining in on all the "fun" is expected of us. It is easy to feel that way because the world is all around us, waiting for us. Waiting to devour us.
So how can we keep ourselves from falling prey to the evil one (who controls this world)? By feeding ourselves with the Word of God. That is our weapon. Pray to our Lord's continued protection, that we might not fall prey to the schemes of the devil. And gather together. You have heard of the phrase "there is safety in numbers?" There is truth in those words. We must help one another and keep each other accountable. Being saved is one thing, but being safe is another.
Cling tightly to Jesus. Hold fast to His teachings. Place your faith and trust in the One who died for your sins so that you might appear righteous in God's eyes. We who believe are NOT a part of this world.
"2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." - Romans 12:2