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In the World, or Of the World?

Chris Buttery
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  • September 26, 2015
    11:30 AM
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Smalling. Message is entitled in the world or all of the world in the world all of the world. We're coming to the close now of the series the whole truth. They'll just be one more message next week to close out this series. It's twelve parts and I know it seems like it's gone on forever. It's been interruptions along the way and that's all just the nature of the beast here at Central but this will be the next week will be the closing message in the series the whole truth and trust. You've been blessed and encouraged by the by the discussions the bible studies it would be in having together. Well a conference on life values for high school and college students was conducted and in that particular conference it included a a mock auction and each student was given about seven hundred dollars to bid with. How much did each item get auctioned off all while he was some of the items and here were some of the bids intellectual status was auctioned for six hundred fifty dollars. The value of working alone was auctioned off a four hundred dollars or four hundred fifty dollars profit and gain bought several bids for the full seven hundred dollars. And when they bid when they put out community there were no bid no takers at all for community we might say perhaps that the students in this particular mock auction had accepted the world's values but how could they help it to be in this world is simply to be influenced by its value system. Even when Christians don't realize it. The world impresses on US its own value system. Now the imposing of this system of values has been so successful that the word world has itself changed in tone. There was a time when the world when the term worldly was a negative term and meant to a person probably gauged in sinful head a mystic acts like dancing and smoking and drinking setter that Christians were taught to avoid In fact most enjoyable activities were looked upon suspiciously deep down people feared that if it is enjoyable. It must be ultimately sinful today being known as a man or woman of the world is actually desirable it refers to someone who's been around and understands how things operate pleasure has come out of the closet and it came out of the closet a long time ago and it's become the explicit goal and justification for many activities that used to be thought of as being improper no one wants to necessarily be naive nor do we want to be suspicious of all pleasure but isn't the Bible rather negative about the world and how should Christians relate to the world today when Christians try to understand their role in the world one phrase quickly comes to mind being in the world but not of the world. If you have your Bibles turn with me to John Chapter seventeen as we look at these well known words yet poorly understood expression. That we get this phrase being in the world not of it from. ACA John Chapter seventeen and we're looking at the prayer of Jesus and the reverse is eleven through sixteen. John seventeen verses eleven three sixteen. Jesus said Now I am no longer in the world but these talking about is the cycles. In the world and I came to you. Holy Father keep through your name those whom you have given me that they may be one as we are. While I was with them in the world. I kept them in your name those whom you gave me I have kept and none of them is lost. Except the son of perdition that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I come to you in these things and these things I speak in the world that she may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word and the world has hated them just because they are not all of the world just as I am not of the world those fifteen. I do not pray that they should you should take them out of the world but that you should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world just as I am not of the world few concepts being in the world yet not of the world. More important for Christian living. No one can be considered a growing Christian who cannot give and live a legitimate expression. A legitimate experience or explanation of this experience or expression of the confusion over how Christians relate to the world is due to the misunderstanding or at least of vagueness in the meaning of the word world. The term has a variety of uses in the Bible in fact the expression in the world but not of the world. Two different uses of the word in the two hobs of the statement. First of all the word can the word world can be positive or at least used in a neutral sense or descriptive term it can be referred to planet earth on which we live as in Romans one twenty four since the creation of the world has invisible attributes a clearly saying. Often it is used to refer to people such as in John three sixteen For God so loved the. World that's right. They can be used of the normal course of human activity such as in first John three seventeen where the goods of this world. I used to refer to material possessions or First Corinthians seven twenty nine to thirty one where world refers to activities such as marriage joy sorrow and of course business then the word world can also take on a negative meaning it can refer to the material world and all things seen as objects unfit for human devotion compared to living for Jesus Christ as in Mach eight verse thirty six when Jesus said to what will a prophet a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul and probably the strongest expressions related to the to this view are found in a couple of Bible passages terminated James chapter four and verse four if you would James chapter four and those four and then we're going to go over a few pages to first John Chapter two The strongest expressions related to this view are found in these couple of passages James chapter four and verse four notice what James wrote he said adulterous and adulteresses do not know that friendship with the world is ended T.V. with God. Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God Now turn over the first John Chapter two. If you would verses fifteen through seventeen First John Chapter two verses fifteen through seventeen. John wrote do not love the world all 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 and the world is passing away in the lust of it but he who does the will of God abide. For ever. Now both of these verses use the word world to describe the human desire for pleasure for possessions and for the display of extravagance and pride. Now of course the root of this desire is the Connell mind what the what what the Bible calls what Paul wrote as the carnal mind all of the the flesh and existence that takes no consideration for God or opposers God You see Romans chapter eight verse seven poll said the count of mine is in the tea against God It is not subject to the law of God neither indeed can be and obviously the the love love for the world in first John Chapter two does not mean the same as what it means in John chapter three verse sixteen when God said For God so loved the world several texts especially in John go one step further and include the connotation of hostility toward God in His people such as in John Chapter fifteen in verse eight. If the world hates you. You know that it hated me before it hated you. The world is also seen as being under the rule of an evil power and a place of conflict as in John twelve now is the judgment of this world now is the rule of this world cast out. Now it's important to be clear about what these negative uses of the word world not say. Generally to wrong conclusions are drawn first is a negative view of people when people hear some of these negative statements made about the world in Scripture people some people tend to think you people negatively. Which is cause some people to give up entirely on the human race the this extreme extreme of this attitude can often lead to distain and rejection of others as completely unworthy and worthless and it's interesting that the same biblical writers who made negative. About the world also speak of a God who loves the world reconciling God who reconciles the world to Himself and sending people his people to proclaim the good news to the world separation from God and hostility toward him do not cancel out the fact that HUMINT humanity is created in the image of God and that Christ came to die for the sins of the world he still loves us and he is still seeking to rescue and save humanity you see the second wrong conclusion that is drawn from these negative uses of the word wild in the Bible is that creation itself. Therefore Must be bad. Since some elements of creation may excite human desire to sin. Some people have a negative view of the material world. The most common form of this era is to reject all pleasure especially intimate pleasure a husband complained that his wife thought intimacy was was at best a necessary evil and sought to limit the occasion as much as possible but that's an old old story because in first Corinthians Chapter seven poll addresses some in current who thought who think that even though married they should not be intimate Paul would not permit that particular attitude. The Bible doesn't reject this pleasure as evil what the Bible rejects is a licit sexual activity and. Any perversion of the same nor does the Bible suggest that all pleasure of the material world is actually evil On the contrary the Bible of Bible says that approach of the Bible is that all of God's creation is good. What's required of us is the right use of creation not its entire rejection. So the number of meanings of world in the Bible can make it difficult to understand what the word means in a particular passage passage occasionally even the same context varies. Various meanings occur together for example in John chapter one verse ten just ten over there with me. John chapter one verse ten notice there are three different meanings of the word world in this one passage. John on this one verse John chapter one and verse ten. It says here that Jesus Jesus was in the world what world is he reform what world is John referring to here is just simply referring to planet Earth correct the place where Jesus came to live the place where you and I live. Jesus came to the world. Jesus was in the world and the world was made through him what world is he talking about here. Talking about creation talking about those things animate and inanimate objects creation all the world was made through him but the world did not know him what world is he referring to there. He's referring to it. Referring to people of planet earth specifically in this context. The Jews of his time you see. And so as always the meaning of a particular word must be determined by its immediate context or its context nowhere is that more true than with the word world. So keep that in mind as we study and as we look at being what it means to be in the world but not of the world here this morning. Now turn back with me to John seventeen verse eleven. John seventeen eleven in Jesus' prayer recorded by John. He states John seventeen verse eleven. He states. Now I am no longer in the world but these in the world. These are in the world. Now almost any meaning of world could be understood in the phrase in the world we are in the universe on planet earth among people we have lived a life apart from God or have been hostile to God but by paying close attention to this particular context the last two options all together. Ix. The disciples are to view themselves as in the world as it is in the same way that Jesus was in the world. In other words we live in the midst of the human race. We live in the midst of the human race. The fact that we are in the world must be squarely faced by Christians by each one of us too many Christians sometimes attempt to deny their humanity. But this little phrase in the world will not permit it. We have the same frailties the same needs the same desires as everybody else. We live in the world with all of its problems and with all of its pleasures. We share life with people of every sort and I mean every sot many of whom live as God does not even exist. Many are hostile to God and in certain universities professors won't allow their students to mention God whatsoever. And yet on the other hand there are many people who are seeking to to fill that God shaped void in their own lives we friends in the world and any attempt to deny or to diminish the presence is on risk unrealistic and can be very harmful to our Christian witness. We are not in the world we are we are in the world rather But Jesus goes on to say that but we are not of the world we are in the world and that must be squarely face but we are not of the world and that also must be squarely faced or another way of putting it. We are not from this world. Just as Jesus was not from this world according to John Chapter seventeen those fourteen knows what he said I have given them your word and the world is hated them because they are not of the world just as I am not of the world. Now some folk might think that you're an alien or you've come down from another planet but that's not what Jesus is referring to here and will impact this a little bit as we go on if you go over to the next chapter. In John Chapter eighteen and verse thirty six. Jesus told pilot that his kingdom was not from all of this world. He didn't mean as some people have thought that the Kingdom of God had nothing to do with this world on the contrary his kingdom did not have it's our region in this world and that's what Jesus was referring to his kingdom comes from above from God and therefore does not operate according to this world standards. According to this world scheme of things and appropriate perhaps a an appropriate paraphrase of this idea of being in the world but not of the world could be you are not of this world the driving force behind your life is not this world but it is God in His word and might be a better paraphrase the driving force behind your life is not this world the things of this world but it is God therefore being in the world but not all of it means that you are that we are humans among human beings but we are not determined by human life as if that was all there was Christians are those who seek to live their lives that are determined by Jesus Christ and His Holy Word. This is what this is what it means to say that Jesus is Lord of our lives. He desires his desires he does term and rather the goal and the direction of each of our lives and his death and his resurrection of the Pattens by which we live our lives. Christians. According to Philip Philippians three twenty. You have the true citizenship with all the way up there in heaven. According to Hebrews eleven thirteen we are strangers and we have pilgrims wondering through this land cautions three two and three we have to think on things above not on the things of this world we no longer According to go to twenty. We no longer live but Christ lives in us and we. We live the life that we live we live by the faith of the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us. You see that's what it means to be in the world but not of the world will impact us a little further the desire and temptation to be conformed to the world around us are very real but they should not control us or determine who we are all what we do the world is that is the human scheme of things of which we are all a part attempts to determine every aspect of our lives and the devil the enemy of souls seeks to do this to use that to cause us to come undone messages sent in Thousand Different Ways instructing us as to what is valuable and what deserves and out what deserves Al attention and our affections a recent movie came out it was called old fashioned and a movie critic reviewed the movie the movie was about a man who had a young adult band who had a sordid past who in finding God made some very real changes in his life especially in the way he related to women. He had two complaints this critic about the movie he could not imagine anyone doing the things that this man did and treating women respectfully and nicely and guarding his purity and he felt also that the movie was preachy struck Shockingly he failed to realize that we get preached at all the time whether be in the movies and T.V. shows and books in magazines and newspapers in songs in plays in social media what the movie reviewer was apparently reacting to was the discomfort his discomfort with the message that was behind the preachin all mediums of communication offer some perspective of life whether explicitly or implicitly often the messages are just blatant For example sexual promiscuity. It's OK lying and being greedy. That's fine. Living for yourself. That's the only way to go but other times the message is far more subtle but it's there some years ago the hotel boasted of its conveniences in an ad that read man does not live by room service alone. So you see the specialists of this form of preaching advertisers advertisers whose goal is to manipulate us as a fish and only as possible to purchase a certain product. I'm not suggesting that all messages sent to us bad and sinful we can't escape the attempt of the world to determine our lives. Apple grows they want us to eat more apples comment a factor is they want us to purchase their cars. You see if we if we were to close off avenues every avenue of communication. They'll be numerous others that we don't even realize being in the world means being bombarded by messages about the way the world does things and some of the messages may be viewed legitimately. For example that orange detergent may actually be better than the one you presently have. A lot will have to be faced squarely and rejected. If it does not fit into a life that is ordered by Jesus Christ when the message. When the message in life is a game of sexual conquest for example Christians should not be Jute into playing. I've got a few crucial questions I want to put up on the board here up on the screen for us here. What determines our way of life. These are crucial questions we need to answer what determines our way of life is it the world and your own desires or is it Christ in His Word who sermons are you buying into Are you buying into the Sermon on the mount or you're buying into the sermon that's on the T.V. and on the Internet now there is another problem not only are we in the world there is a sense in which the world is in us. If the word world means a life apart from God It points primarily to a life shaped by human desires and life shaped by human pride. We are all guilty of that and sometimes it's easy to see the messages of the world in sending from the outside without realizing that the world is sending from the inside. We may be separate from the world outside only to determine the world inside someone flees and runs from the city only to carry what is in there with them and they are distressed and don't know what's going on. We often feel. Christians often feel this kind of tension acutely when it has to do with material wealth Christians claim to be citizens of heaven but are often influenced by this world's values in houses and cars then by Christ and concern and or his concern for those who are less fortunate and his mission. Someone once said that he had a friend that had been very had a very attractive house and was always doing something to decorate the house. She would often tell him that she was a pilgrim and a stranger passing through this world and he couldn't help tease her at times by suggesting that if she was a pilgrim and stranger travelling to the world that she did so in style. You see there is a balance between enjoying God's creation and caring for the things that God cares about his work on earth. His mission evangelism and caring for those who are least fortunate. However you determine to resolve this in your own life you must be careful that your choices must be determined by your commitment to Jesus rather than the influences around you. Now some Christians resolve the issue of how we have to relate to the world by stressing the importance of being separate the phrase separate from the world doesn't exactly isn't exactly found in the scriptures the phrase is not exactly there but the theme. Of separating ourselves from the fireman defilement is very frequent term with me to second Corinthians. This is a classic text on this theme second Corinthians Chapter six second Corinthians Chapter six verses fourteen through seven. That's not too many verses second Corinthians Chapter six verse fourteen thru seven one notice what Paul wrote he said Do not be on the call yoked. Together with unbelievers for what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness and what communion has a light with Dr S. and what Accord has Christ with Belial or what pot has a believer with an unbeliever. And what agreement has the temple of God with idols for you are the temple of the Living God as God has said I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God and they shall be my people therefore come out from among them and be separate says the Lord do not touch. What is unclean. And I will receive you and I will be a father to you and you shall be my sons and daughters says the Lord Almighty Chapter seven those one therefore having these promises Beloved let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit perfecting holiness in the FIA of the Lord. So obviously separation is crucial but what does that mean what does that look like how far should a Christian go in separating themselves from the world in which they live. The ancient Qumran community from which we receive the Dead Sea Scrolls when so far as to move out into the desert and establish an independent community as a family my family we visited the a frog a cloister while we were living in Pennsylvania. It's one of America's earliest religious communities founded in seventeen thirty two by German settlers seeking to spiritual goals rather than earthly rewards they decided the best way to do that was to. Themselves off from the world outside the monasteries and convents share the same ideal in the past some individuals became hermits for God Some of you have probably read about Simon's style lights or style lead to. Who lived thirty years on top of a pillar to avoid contamination with the world around him. I would have liked to be on top of that Villa today. Amish people are an example of Christians who take very seriously the idea that biblical separation means rejecting modern conveniences and wearing plain clothes the Quakers they use the words the and that. As a way to mark off their language from that of others and some christians refuse to vote on certain issues or be involved in any non-Christian organization because they think their involvement with the secular system will compromise their faith and wasn't too long ago the some Christians in this country practiced separation other other reasons other than to live holy lives. Unfortunately white Christians in the south form private Christian schools rather than having their children in racially integrated schools in the north many Christians did the same thing by moving from the city to the suburbs. If a person fears those who are different and sees them as a threat or even a security. To either security or purity separation can be a likely option. Yet yet God's word reveals to us that we cannot cut Al selves off from people and be righteous at the same time we are to be travelers and pilgrims in this world. Yes but for the explicit purpose for being a witness to those around us look with me to first PETA because we look with me at first. PETA Chapter two get a scripture on this first PETA Chapter two verses eleven and twelve. Notice what the apostle Peter had to say about this first Peter chapter two verse eleven twelve he said Beloved I beg you. As suggestion as and Pilgrim says he acknowledging that Christians us agendas and programs. Certainly he is. I beg us agendas and pilgrims abstain from fleshly loss which war against the soul having your conduct honorable among who. So if your conduct is going to be honorable among the Gentiles that means that you are aware. Among the gentiles you are in the world. But you are not of the world that when they speak against you as evildoers. They may be by your good works which they observe glorify God in the day of visitation. How can we witness if we are never with non Christians. How can we be witnesses if we have to cut ourselves off from the issues that society faces now. Jesus. He's our example in all things didn't separate himself from simple people. Now I want to put this in context because certainly there were times where Jesus spent a pot with his father alone sometimes Jesus spent all night in prayer to fortify himself while he was in the world and we also ought to do the same thing but Jesus did not separate himself from sinful people prostitutes tax collectors were part of his entourage and this was highly offensive to the religious people of his day his willingness to associate with and eat with sinners the religious outcasts were very important POV of Jesus' ministry being one of Jesus' disciples meant does not mean rather less involvements with less involvement with others but actually more in the hopes to win them to Jesus Christ and no doubt many of us would have been uncomfortable with Jesus' Association of sinners or religious people of the day called Jesus a glutton and a blind bit of which is really just a a wine drinker. In fact he seemed to have sought out those who needed his presence the most and why not if the good news really is a message of pardon and power to save we cannot escape our calling by saying Well that was Jesus he was the Son of God Jesus friends is our pattern not only for our lives. But also for ministry now polls instruction to the Corinthians in this context can be very helpful to him would be to first Corinthians Chapter five those nine apparently he had written a letter. Paul had written a letter that they should not the Corinthian believers that they should not associate that they should not associate with sexually immoral people but the Corinthians had misunderstood what Paul had written first Corinthians Chapter five. So we had to explain to them that he was not prohibiting association with immoral people in the world but from associating with a moral people who claimed to be Christians and yet still lived immoral lives. Notice first Corinthians Chapter five verse nine. Notice he said I wrote to you in my a pistol not to keep company with sexually immoral people you know I certainly did not mean with the a sexually immoral people of this world or the coverages or extortion as or adulterous since then you would need to go out of the world but now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother who is sexually immoral or covetous or an idolater or a violent or a drunkard or an exam extortion. Not even to eat with such a person for what have I to do with judging those who also who are outside do not judge those who are inside but those who are outside God God judges therefore put away from yourselves the evil person. Paul was saying and I didn't say separate yourself from the sexually immoral in the world. Otherwise you have to just remove yourself from the world you have to travel like they are planning to do one day soon to Mars for example and get away from it all. Instead he says separate yourself from those who are who call themselves brethren who remain sexually immoral who are covered. Who are. Those who are obstinate those who remain in their sins and are willfully. Willfully disobedient and want to remain in this ins of such he said have no pot implement church discipline separate themselves from your from from the body of believers in the hopes that you will win them back to Christ you say this is what. Paul was referring to but we seem to have gotten things a little backwards we've tolerate a great deal. Those who claim to be Christians but a very intolerant of those who are non Christians we attempt to foist Christian values on a non-Christian well without providing the necessary foundation for those values we do have the responsibility to help society set its values and point out the wrong when it exists absolutely. Speaking of preaching the power but as Paul states in this passage we have no business judging those outside the church Our responsibility is to show the grace of God without condoning or ignoring sin we ought to call people from sin and not to condemn them in it but what will it mean then for us to separate from the world. We need to remember that being separate is first of all an act of God not a product of our own best efforts. Christians are people whom God has separated unto himself here folk who are Pennington who are repentant folk who are by faith reaching out to Jesus Christ and Jesus sanctifies them sets them apart for a holy use separates us to Himself and friends. Being separated to God is more important than being separated from the world. I'm going to give some context. This is very important to first be separated to God and then it becomes easier to be separated from the things of this world that are not approving of heaven you say being separate to God we are called to live in harmony with God and with his purposes and with his plans all our lives are determined by this act of grace that works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure and any choices we make about the world around. And US must be derived from our being separate. So being separated unto God we are first and foremost sanctified separated. To God and then God helps us become separated from those things that are in the world. Now there are five principles that I want to take a look at here as we as we went wind down a little bit maybe we're winding up to one down but there are five principles to guide our discussions on separation I'm going to give all five briefly then we're going to take them one at a time and I'll put them on the screen for you. Number one this is that these are the five principles and we go through them one step at a time. Christians separate themselves from sinful activities not people. Number two separation may be required to avoid misleading a weak Christian number three the but let the Bible be your god now before separation has to do with the focus of the Christian's life yours and my life and number five. We do not need to fear the world. We're going to explain all of these when taken one at a time. Number one number one Christians. To separate themselves from sinful activities and not necessarily from people. Our first concern must always be to show the love and the grace of Christ. We cannot do that if we are never with people. This is no excuse for engaging either in sinful activity no we don't have to sacrifice principle in order to show grace contact with people in the world is not necessarily defiling it is sin that defiles Now Paul was content to tolerate for example marriages in which Christian converts and non-Christian spouses remained intact as long as the non-Christian was content to stay in that particular marriage. Sometimes relationships with non Christians. Does include oppositional hostility to a Christian commitment and friends sometimes frankly friendships with others just going to go anywhere because as a Christian you don't go to those. Places anymore. You don't say those things anymore you don't do those things anymore. When I decided to give my life to Jesus. I had to make some big decisions. I had to put Jesus first I needed to quit. What I was doing in the in the secular world in as much as my performing arts because it infringed upon Sabbath keeping And plus there were other reasons why I gave it up and shared some of those with you. Another time in another place and another sermon perhaps but but I was a so I had wonderful friends that in fully understand my commitment to Jesus. But in time. Unfortunately our friendships just kind of went in opposite directions. I was seeking to encourage them and leave them. They weren't interested in being led and encouraged they went places I used to go and I wasn't going there anymore. They were doing things that I used to do but I wasn't doing those things anymore unfortunately there was a gradual separation. We still remained friendly but there just was a natural separation but there's also a time when individuals are opposition or hostile to your Christian commitment any separation that occurs we need to let people know that it is not a in that separation it is not a rejection of them but a rejection of the hostility to the Gospel or the rejection of the practices that are contrary to the gospel not the person. It's very important we help people understand that now in other cases involving hostility separation may not be possible. Maybe you work in a work environment that is hostile maybe not. Not that you are in prison but there are prisoners who are there for good reason but gave their lives to Jesus. But then face hostility in the prison system they cannot do anything about that. So when these those discussions of posting these to focus on the Christians response to persecution. If a community rejects Christians because they take a stand against something then Christians can isolate themselves from the problem. They'll have to band together and pray together. And I stand on God's Word and have to continue to do what's right and obviously wisdom will need to be the prime virtue in dealing with these types of difficult situations. So number one Christians separate themselves from sinful activities and not from people. Number two seconds separation may be required to avoid misleading. We Christians when polled discussed where the Christians could eat meat offered to idols. He emphasized both create a Christian freedom and discretion when a practice may mislead a weak brother or sister. He encouraged Christians to avoid the mature Christian to avoid that thing the well being of people is more important in other words than an action we may choose that although doesn't violate any biblical principle would violate the conscience of somebody else. That's number two number three. Let the Bible be your guide. Let the Bible be you got you don't get very far. When reading the Bible to discover that God has a claim on your entire person has a claim on your entire post and we have been bought with a price that the Bible writer says and we are not our own we are not our own. We are God's and as such we love to do his will as expressed in his clear commands in Scripture and in those things as we study the Bible that reveal His purposes and his principles and we love to do those things that please him. You see in those areas that have to do with diet the Bible is very clear with regard to avoiding those things that are harmful and dangerous unclean meats and alcohol and smoking something stuff into your into your lungs and say thou shall not smoke but shalt not kill and a person is killing themselves slowly by smoking whether it be tobacco or marijuana bile is clear with it comes to die when we go back to Genesis we look at the original diet God is calling his people back to the best diet. Could ever be given you see in areas of clothing modesty what we put on should look grungy should look awful should look like you're wearing a potato sack or anything like that but it should be modest endurable and reflective of the principles of Christianity and of Christ when we're choosing our relationships. The Bible is clear on some of these principle on this on this principle when we choosing our entertainment. When we're choosing what to do with our money. The Bible talks about these things that the Bible be your god to me to first John chapter three in verse twenty two one should notice what John wrote here. There are a couple of things that the Christian ought to be considered with when they approach the what they ought to consider when approaching the Scriptures first John chapter three in verse twenty two. Notice what he says First John three twenty two and whatever we ask we receive of him. That is of Christ because we keep his well commandments. So for Christians. This is not complicated. There are specific commandments in a scripture those things we had to keep all we had there are things that we ought to avoid those things are clear. There are commandments you see and what else to Christians do but also to Christians Christians do and they do those things that are well pleasing in God's sight. Now it may not be an express command. It may not be not all that I shout but when you read the Bible it is just stunning. And you come to determine point this thing would please God then the Christians response is OK I'll do it. OK if that's going to make my God happy because he's done so much for me I'll be happy to do that thing that I see would place him you see and course you know when you do those things that he's asking you to do or you're doing those things that you appear to make God happy these things are for our best good. He has our best interests at heart. You see we not only keep the commandments as a Bible believing Christians but we also search his word for his best when all Christians are looking for the least. To do to please God we are Christians who are looking for the most we can do to please God you see in the Bible is replete with commands and the Bible is replete with principles that indicate that if we do those things we would be pleasing the Lord. So that's number three. Let the Bible be your guide. Number four separation has to do with the focus of our lives and and this ties in to number three. Typically discussions about separation have to have to have to do with debates about what acts or associations are permitted instead more intentions needs to be given to the focus of our lives. How do we spend our time. What nourishes ousts our souls what what should Christians true interests be what determines our lifestyle to what extent do we live our lives as of God does not exist by living in that awareness that we are separated to God we will have taken healthier steps towards separation from the things of the world. Then if we all we did was simply follow a list of prohibited acts. Now I don't mean to belittle and I'm not in this belittling the necessity of identifying specific acts of that that Christians should avoid and as you know already. I've already been talking about some of these during this presentation. I'm only concerned with avoiding legalism and Pharisaism it's too easy sometimes to tailor our lists to on these to condemn other people and still not be separated from the world. If I reject drinking alcohol watching pornography practicing homosexuality or smoking marijuana but I'm still guilty of materialism preoccupation with status and pride. I am still being determined by the world. The Bible frequently lists it all sinful this to us frequently lists sins to avoid Let's go to caution Step three notice we're not putting down lists here but but we need to be consistent in all in all areas. To live up to the word as God has given to us to tell a lie. Now lives with the clear thus saith the Lord and with his purpose in his plans cautions chapter three verses five through nine notice notice this list of sins that needs to be cost off the Christians need to be separated from notice. Therefore put to death. Your members which are in the earth fornication unclean this passion evil desire covetousness which is idolatry because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them but now you yourselves to put off the anger wrath Melissa's malice blasphemy filthy language out of your mouth do not lie to one another since you have put off the old man with his deeds friends such lists like these need to be adopted into our lives with all seriousness Christian conduct must conform to the Christian character of Christ in decisions about our language that we use our modesty egos centeredness relationships material wealth and friendships relaxed standards in either individual or community ethics. An acceptable taking a cavalier approach to any of these issues. Does not fit into the Christian framework no matter how hot a Christian my try. So that's number four separation has to do with the focus of our lives. Number five. And lastly we do not need to fear the world Christians often a paranoid as if the world were a monster that's going to strip you of your faith when we look at the early New Testament church they were concerned about the world but at the same time they were not afraid. Of the world. Paul wrote that nothing nothing could separate him from the love of God in a real sense Christians view their mission as claiming back for God what his last world the world is one of the things in First Corinthians chapter three verse twenty two The world is one of those things that poll lists as belonging to Christians because they belong to Christ because their lives have been separated to God The early Christians had confidence they had boldness in facing the world and seeking to call it back into right relationship with God The world may and it does bring danger but the person born of God conquers the world through faith for what is a say in first John Chapter five verses five and four and five and whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world and this is the victory that overcomes the world even our faith. So here are five principles friends guiding print to guide our decisions on separation number one Christians separate themselves from sinful activities not people Number two separation may be required to avoid misleading a weak Christian that has more to do with with things that aren't. That oncet that are suggested in the script are not suggested in the Scripture we should avoid You see that's number two number three. Let the Bible be your God Number four separation has to do with the focus of our lives and number five. We do not need to fear the world. What does it mean to be in Christ and to be in the world. The minister preached a sermon on cautions one verse two kind of a text to preach a sermon from here was the text. Here's what it said cautions one verse two it said to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in colossal Grace to you in peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus. Perhaps a strange text to preach a sermon from but the preacher merely asked these questions. What does it mean to always ever else we live that we are in Christ. And what does it mean to Christ that we in colossal high. What does it mean to colossal the world in which we live that we are in Christ and what does it mean to Christ that we are in colossal the answer to these questions why you and I. In this world in Jesus prayer in John seventeen he said to the Father just as you sent me into the world. I have sent them into the world of the Sipos were given the responsibility of continuing Jesus' ministry. That were not left to just hold on until the end. Nor are they on some kind of spiritual retreat. Instead they were given Christ task of witnessing to his grace and revealing that grace in the midst of a sinful and perverse world. They were pilgrims and they're strangers and they are not vagabonds we are pilgrims and we are strangers but we are not vagabond a vagabond is a person who wanders from place to place without a home or without a job. The Christian the early Christians had a purpose and responsibility in the world. They were not all of this world but they were sent to it in the same responsibility and ministry belongs to every person who has accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. That's you and that is me. Some wonder if calling to serve the world means that Christians are supposed to change the world. I want to must be yes but not the way some people are trying to change it. Christianity would be a very sorry religion. If it did not change the world but its tox cannot be viewed as social media political if we feed the homeless and we provide. Clothing. We accomplish much. We have not provided real change in people's lives. The primary task of a Christian is to witness to and make presence the real or unreal the grace of Jesus Christ in the life you see to separate caring. On the other hand from evangelism is to do violence as someone pointed to Christianity. How can a person say they love someone without showing that they care for them. Life in Christ necessitates dealing with homelessness or injustice for instance as Sir Frederick Cathal would pointed out to try to improve society is not welding us to love to wash our hands of society's not love but worldliness we are least worldly when we are showing God's love to the world the church can spend a lot of time trying to find housing for people of food or treatment for alcoholism and the needs could be great and they are great that the church could just become another social agency to help people make it through another day and if they did they would no longer be faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ you say but the invitation to hear the Christian message to hear the everlasting Gospel to hear the three angels messages would fall on deaf ears were then no evidence for concern. It is the gospel that propels us out to help people in need. Nor can they be social concern without spiritual transformation repentance and conversion and absolutely necessary in order to deal. Adequately with the problem the world faces. We don't merely ask people to be good. We ask that they be transformed public grace of Jesus Christ will but we cannot restrict love only to those that we choose to agree with us. The unconditional love that we have received as a love that we must show to others often that love must be demonstrated before we'll ever be given a chance to hear people do not care to know. But you know until they know that you care you know the relationship of Christians to the world was also a discussion in the third century and it was discussed in a work called The Epistle of Diagne to us and I want to read this to you. It's very interesting and I think he it captures what it means to be Christian in the world and all of the what it doesn't cover every little thing but it's interesting. Let me read this to you as a couple of paragraphs for the distinction between Christians and other people is made the cut. In is neither country nor language or customs for they do not dwell in cities in some place of their own nor do they use any strange variety of dialect nor practice any extraordinary kind of life. This teaching of theirs has not been discovered by the intellect or thought of busy people nor are they the advocates of any human doctrine. You know while living in Greek and barbarian cities remember this is in the third century. According to as each obtained his lot. They show forth the wonderful and confess of the strange character of the constitution of their own citizenship. They dwell in their own father lands. But as a journalist in them they do what they share in all things as citizens and suffer all things as strangers every foreign country is the Fatherland and every fatherland is a foreign country they marry as all people they been a children but they do not expose their offspring. They offer free hospitality. But God their purity they pass their time upon the earth but they have their own citizenship in the heaven there by the appointed laws and I suppose the laws in their own lives. They love all people and are persecuted by all people there are known and they are condemned they are put to death and they gang life. They are poor and they make rich they lack all things and they have all things in abundance. They are dis on it and I glorified in the dishonor they are spoken evil off and justified. They are abused and given blessing their insulted and rend on a win. They do good. They're buffeted as evil doers. When they're buffeted their rejoice as people who receive life. They are Ward upon by the Jews as foreigners and a persecuted by the Greeks and those who hate them cannot state the cause of their enmity to put it shortly. What the breath is in the body. That the Christians in the world. You know the story. He was called of God to leave his home country and even to leave some of his family he traveled from there he went to a place he didn't really wasn't really familiar with and he went there. And as he passed through that land the land of the Canaanites. With which was prodigious Lee wicked if you want to know how wicked it is you just read a little bit about the history offering children up and sacrifices to their gods and this was a perverse nation and Abraham was called to walk through this land and God said eventually I'm going to give all this to you. It's going to be yours. But for now you're going to be a pilgrim and for now you going to be a stranger do not touch the unclean things and that Abraham did and he certainly had room to grow in his faith as no doubt about that and he did he grew he certainly grew and as he traveled through that territory he gave witness of the true God in his life and in his worship several places he would stop he would erect an altar to the worship of the One True God and there was left when he moved on as a testimony of his faithfulness to God and to the test and the testimony of the faithfulness of the true God of heaven. Abraham was a pilgrim and he was a stranger and even though God had promised him that he would possess that land the Bible records that he was looking toward a better country. He was looking toward a better land who's been. Better a city whose builder and Mica is God I brought him did not think on things of this world. He fought on things above. He did not touch the claim thing he allowed God to work in his life allowed God to separate himself to God and then by the so doing separated himself from the things of this. Well that would drag him down. That would take him down. That would not reflect the goodness of God in his life. Abraham was a pilgrim he was a strange god he had faith and trust in God and His calling for you and me to have faith and trust in God as well to follow his directions to follow His Word and the inspired writings taught by them. The clear commands of scripture and also to search his word for his best and allow our lives to be determined by Jesus Christ and His would this world is not our home where just a passing through the song says touch my friends claim things be separate from them allow Jesus to work in your life to will and to do HIS good pleasure be His witness testify of his greatness in your life by the things that you do by your actions by your words by your priorities. By the things that you put on your calendar buy you a check book the things in your check let people see that you are separated in time this media was brought to you by audio first a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse. If you would like to listen to more sermon visit W.W.W. audio verse or.


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