13 August 2010

Question of the Week:
Of the World?

by Anne Lang Bundy

What is the difference between “in the world” and “of the world”?
~ Max, Ormond Beach, Florida

Unless we understand that "the world" is God's confirmed enemy, the answer won't matter.

Planet Earth and creation belong to the Creator. The world is the system, standards and society of Earth, which all oppose the Creator with rebellion, disregard, and open hostility. Numerous Scripture passages about the world include statements such as:

We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.
~ 1 John 5:19

Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
~ James 4:4

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.
~ 1 John 2:15

People of the world and people of God's kingdom may be identified by what they value:
• this life and its physical, temporal pleasures—or eternal life and its spiritual rewards which begin now and endure into eternity;
• darkness with its ignorance and immorality—or light with its knowledge of God and His holy righteousness;
• receiving praise—or giving God praise

For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.
~ 1 John 2:16 (NKJV)

To answer the original question, few metaphors are as vivid as a ship in the sea likened to a Christian in the world.

God places His people throughout the world to make Jesus known. A Christian who is isolated from the world is like a ship which has been dry-docked—it may be a safer ship, but it has become useless. On the other hand, a ship put to good use spends plenty of time in the sea, and cannot help but get the sea on it and even in it.

How much sea in the ship is too much? A little salt water may corrode metal and eat sails. Some water in the hold may ruin cargo. A lot of water makes the ship less seaworthy, and may even sink the ship in a storm.

The sea must be kept out of the ship which is in the sea.

How much world in the Christian is too much? The world on us may corrupt our understanding of God's Word and ways. Some world in our heart compromises what we value. Lots of the world in us means we'll experience anxiety rather than peace, despair rather than joy, apathy rather than love. When one of life's storms hits, we'll go down quickly. (Matthew 7:24-27)

The world must be kept out of the Christian who is in the world—who is there to bring God's light and salvation to those drowning in the darkness.

© 2010 Anne Lang Bundy
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  1. Excellent metaphor. I can't wait to share this with my kids.

    Just reading the words that the world is God's confirmed enemy, makes me feel vulnerable. However I trust Him.

  2. We are different, peculiar people. We are salty and if we lose it we're good for nothing (and this should scare us). I know I've got a long way to go, but I want His desires and passion to burn in me above all else. Thanks Anne.

  3. "The sea must be kept out of the ship which is in the sea. ... The world must be kept out of the Christian who is in the world."

    Love that!

  4. T ~ It's good to no who one's enemies are, and understand who they aren't. Keeping the knowledge fresh reinforces not only my trust but my resolve to stay near the sole Source of security.

  5. Jason ~

    Even though "unique" might be more accurate, I confess to liking the word "peculiar" for its assurance that it's okay to not be conformed to the world. Fear of God is healthy. That desire and passion wrapped up in love is, I think, even better.

  6. Rusty, it's mighty hard to stay clean sometimes, and not resort to the world's methods when Self gets demanding ...

  7. “Love Not The World”

    ”For the WHOLE world(not just a portion) is under the control of the evil one”.......(I John 5:19)

    “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world will pass away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of The Only True GOD will abide for ever.”(IJohn2:15-17)

    “If you were of the world, the world would love it’s own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his Master. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also.” (John15:19-20)

    “Where do wars and fighting among you come from? Do they not come of your lusts that war in your members? You lust, and have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war yet you have not, because you ask not. You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts. You adulterers and adulteresses, don’t you know that friendship with the world is to be at enmity with The Only True GOD? Therefore whoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of The Only True GOD.” (James 4:1-4)

    “The world cannot hate you; but the world hates Me, because I testify that the works of this world are evil.” (John 7:7)” and “The Messiah gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of The Only True God, Our Father.”(Gal 1:4)

    The Messiah testified: “If the world hates you know that it hated Me before it hated you.”(John 5:18) Truly, Truly, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die it brings forth much fruit. He that loves his life in this world shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall have it unto life eternal.” (John 12:24-25)

    John testified: “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hates you.” (I John 3:13) And once again, “Whoever would be a friend of this world is the enemy of GOD”(James4:4)
    The “earth and it's life forms” are The Creation of The ONE and Only True GOD, Father of ALL! The “worldly” systems are the creation of, and under the dominion of “the god of this world”, he who is “the father of lies”, he who “has blinded the minds of those who believe not The Messiah”! All the nations of this world are under the dominion of, and serve, the “god of this world” for he provides the fuel that feeds mankind’s “imag”ination.

    And sadly, mankind’s “imag”ination is destroying Creation(air, water, land vegetation, creatures) and perverting that which is Spirit(Truth, Light, Life, Faith, Love, Peace,, All that is Truly Good) ;-(

    Those who “love this world” all serve “the god of this world”, and have their portion in the processes that are progressively destroying The Creation of The Only True GOD. And The Only True GOD will "destroy them who destroy the earth.” (Rev 11:18c)

    Global warming; polluted air, land and waters; toxic wastes; sexual perversion; evil inventions of destruction; greed; hate; envy; carnal warfare; dis-ease(no-peace),,etc,, are all destructive processes that have their root in “the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life” all of which fuel the fires of mankind’s “imag”ination ;-(

    And the religious systems of this world are all grounded in the sinking sand that is mankind's "imag"ination ;-(

    "Come Out of her, MY people"!

    Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(no-peace) that is of this world and it's systems of religion, for "the WHOLE world(not just a portion) is under the control of the evil one" indeed and Truth......

    Truth IS, a lie is not.......

    Abide in The Truth....... francis[co]

  8. Francis ~

    I rely upon the Holy Spirit to abide in the Truth. I love both of them, and the Father too. I pray you always find Truth in the words here.

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  10. "Come Out of her, MY people"!