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Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Christian Conduct in the World

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  • Fredrick Fleming
    This was great!!! Thank you Gery. ... === message truncated === __________________________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Mail Plus - Powerful.
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 1, 2003
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      This was great!!! Thank you Gery.

      --- Gary Gearon <GGearon@...> wrote:
      > The Christian and the World
      > by I.C. Herendeen
      >
      > "Love not the world" (I John 2:15). "The world
      > passeth away, and the lust thereof" (I John 2:17).
      > "Be not conformed to this world" (Rom. 12:2). "Come
      > out from among them; and be ye separate" (2 Cor.
      > 6:17).
      >
      > The Christian is plagued by three great, powerful
      > and subtle enemies--"the world, the flesh and the
      > devil." They are terrible foes which must be
      > overcome if we are to be saved. However, at this
      > time we will consider but one of these enemies which
      > Scripture warns us not to be "conformed" unto,
      > namely "the world". It is not easy to give a clear
      > definition, but we would, with another, describe it
      > as both "a society and a system."
      >
      > "As a society, it is composed of 'the world of the
      > ungodly' (2 Pet. 2:5), of 'men of the world which
      > have their portion in this life' (Psa. 17:14). It is
      > composed only of unregenerate humanity, the Lord
      > having delivered all His people from 'this present
      > evil world' (Gal. 1:4). Though still in it, the
      > Christian is no longer of it. As a system, it is
      > under the dominion of Satan who is its 'Prince'
      > (John 12:31) who regulates its policies and its
      > politics." He is its "god" (2 Cor. 4:4) directing
      > its religions. Eph. 2:2 tells us the unregenerate
      > "walk according to the course of this world,
      > according to the prince of the power of the air, the
      > spirit that now worketh in the children of
      > disobedience. "
      >
      > Considered morally, the world is synonymous with the
      > kingdom of Satan (Matt. 12: 26), or the unregenerate
      > part of humanity. It is fallen human nature acting
      > under the influence of the devil. "The spirit of the
      > world is hostile to godliness, dominated by carnal
      > ambition, pride, avarice, self-pleasing and sensuous
      > desires and interests. Its opinions are false, its
      > aims selfish, its pleasures sinful, its influence
      > thoroughly demoralizing .... its politics are
      > corrupt, its honors an empty bauble" (something
      > showy but worthless). The world is the sphere of
      > rebellion against God; it is away from God and in
      > opposition to Him. Unregenerate persons think only
      > of this world's ways and things to the neglect of
      > "the world to come". They are always thinking more
      > of earth than of heaven, more of time than eternity,
      > more of the body than of the soul, and more of
      > pleasing men than of pleasing God. Both the
      > religious and profane world are under the control of
      > Satan in their ways, habits, customs, tastes,
      > practices and aims, and in these things are a great
      > and subtle enemy of our souls. Every one who is a
      > true christian and determined to please his Lord
      > will be in earnest in renouncing these things, and
      > will earnestly seek to order his life by God's
      > standard, the Holy Scriptures.
      >
      > The world surrounds us. We have it exhibited on
      > every hand day in and day out. For example, the verv
      > immodest and lustful way in which women dress;
      > wearing that which Holy Writ strictly forbids (see
      > Deut. 22:5; 1 Tim 2:9) to their shame. Dear friend,
      > if you really love the Lord see to it that you are
      > not guilty of such forbidden practices. Remember,
      > God's stern command is "Be NOT conformed to this
      > world" (Rom. 12:2), to its wicked ways, customs or
      > fashions. Believers ought to live in marked contrast
      > from it; we ought rather to be "conformable unto his
      > (Christ's) death" (Phil. 3:10). Instead of being
      > conformed unto this world we ought to be more and
      > more separated from the world. (2 Cor. 6:16-18). Its
      > ungodly ways ought to be abhorrent to us, and
      > especially those of the unregenerate professing
      > religious world which "hates" our blessed Saviour
      > (John 15:25), and which "put him to an open shame"
      > (Heb. 6:6).
      >
      > The world seeks to gratify its lusts with no thought
      > of nor concern for God's will or glory; hence, we
      > must tread the path of separation from it in
      > obedience to Him. It is God's purpose that His
      > people, all his people, should detatch their
      > affections and interests completely from the things
      > of this visible and corruptible and perishing order
      > and "Set them upon things above" (Col. 3:2). But as
      > things are now it is hard to detect any line of
      > demarcation between the Christian and the world. As
      > so many deport themselves, it is most difficult if
      > not impossible to distinguish "him that believeth"
      > from him that "believeth not." It was never
      > contemplated that the Lord's people should make
      > themselves at home here, for their "citizenship is
      > in heaven" (Phil. 3:20). "God separated Abraham from
      > his people, and 'righteous Lot' and his household
      > from the inhabitants of the plain. He carefully
      > separated Israel from the nations, setting them
      > apart by peculiar laws and customs. And in this age
      > He commands His Church to 'have no fellowship' with
      > unbelievers, or be 'unequally yoked' with them.
      >
      > In the light of this, what about us'? Are we taking
      > a definite stand in this matter? If we are not, why
      > not? Will the Lord accept any of our excuses? He has
      > given us our marching orders when He said we are to
      > "go forth unto Him without the camp, bearing (not
      > seeking to avoid) his reproach" (Heb. 13:13). Do we
      > think we can mix in our lives the things of this
      > wicked world and not sin? Impossible! Sin is a
      > serious matter. The very Son of God suffered and
      > died to put it away, yet great numbers posing as
      > Christians are taking an active and prominent part
      > in the world's merry-making and mad scramble after
      > its pleasures, wealth and temporal benefits! In a
      > matter so solemn can we, dare we, afford pretense
      > and trifling! If we really believe these things then
      > let us live and ACT as though we believe them, and
      > really be what we profess to be. If we do not
      > believe them, then let us quit the miserable
      > pretense of being followers of the meek and lowly
      > Jesus, members of His body. In other words, let us
      > quit being hypocrites and take our Christian
      > profession seriously. He who seeks God must be
      > prepared to make a full surrender of all worldly
      > prospects, pleasures and benefits, and give himself
      > wholly to God. We must be willing to give Him all
      > the affections of our hearts, for His command is
      > "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God will all thy
      > heart" (Num. 22:37). The world from which the
      > Christian is to detach himself "lieth in the evil
      > one" (I John 3:19).
      >
      > It is a sad fact but there are two kinds of
      > "Christians"; the converted and the unconverted,
      > "possessors and professors." The professors are
      > overcome by the love of the world, the cares of the
      > world, the business of the world, the money of the
      > world, the pleasures of the world, the desire to go
      > along with the world, and, alas, the desire to be
      > like the world.
      >
      > Of course, with all their worldliness they must be
      > religious and pretend to piety. "They make no
      > objection to any article of belief of the Christian
      > faith, nor do they deliberately choose evil and
      > openly rebel against God. No, for with all their
      > worldliness they hope to get to heaven at last. They
      > think it only proper that they should have a
      > religion of some sort, though they are not too
      > particular what it is just so long as they are
      > religious. But they cannot and do not intend to give
      > up their idols. Religion is very popular with them
      > just so long as it does not interfere with their
      > worldly desires and ambitions... just so long as
      > they can have their religion and the world too. "
      >
      > When our Lord commanded through Paul to "Come out
      > from among them" He did not mean that the Christian
      > must give up all his worldly callings, his trade,
      > his profession, his business if lawful and according
      > to the Word of God, for then he "must needs go out
      > of the world" (I Cor. 5:10). He did not forbid any
      > should be bankers, farmers, or lawyers, for
      > examples. God expects His people not to be idle but
      > busy "working with his hands the thing that is good"
      > (Eph. 4:28). "If any man will not work neither shall
      > he eat" (II Thess. 3:10). We are not to give up any
      > lawful work but "do with our might whatsoever our
      > hands find to do" (Eccl. 9:10), being careful to
      > carry our testimony with us into our business,
      > conducting it in "the fear of the Lord" and to "the
      > glory of God." Neither are we called to stand aloof
      > from all intercourse with unconverted people, and
      > refuse their society entirely. Our Lord and His
      > disciples did not; they went to the marriage feast
      > and sat at the Pharisee's table.
      >
      > Christians are not to be odd, eccentric and strange
      > in their dress, ways of behavior, conduct or voice.
      > Such things attract notice but are most
      > objectionable, unnatural, and ought to be carefully
      > avoided. To wear clothes of such a color, for
      > instance, or made in such a fashion as that you will
      > be a public spectacle and the object of comment is
      > wrong and dishonoring to the Lord; all know it is
      > merely affected. You may be sure that our Lord and
      > His apostles and their companions dressed and acted
      > as befitted their place and rank in life. It was the
      > Pharisees who "made broad their phylacteries, and
      > enlarged the borders of their garments." Why? "To be
      > seen of men" (Matt. 23:5). True sanctitv
      > (saintliness, holiness, purity) is one thing, and
      > sanctimoniousness (pretended piety, religious
      > hypocrisy) is another.
      >
      > As Christians we must beware of being swallowed up
      > and absorbed in the affairs of this world. Whatever
      > we
      === message truncated ===


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