Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Friday, January 13, 2017

The world

“Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” (2 Corinthians 6:17)



 Present day Christianity reveals the essential need for this separation. Today’s widespread desire is to make things pleasant in Christianity; to saw off the corners and edges of the cross, and to avoid, as far as possible, self-denial. Everywhere we hear professing Christians declaring loudly that we must not be “too narrow and exclusive.” By their lifestyle they profess that there is nothing wrong with participating in that which the holiest of saints rejected as bad for the soul. Unfortunately, thousands proclaim we may go anywhere, do anything, spend our time in anything, read anything, keep any company, plunge into anything, and all the while still be good Christians.

If you are one of those unhappy people who think everybody is a Christian who attends a place of worship, no matter how he lives, or what he believes, I fear you will care little about separation from the world. But if you read the Bible, and are serious about your soul, you will know there are two classes of professing Christians - the converted and unconverted.  There must be a difference between believers and unbelievers. To you, therefore, I make a special appeal this day. While many avoid the subject of separation from the world, and many absolutely hate it, and many are puzzled by it, give me your attention while I try to show you this principle. 

1. The World is a Source of Great Danger to the Soul.”

When I speak of “the world” in this article, I mean those people who think only, or chiefly, of this world’s things, and neglect the world to come—the people who are always thinking more of earth than of heaven, more of time than of eternity, more of body than the soul, more of pleasing man than of pleasing God. It is of them and their ways, habits, customs, opinions, practices, tastes, aims, spirit, and tone, that I am speaking when I speak of “the world.”
 Now “the world,” in this sense, is an enemy of the soul. There are three things which a true Christian must renounce and give up, and three enemies which he must fight with and resist. These three are the flesh, the devil, and “the world.” All three are terrible foes, and all three must be overcome if we would be saved.
Let us turn to the testimony of the Holy Scriptures. If the texts I am about to quote do not prove the world is a source of danger to the soul, then there is no meaning in words. Let us hear what the Apostle Paul says:
 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).
 “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God” (1 Corinthians 2:12)
“Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father” (Galatians 1:4). 
“You were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:1-2).
 “For Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica—Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia” (2 Timothy 4:10). 

Let us hear what James says: 
“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27). 
“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 any enemy of God” (James 4:4). 

Let us hear what John says:
 “Do not love the world or 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 eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17). 
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore, the world does not know us, because it did not know Him” (1 John 3:1). 
“They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them”(1 John 4:5).
“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4). 
“We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19). 

Let us hear, lastly, what the Lord Jesus Christ says: 
“Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful” (Matthew13:22). 
“And He said to them, you are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world” (John 8:23). 
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you” (John 15:18).
 “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be with you” (John 14:16-17). 
“If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:19). 
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). 
“I do not pray that 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” (John 17:15-16). 

I make no comment on these texts. They speak for themselves. If anyone can read them carefully, and fail to see that “the world” is an enemy to the Christian’s soul, and that there is an utter opposition between the friendship of the world and the friendship of Christ, he is past the reach of argument, and it is a waste of time to reason with him. To my eyes they contain a lesson as clear as the sun at noon day.


Read J.C. Ryle's writing, 'the world' in its entirety at http://www.firstlovepublications.org/uploads/4/8/6/5/48652749/jc-ryle-the-world.pdf

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