Monday, April 6, 2015

the christian and the world

"For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" (1 John 5:4-5 ESV)

I am working my way through Martyn Lloyd-Jones', Experiencing the New Birth, a new release (2015) from Crossway Books.  I am so enriched by Lloyd-Jones' sermons (these were preached in London in 1966) that it is a delight to read them.  In many ways this is a modern version of the Religious Affections, whereby the Doctor gives us signs and evidences of the new birth.  

The new Christian will have a new view of "the world".  Here are some highlights...

"This new life differentiates us, and everybody is aware of it, not only us but others also.

"Worldliness means thinking of yourself and your life in this world, and the whole of life in the world, without God. 

"The Devil will make people good if he can keep them from Christ.

"Those who are born again begin to see the world for what it is; they see it with new eyes.

"We are all by nature overcome by the world. We are born into it, we are taught, we inherit traditions, and it is all of this world. We become victims of it, slaves of it. We are not allowed to think freely; the Devil sees to that. And the mind of the world with all its books and literature and all these things will keep us in captivity. We are overcome by the world, we are slaves, we are under the dominion of Satan, and we are not aware of it. But the moment we are born again, our eyes are opened to this. And this is one of the most subtle tests as to whether we are born again or not. Those who are born again begin to see the world for what it is; they see it with new eyes. ...

"It can be very attractive, it can be very beautiful, but it is 'Vanity Fair.' Why? Because it is opposed to God. It has nothing solid and real and lasting to give to us. It appears to be wonderful, but when you examine it and when you need it most of all, you find it is tinsel; there is nothing there. It is all show, it is all appearance, it comes to nothing. ...

"When men and women are born again, they cannot help being aware of this; they must be aware of it. They know that whereas they were entirely dominated by the world and its mind and its outlook and its influence, they are no longer in that position; they do not belong to it anymore. They are in the same world, they are mixing with the same people, but there is a difference. They do not belong, and they know they do not belong. They have been separated. They have been translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son. They belong to a different realm. They are aware of it deep down, in the very vitals of their being. They may have to do business and so on or work in a profession in that same atmosphere, but they know they do not belong to it. They were in it before, that was everything, that was life—they were gripped and ruled by it. But no longer! They have been set apart..."

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