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Because of the glorious Lord Jesus Christ, true life now—and eternal life forever—is yours to know and enjoy. What the Scripture reveals about Him is worth more than all knowledge, all riches, and all happiness in this world.
Let worldly minds the world pursue,
It has not charms for me;
Once I admired its trifles too,
But grace has set me free.
Its pleasures now no longer please,
No more content afford;
Far from my heart be joys like these,
Now I have seen the Lord.
As by the light of opening day
The stars are all concealed;
So earthly treasures fade away,
When Jesus is revealed.
Creatures no more divide my choice;
I bid them all depart;
His name, and love, and gracious voice,
Have fixed my roving heart.
Now, Lord, I would be thine alone,
And wholly live to thee;
But may I hope that thou wilt own,
A worthless worm like me!
Yes; though of sinners I’m the worst,
I cannot doubt thy will;
For if thou hadst not loved me first,
I thee had hated still.
– John Newton
How are believers to win the war against worldliness? God’s people are called to be holy; the repentance through which we are first saved is intended to become a lifestyle of repentance and separation from the fallen world around us. We must be careful to define what the “world” is if we are to properly understand what it means to be worldly. The “world” in the negative sense is not the physical creation, and it isn’t even really physical things (unless they are being used for sinful purposes). The world is the organized system of opposition to God and His rule, inhabited by fallen humans and demons, and expressed both in sinful attitudes/actions/desires/words and in the unique cultural systems and structures that manifest rebellion against God. One theologian wrote that the world is “the bad part of culture.” As such, separation form worldliness often includes separation from our culture, whether in attitude, affection, values, behavior, or even those much-contested things like dress, entertainment, use of money and time, etc. Read more
In his tremendous book The Messiah in the Old Testament, Walter Kaiser writes, “…the OT presents the concept of the Messiah and his work in the context of an eternal plan, which was unfolded before the eyes of Israel and the watching world. …the depictions [in prophecy] concerning the Messiah and his work comprised one continuous plan of God.” That plan, Kaiser writes, centers around God’s promise to Israel and the nations of all He will be and do for them in Jesus Christ. Read more
What benefit is there to following Christ? This is not an inherently inappropriate or selfish query. A Kantian ethic that argues total disinterest in reward or benefit is necessary for an action to be truly moral is foreign to sacred Scripture, which commands us to delight ourselves in the Lord and receive the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4). God wants us to desire good things, to desire Him, and to enjoy all His gifts—spiritual, material, eternal, and temporal alike—with lavish abandon. Read more
What is impossible for people is possible with God. Such a declaration—underscoring at least His omnipotence, if not His willingness and His love—is fundamental to a biblical portrait of God. We often think of God’s omnipotence in the context of overt miracles like parting the Red Sea or the Virgin Birth. But the Bible teaches God also demonstrates omnipotence in the saving of sinners. There are at least two reasons this must be the case. First, God is perfectly holy, and we are not; indeed, we cannot meet His high standard on our own and so we need a perfect alien righteousness that comes to us apart from our efforts or initiation. Second, our hearts are spiritually dead, rebellious, and God-hating by nature. How is this to be remedied apart from the sovereign, overcoming power of God? The answer, to the renewed mind, is obvious. Read more