In the World, But Not Of the WorldJune 9, 2021 / Hudson View Baptist Church
In the World, But Not Of the World
-Jesus points out that we cannot avoid living in the world, but also that we cannot live just like the world.
I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. (Jn. 17:15-18)
-Living in two spheres can be a relentless challenge!
-Jesus’ prayer inspires you and me not to avoid the world but to be strong enough to live—even flourish for God—while living in the world.
-Both our separation from the world and our living in the world are equally acts of worship toward God.
-As citizens of two worlds, you and I must intentionally embrace the realities of a dangerous world and we must intentionally embrace the power of God and the joy of living in the light of Christ.
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Five Stifling Lies About the World:
-Many voices tell us today that children are a burden, an inconvenience, a drain on our time, our bank account, our energy, and our freedom.
Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. (Ps. 127:3-5)
-Children are not a burden, they are a blessing.
-But is the world messed up? Yes!
-Is God the Redeemer of sinful souls? Yes!
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the LORD. (Ephesians 6:4)
-We must trust God to do His redeeming work in our children—no matter the world they’re growing up in. That’s what He does!
-Thanks to the power of the Gospel, we and our children can be a part of the solution to the sinfulness of this world.
-God often blesses us with children and desires to use them to glorify Him in this “messed up” world.
-Raising children in Christ in this world takes work, but:
Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox. (Proverbs 14:4)
2. I’m measured by how I compare with other people.
–Think about the story of Jacob: dysfunctional. polygamy. 12 sons. one father. 4 mothers. one favorite wife. one favorite son. comparison. competition. conspiracy.
-Today’s mantra: Anything you can do; I can do better!
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights (James 1:17)
For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. (2 Corinthians 10:12)
*Instead of comparison and competition, we should choose gratitude for who we are before our Good Shepherd and what we have been given by His gracious hand.
-Practical Antidote: Be generous with your kindness and affirmation of the people in your life…celebrate others rather than dwell on self.
3. With everything going on, it’s really not possible to live with integrity.
-This lie encapsulates the excuses we make for choices that are not in line with following Christ…this is the battle between our flesh and the Spirit.
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. (Galatians 5:17)
*There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine! (A. Kuyper)
-Everything we do and are a part of is to be for God’s glory—not our own!
-There are no compartments of our lives in which we are permitted to live apart from the glory of God! (i.e. Joseph and Potiphar’s wife—Gen. 39)
-In this sinful world, the Gospel and Christianity will never be classified as “cool.”
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18)
-To the world, what we believe about God, the Bible, the cross of Jesus Christ, and salvation is nothing but foolishness and disgusting.
-Some people try to “sugarcoat” the Gospel to make it more palatable to the world and its disdain for Christ. (i.e. chocolate-covered cockroaches)
-Devout commitment to Jesus has never and will never be the path of least resistance or ever celebrated by the world.
-What we are not excused from, however, is seeking to cultivate a winsome lifestyle and demeanor as the packaging for the Gospel we preach.
–Your life may be the only Bible (or representation of Jesus) that some people ever see.
5. My death will be the end of my story.
-We all have an appointment with death.
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment (Hebrews 9:27)
-Regardless of the journey, the destination will always be death.
–but after this…death is not the end…the judgement
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (Revelation 20:12)
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (John 14:1-2)
*For those who have accepted Jesus as their only Source of righteousness, their “after this” will be wonderful—it will heaven with their Creator forever and ever!
No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand:
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.
(S. Townend & K. Getty)
*Study from Lies Men Believe & Lies Women Believe by Robert & Nancy D. Wolgemuth