Your three worst enemies in the Christian Life are the world [Jas 4:4], the flesh [Gal 5:17], and the devil [1 Pet 5:8]. There is so much to know about these enemies that we will take three lessons to study them carefully.
Today we will study the world
The world system is controlled by the devil [Lk 4:5-6]. He is the god of this world [2 Cor 4:4]. Thus, when Jesus showed up on earth, though he was the one who made the world, the world did not know him [Jn 1:10]. Jesus, while he was here, simply tried to save some out of the world, but he did not try to take over the world or change the world [Jn 18:36]. Some Christians get off track here thinking that they need to somehow change the world into a better place more suitable for Christians. That won’t happen until Jesus comes back. He will fix all of that in time [Matt 24:3, Rev 11:15] when he ends the devil’s rule.
In the meantime, the world has a very strong influence and pull on people and on Christians. Just compare the church today to the church 100 years ago and you will see the significant increase in worldliness that has infiltrated the church and the Christian home. The world uses several things to draw your attention away from things of the Lord. It uses worldly:
· Rudiments [Col 2:8] – these are the first principles of any art or science, the beginning or foundations of any knowledge, the first steps in a process – for instance, today the fundamental principle of science in the world is that there is no God – yet the Bible clearly states, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge”
· Wisdom [1 Cor 1:20-21] – the world’s wisdom is absolutely contrary to the Lord’s wisdom – the Lord’s wisdom appears to be foolish to those who believe the world’s wisdom – in much modern Christian literature, you will find modern psychology backed up by verses from the Bible and marketed as Bible doctrine – it’s the world’s doctrine in disguise
· Course [Eph 2:2] – the course of the world moves contrary to the course of God – in order to live for God in this world you have to “go against the flow” in the same way that salmon have to “swim upstream” – the Lord’s way is the narrow way and the world’s way is the broad way
· Cares, riches and lusts [Mk4:19] – these worldly deceivers will so distract you that you have virtually no time to consider the things of God and to develop any kind of relationship with him
· Power [Mk 8:36] – the world allures you into believing that you need to accumulate possessions and assets in order to be successful [Lk 12:15-20] – suddenly you learn that you have spent your life on vain things that cannot profit when your soul slips into an eternity in hell – for a Christian, this allurement will compel him to strive for more earthly power as his supernatural power in Christ wanes to a flicker and he winds up broke at the judgment seat of Christ [1 Cor 3:11-15].
So what can we do to defend ourselves?
· Recognize the world as an enemy and don’t make friends with it [Jas 4:4]
· Don’t fall in love with it [1 Jn 2:15-17] – its fashions pass away [1 Cor 7:31]
· Separate from it [Jas 1:27]
· Set your affections on things above [Col 3:1-2]
· Lay up your treasures above [Matt 6:20]
· Live by faith and not by sight in this world [Heb 11:3, Rom 1:17]
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