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Monday, October 18, 2010

The Whole World?

Reading the Scripture is a spiritual exercise.  When we come to it in the flesh and read it with a carnal mind we lower it's demands, question it's assessments, and gloss over it's precepts.

1 John 5:19 is a place where it is easy to do that.  And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.

The carnal minds reasons, well not the "whole" world.  The carnal mind refuses to consider the connection between two opposing realities.  1.  We are of God.  2.  The whole world lieth in wickedness.  The carnal mind goes right past the truth here thinking it is irrelevant for my life.

On the other hand the spiritual mind is caused to stop and ponder.  It sees the footprint of a timeless truth left upon this verse.  There is good and evil and they stand eternally opposed to each other.  The spiritual mind is left uneasy and uncomfortable by the truth it sees here because it knows it is still bound in a body that is characterized by fleshly desires.  It is the anguish expressed in Romans 7, For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

As believers we are of God and therefore delight in the law of God after the inward man.  On the other hand the whole word lieth in wickedness and our presence in this wicked world continually provides an environment in which we can be drawn away of our own lusts and enticed.

So what practical lesson do we glean from these sobering realities.  It can be summed up in one word.  Separation!  I know it is not a popular word and a word over which there has been much debate, but personal separation is an essential aspect of the Christian experience.  Because we are of God and have been made partakers of the divine nature there should be a desire to separate ourselves from a world of which the scripture declares the "whole" lies in wickedness.

I find it interesting that I often hear the brethren justifying present compromises on the basis of the compromises of previous generations.  It is a sophisticated form of the childish argument, "Well, they did it."  Well, so they did.  There is something commonly human about wanting to turn the attention toward the failures of others (even in previous generations) rather than addressing the more pressing needs of our own lives, families and churches.

Let us embrace the truth and lesson of 1 John 5:19

We are of God.
The whole world lieth in wickedness.
Being of God we should separate ourselves from this world.

Choose ye this day whom you will serve!
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