Biblically speaking, what we pursue and what we avoid are important matters. Two things that stand out in Scripture that we are to take special note of are worldliness and holiness. One is good in the sight of God and to be sought after, while the other is bad in the eyes of God and it is to be shunned and avoided. The Bible speaks to each of these . . .
- “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world . . . Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 1:27; 4:4 – NKJV)
The “world” here is the evil system, the one instituted by Satan that appeals to the fallen nature of man, seeking to draw a person into the pursuit of satisfying fleshly lusts, seeking to have one think upon and desire the things of the world rather than the things of God. It is designed to keep one from God.
Worldliness defined: “is primarily living to experience the world’s passing pleasures.” It is not necessarily just what you do, even though that is a very large part of it, but it is also what you think; i.e., “I don’t do any worldly things, but I sure would like to!” Worldliness speaks of a misplaced heart. (Note II Timothy 4:10 – Demas, who forsook Paul because he “loved this present world”).
- “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14 – NKJV)
As Christians we are told to avoid “the world.” In turn, God, through the Scriptures, commands us to “pursue . . . holiness.” This, “holiness,” is to characterize the child of God, “holiness” in thought and in deed.
Holiness defined: “The endeavor to be like Christ,” for Christ was holy. “Smugness, self-satisfaction, glibness, are the very antithesis of the New Testament doctrine of holiness. Holiness is a matter of the heart and not merely a matter of conduct. It is not only a person’s deeds that count but their desires” (D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones). “Holiness is action prompted by a new heart (II Corinthians 5:17) which has been regenerated and loves a holy God, (a God who has redeemed the fallen sinner). It is a heart that wants to please Him. In essence, it is death to self, self which has caused so much ruin.”
God’s call is most clear, “pursue holiness” and “keep (yourself) unspotted from the world.” Do not become a “friend” of Satan’s evil system, one that features his ideas, activities, and purposes. We should desire instead to do the will of our Father and be more and more like Christ (Romans 8:28-29).
Have a good day brethren . . . and as you walk beware of the snares of the world and in your love for Christ, pursue holiness.
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