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 What is worldliness?

So here is a question. What exactly is worldliness?

I often hear much about how it is evil to love the world, participate in worldly things but I often find that this is not defined very precisely.

The go to scripture here is 1 John 2:15 (among others), but even here is not exactly clear what it means by loving the world.

I once heard a definition of worldliness that was something like ‘behaviours , desires, beliefs and systems in the wrold that are contrary to the kingdom of God’ which seems to make a lot of sense.

However, others (I’m thinking older preachers and writers from two or three centuries back) almost seem to imply that to enjoy any aspect of life (other than those that are overtly ‘spiritual’) is worldly.

So, what do folks think?

 2014/3/25 4:42
Heydave
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Joined: 2008/4/12
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 Re: What is worldliness?

It is quite simple really.
It is not a list of 'things' that I or someone else decides is wrong. It is simply this....


"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."
"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
(1 John 2:15-16).

So the word of God defines worldliness as the LUST of the flesh, the LUST of the eyes and the PRIDE of life.
All these are issues of the heart and who is on the throne of our lives. Do we love God or something else? That is the test of what is worldliness.

Some consider participating on Facebook is 'worldly' and it could well be true for them if it involves the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes or pride of life. However for others it involves none of those things but is purely a tool for Godly communication. So it impossible to give a list of worldliness because some of the things you may approve would be worldliness to me and some of the things that to me are worldly would be OK for you.

Each of us will give account to our own Master. We need to be careful that we know and check our own hearts and who has the rule there. Be careful that just because a brother (even a very spiritual one) approves of something, that does not mean it is OK for you! Also be careful that because you know something is wrong for you that you don't put that onto everyone else.


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Dave

 2014/3/25 5:51Profile
TMK
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Joined: 2012/2/8
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 Re:

I like Dave's answer. To go any further results in legalism.


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Todd

 2014/3/25 6:19Profile
proudpapa
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 Re:

RE: ///I like Dave's answer. To go any further results in legalism.///

yes, good answer

 2014/3/25 10:14Profile
Sidewalk
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Joined: 2011/11/11
Posts: 701
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 Re: Heydave's answer

I concur with Heydave and the others. Loving God displaces the love of the world, legalism just masks the symptoms and focuses my eyes on people less spiritual than myself. Been there, a hopeless exercise in futility!

Paris Reidhead addresses John's description of the world's sin problem- lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life by connecting the three main old testament deities. Baal is the god of possessions and things, Astoreth the goddess of carnal sin, and Molech the god of pride.

Naturally I cannot direct you to the exact message where he talks about this, but it was a fascinating study and listening to Reidhead is a faithbuilder anyway with all his stories and fresh wisdom on well known passages of scripture.


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Tom Cameron

 2014/3/25 11:28Profile









 1. What does John mean by “the world”?

going a bit further...

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." (1Jn 2:15)

1. What does John mean by “the world”?

2. What are “the things of the world”?

3. What does it mean to “love” the world?

4. Why is it that “if anyone loves the world the love of the Father is not in him”?

5. Does John mean that anyone (a Christian?) who “loves the world”, the love of the Father is not in Him?

6. If the "love of the Father is not in someone" will they abide forever or pass away?

"And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." (1Jn 2:17)

7. Is there a contrast between “passeth away” and “abides forever”?

 2014/3/25 12:33
TMK
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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5130
NC, USA

 Re:

I think it is helpful to put the word "system" behind the word "world" in this context.

If a person is more attached to the world system than God's system (kingdom) they are in trouble. If a person is not abiding in the vine, from where are they drawing life?


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Todd

 2014/3/25 12:57Profile
Heydave
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 Re:

Just-in, I would suggest that the answer to your 7 questions relating to verses 15 and 17 are found in verse 16.
John says these three things (lust of flesh, lust of eyes, pride of life) are what drives the world and are not of the Father.


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Dave

 2014/3/25 14:10Profile









 Re:

I will take a stab at the first one.

What does John mean by the "world".

I don't think John is talking about the created world of mountains and meadows and valleys or oceans, lakes and streams, physics, gravity, . Surely, he is not talking about animals or birds. Laws of motion, thermodynamics or gravity.

And, he is not talking about humanity, the world of men.

I believe he is talking about the world-system, the fallen
world order. The world and it's systems (religious, philosophical, social, economical, political, educational, cultural). All these and more comprise the world system of evil and they stand diametrically opposed to the Kingdom of God.

I know that won't go over really well with many people. Telling that all the sub-systems of this world are all part of an evil, fallen system.

 2014/3/25 14:41
savannah
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Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 1892


 Re: What is worldliness?



Col 3:1,2 "If ye then be raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." [Worldliness is the antithesis]

Mattew 6:19-34 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thy eye be single, thy whole body will be full of light. But if thy eye be evil, thy whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee is darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say to you, Be not anxious for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than food, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by anxious care can add one cubit to his stature? And why are ye anxious for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field how they grow? they toil not, neither do they spin? And yet I say to you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clotheth the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore be not anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or what shall we drink? or, with what shall we be clothed?
Mat 6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Therefore be not anxious for the morrow: for the morrow will be solicitous for the things of itself. Sufficient to the day is its own evil.

James 4:1-5 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even from your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?

John 12:43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

Ecclesiastes 1:13,14 And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this grievous labor hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised with it. I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Ecclesiastes 1:16-18 I communed with my own heart, saying, Lo, I have come to great estate, and have gained more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: and my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.
And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.
For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

John 14:30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.

Luke 14:26-35 If any man cometh to me, and hateth not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he hath sufficient to finish it? Lest perhaps after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
Or what king going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an embassy, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whoever he is of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. Salt is good: but if the salt hath lost its savor, with what shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill, but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Worldliness says, "Too much of this Jesus!"
Devotion to Jesus says, "Too much of this world!"

 2014/3/25 22:39Profile





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