Part of the 10 Hard Truths about Being Born Againseries.
You whore, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God?
And don’t you know, if you are a friend with the world, then you are an enemy of God?
No. I haven’t gone bonkers.
Simply quoting James 4:4 to make a point: The person dead-set on embracing all the world has to offer can never please God.
And that’s a dangerous thing. Let me explain.
The Sum of Human Affairs
First, let’s define the word “world.” In James 4:4 it refers to the customs, practices and interests of man. It refers to the sum of human affairs.
And what are the sum of human affairs? Sex, money, fame and power. Subtle as a stiff-necked refusal to nurture a spouse. Vivid and wicked as bashing a baby into a tree.
Quiet as a college student cheating on a test. Loud as a state governor’s addiction to call girls.
These are the sum of human affairs. Affairs that the enemy of God quite often views as neutral, harmless or even inviting.
The Problem with Embracing Human Affairs
Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
In other words, a decision for sex, money fame or power is a decision against God. A decision at odds with serving Christ. You will be consumed by one or the other. Not both. And which one you choose is important.
John the Apostle said, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
This statement–like eleven others in a recent post–are designed to determine your authenticity as a Christian. Designed to determine your commitment to Christ. Either you are submitted or not.
Do This to Know If You’re Submitted to Christ
How do you know if you are submitted or not? Here’s one way.
Which way do your thoughts move? If they move towards the pleasure of God, the welfare of your soul, the concern of things eternal, then your mind is after Christ.
But if your thoughts move towards the pleasure of man, the welfare of the flesh, the concern of the earth, then your mind is after the world.
Bottom line: A love for the world means you are NOT committed to Christ. Thus, you are dead, dark and hard toward God. You are a captive to the world. God’s enemy. And spiritually dead.
What does that mean? Three things.
1. You are a slave to self and sin.
2. God wants to destroy you.
3. You can’t do anything about it.
Enter Jesus Christ. The only person who can change your condition. He can raise you from spiritual death. Open your spiritual eyes. Remove God’s wrath. And secure peace between you and God.
That means God can subject the unbeliever to his will and law. But the carnal mind can’t do it on his own. His carnality must be broken. It must be driven out.
The Spiritual Problem with Carnality
Without the Holy Spirit our minds are resistant to God’s authority. Thus, we will not–we CANNOT–submit to God. And if we can’t submit to him, we can’t please him.
For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:7-8
Unfortunately, the law requires inward obedience. Fortunately, that obedience comes by faith in Jesus Christ. Faith that is a gift from God.
Here’s what you have to keep in mind: God demonstrated his hatred for sin by the sufferings of Jesus on the cross. But in that one act we were pardoned. We were justified. We were given new life and the ability to please God.
We were given an alien righteousness we could not attain apart from the new birth. And this is why you need to be born again.
I summarized human affairs as sex, money, fame and power. Do you agree? Disagree? Add anything to it?
And what does submitting to Christ look like to you? I look forward to your thoughts. Brutal and all.