Saturday, October 24, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How do we define "the World"?

Taken from "The World" by J. C. Ryle (1816 - 1900), based on 2 Corinthians 6:17

Remember, that by "the world," I do not mean the material world on the face of which we are living and moving. He that pretends to say that anything which God has created in the heavens above, or the earth beneath, is in itself harmful to man's soul, says that which is unreasonable and absurd. On the contrary, the sun, moon, and stars--the mountains, the valleys, and the plains--the seas, the lakes, and rivers--the animal and vegetable creation--all are in themselves "very good" (Genesis 1:31). All are full of lessons of God's wisdom and power, and all proclaim daily, "The hand that made us is Divine." The idea that "matter" is in itself sinful and corrupt is a foolish heresy.When I speak of "the world" in this paper, I mean those people who think only, or chiefly, of this world's things, and neglect the world to come--the people who are always thinking more of earth than of heaven, more of time than of eternity, more of body than the soul, more of pleasing man than of pleasing God. It is of them and their ways, habits, customs, opinions, practices, tastes, aims, spirit, and tone, that I am speaking when I speak of "the world." This is the world from which Paul tells us to "Come out and be separate."Now "the world," in this sense, is an enemy to the soul. There are three things which a baptized Christian must renounce and give up, and three enemies which he must fight with and resist. These three are the flesh, the devil, and "the world."