Our small group has been reading through the book Worldliness. I want to take these weeks before we finish it to blog through the chapters and the important points in each. Here is an overview of chapter 1.
Do not love the world or anything in the world. 1 John 2:15
C. J. Mahaney starts out his chapter highlighting Demas the Deserter. Demas deserted because he drifted into loving the world. (2 Tim 4:10)
Our problem? “Within a generations, worldly and worldliness have lost most of their meaning.” “We aren’t under attack from without; we’re decaying from within.” p. 22
What is the world? “the organized system of human civilization that is actively hostile to God and alienated from God.” “While remaining in the the world, we’re not to become like the world. In the words of John Stott, we must be ‘neither conformed to [the world] nor contaminated by it.'”
While these things [music, stuff] are not inherently evil, so often they’re vehicles of a fallen world.” p.26
What is worldliness? Worldliness is loving the values and pursuits of the world that stand opposed to God. p.27
A test? “What dominates your mind and stirs your heart?
What is not the root issue? “Some people try to define worldliness as living outside a specific set of rules or conservative standards…Others, irritated and repulsed by rules that seem arbitrary, react to definitions of worldliness, assuming it is impossible to define. Or they think that legalism will inevitably be the result so we shouldn’t even try…[John] takes [the debate] inside.
For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father but from the world’ (1 John 2:16 NIV).
“The evil in our desires often lies not in what we want, but in the fact that we want them too much.” A silent craving is when a legitimate desire for ____ becomes a silent demand.”
The solution? Set your affections on Christ.
John Owen: When someone sets his affections upon the cross and the love of Christ, he crucifies the world as dead and undesirable thing. The baits of sin lose their attraction and disappear. Fill your affections with the cross of Christ and you will find no room for sin.”