External Foes

“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.” (1 John 2:15)

What are our enemies without? What does James say? “Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

Now, people want to know what is the world. When you talk with them they say:

“Well, when you say ‘the world,’what do you mean?”

Here we have the answer in the next verse:“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. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.”

“The world” does not mean nature around us. God nowhere tells us that the material world is an enemy to be overcome. On the contrary, we read: “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handywork.”

It means “human life and society as far as alienated from God, through being centered on material aims and objects, and thus opposed to God’s Spirit and kingdom.” Christ said: “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you . . . the world hath hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” Love of the world means the forgetfulness of the eternal future by reason of love for passing things.

How can the world be overcome? Not by education, not by experience; only by faith. “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”

“The Overcoming Life” ( D. L. Moody)