Day 28 Ephesians 2v2a

in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,

 

Yesterday we learnt from our text that before we came to Christ Jesus we were spiritually dead. As a result our lives were being directed without the dynamic voice and the leading of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word which we now yearn for as believers in Christ. Rather, we were being led by our soul which is adversely influenced by the body to live by sight and not by faith.  In our verse today we read of two other influences on us that previously brought confusion into our lives and that can still impact us for harm if we do not guard against them, these being the world and our enemy Satan. Today let us focus on the first of these two influences on our lives.

When Paul is using the term world in this context he is not referring to our terrestrial globe but rather the world system and the mass of humanity that lives in the world that God created but lives outside of the kingdom of God.  The world system is diametrically opposed to the kingdom of God, so much so that we need to understand that even without the influence of Satan, the world would still be opposed to God because of the nature of man which is hell bent on self gratification. The world outside of God’s direct rule will always be corrupt because humanity is determined to set its own course based on its own power of reasoning which opposes faith, and it is this that Satan merely plays upon.

The Scriptures make this plain in Revelation 20 (see below) when it describes a yet future event after the Second Coming of Christ during an epoch of time often referred to as the Millennium.  This is a period of a thousand years or a Day in God’s prophetic calendar in which Jesus Christ will literally rule on earth and our adversary will literally be banished from the earth and bound in hell.  You would think that humanity would be pleased of this turn of events, however the end of chapter 20 reveals that at the close of that thousand years that Satan will be released in order to test the will of humanity to serve God. The result is that a significant proportion of humanity still rebels against God and against His Son. Why would they do this after living under the benevolent rule of Christ for such a period? Ultimately because mankind doesn’t want to be told what to do, humanity wants to do its own thing, to act independently of the Creator, which is the very self same desire that Satan used to deceive Adam and Eve in Eden.  This too was why God judged that the building of the Tower of Babel in Genesis chapter 11 had to be stopped because the goal of its construction was to unite humanity in rebellion against God!  Man wanted to make a name for himself apart from God.  It is this desire for total independence from our Creator that the Bible sums up in one word SIN.  The very problem with sin is the middle letter “I”.  It is the “I” that wants to be the centre of attraction, the main event; I want to do things my way, the way I like, in the manner that I dictate.

The problem with that formula is that it only works in this present world system, and only then it is nothing more than the pagan ethos of the survival of the fittest, which affects everyone from the person craving their next meal to the obscenely wealthy.  Such a formula though is entirely useless in the currency of eternity. Why? Well, because we can only succeed in our human effort over those things that we can personally control. But none of us has control over eventual death and where we will spend eternity – except God.  Which is precisely why Jesus said in Matthew 16v26: “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Therefore independence from God has only a short term reward, it may well lead to temporal financial gain, sexual satisfaction outside of marriage, the accumulation of all manner of material things, the self serving influence over others, but ultimately it will lead to death, physical yes, but most importantly eternal spiritual separation from God, a state that the Bible calls the Second Death.  Therefore independence from God in this life leads to eternal DEATH, whilst the choice to accept Jesus Christ the Son as LORD leads to eternal LIFE.

It is not just the record of the Bible that reveals this; it is common sense. It is the simple result of cause and effect, for every cause there must be an equal effect.  SIN reaps an effect – temporal self gratification which by its very nature leads to self destruction.  No one will be able to stand before God and say, “You must let me into Your kingdom; I know my rights!”  If we choose to live outside of God’s influence now, He loves us so much that He allows us to make that decision, but the effect will be that we will also spend eternity outside of His influence, in a state that the Bible calls HELL!

This present world system is likewise on a direct chartered course to hell and all who choose to remain on that course will end up in the same eventual destination, and as such so were we when we walked according to the course of this world.  BUT now we who were dead have been made alive in CHRIST – Our course is HEAVEN.  So as that wonderful revivalist song puts it…

I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
No turning back, no turning back.

The world behind me, the cross before me;
The world behind me, the cross before me;
The world behind me, the cross before me;
No turning back, no turning back

Let’s make sure that we keep singing this song into eternity!

OUR PRAYER TODAY.

Heavenly Father, thank you that You have called us out of the world, this present world system that is opposed to Your Kingdom. Help us LORD to yet be in the world but not of it.  May it be evident to all that our speech, our actions and our very thoughts are not of this world but are instead founded on Your WORD so that we may point People to Your Kingdom and Your mercy.

Amen

 

References

17 These things I command you, that you love one another.  18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.  19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
John 15
1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.  2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;  3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.  5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.  6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.  7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison    8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.  9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.  10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.  11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.  12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.  13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.  14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
Revelation 20
17 Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.  18 Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share,  19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
1 Timothy 6
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,  12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,  13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ,  14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
Titus 2

 

 

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