The World Is Dead!

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Pastor Mark Mikels – August 16, 2009
(Galatians 6:14)

Intro … This morning we continue our discussion of the “Blessings of Christ’s Death on Calvary” – four of them to be exact.

These are blessings that “go beyond” the mere forgiveness of our sins. These are blessings that enable us to live the free and abundant, “blessed” life that Jesus came to provide (John 10:10).

Keep in mind that these “blessings” can only be enjoyed by those who have been born-again through faith in Jesus Christ – Keep in mind also that not every born-again believer does in fact enjoy them. In fact, some Christians live as though these blessings don’t even exist.

Thus, the importance of this “discussion”.

Last week we examined Blessing #1 …
“When Jesus died on the cross, the Law died with Him.”
(Colossians 2:13-14)

Oh, what a blessing that is – to be forever set free from the condemning judgment of the law! To never again have our eternal future determined by our past earthly actions. How important that we don’t ever allow that “lawyer mindset” to slip back into our lives. Through the death of Jesus the law has lost its power to condemn us and to control our relationships.

Today I would have you consider with me …

Blessing #2 …
“When Jesus Died On The Cross, the WORLD Died With Him.”
(Galatians 6:14)

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

The Bible speaks a lot about the “world” … it presents the “world” as a most dangerous obstacle in the path of one who would “follow Christ”.
Consider this …

* “The World Would POLLUTE The Believer If It Could.”
(James 1:27)

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:
to look after orphans and widows in their distress and
to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

God would have his children “Go Green” … that is, eliminate all pollutants from their lives, spiritually speaking. The world is a prime source of spiritual pollution and would pollute every believer if it could.

* “The World Would CONFORM The Believer If It Could.”
(Romans 12:2a)
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world …”

That’s easier said than done … every human being is born in the “shape of the world” … in our mother’s womb we take on its form. It’s the only shape we have ever known.

But here’s the deal … the death of Christ has freed us to take on a new shape – the death of Jesus Christ has “broken the mold” and freed us to become something other than what we were.

Here’s how Jesus put it in his High Priestly Prayer … John 17:14-18

“I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.”

So there it is … though the world would spiritually pollute us and shape us in its own image, the death of Jesus Christ has freed us from it. Truly we can say that for us the world is “dead with respect to its ability to control us”.

Time for a definition, wouldn’t you say? What is this thing called “the world” that would seek to shape us and pollute us?

Here’s the definition that we’re working with today …

Key Definition: The WORLD – A God-Defying PATTERN
of THINKING that characterizes the UNSAVED.

Biblically speaking … the word “world” refers to a particular way of looking at
life – a counter-productive, non-Christian way. The writer of the book of Proverbs would call it the “fool’s way” of looking at life.

The word “world” does not so much refer to specific sinful practices as it refers to sinful perspectives. And wouldn’t we all agree that “the way we look at life, directly affects the way we live life”?

This definition leads then to a key observation …

Key Observation:
The BATTLE With The World Is Primarily Fought
BETWEEN The EARS! (Romans 12:2b)

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Make no mistake … it’s a battle – a battle that we might fight every day of the week – a battle that Christ’s death has positioned us to win but a battle that must be fought none the less.

Consider this morning these Three Key Skirmishes between what the World says and what the Christian Knows …

The World Says: “YOU are most IMPORTANT”;
The Christian Knows: “GOD’S WILL being done is most important.”
(Matthew 6:9-10)

“This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, (I value you above everything else) your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven …”

The Call of the world is a call to Self-Fulfillment and Self-Attainment.
Long before the Army picked up the slogan, the world was urging men and women to “be all that you can be”.

How different is the Call that Christ issues …

“If any one would come after me, he must deny himself,
take up his cross and follow me.”
(Mark 8:34)

Christ’s slogan is “Be all that I want you to be” … His Will determines everything.

Here’s another Key Skirmish – can happen every day …

The World Says: “THINGS will make you HAPPY”;
The Christian Knows: “CONTENTMENT is found in CHRIST.”
(Luke 12:15; Philippians 4:12-13)

Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed;
a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.
I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,
whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Every day we are bombarded with this worldly perspective – every TV program we watch, every magazine, every newspaper we read advances this worldly
agenda –
“The more you have the happier you will be –
so determine that you will seek to have it all.”

Meanwhile Paul, speaking for all Christians everywhere, says,

“If I have Christ then I have all that I actually need –
I am content with and in Him.”

And now the third and final Key Skirmish that I would mention this morning …

The World Says: “This MOMENT is all that matters”;
The Christian Knows: “The HARVEST is yet to come.”
(Philippians 3:13-14)

“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

This is the very perspective that Jesus Himself demonstrated on the Cross (Hebrews 12:2) …

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

The world urges us to consider only the moment – if it’s painful, flee from it; if it’s pleasurable, embrace it. The world does not encourage us to look long-range or to consider consequences.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

“Live for yourself … Live to accumulate things … Live for the moment.”

That’s the message of the world – it’s always been well-received and
it has a familiar ring even to those who have been “born-again”.

There’s no question that the world could be a formidable opponent in our life of faith … apart from the work of Christ, it would completely define our lives and determine our behavior and we wouldn’t even recognize it – it would seem so normal.

However, Christ has died and through His Dead the world has itself been put to death. That’s the incredible truth that we are declaring this morning!

Through the renewing of our minds we can begin to think in “Non-Worldly
Ways” … We can choose to have our behavior determined by a Godly perspective rather than a worldly one.

We can discover the joy and satisfaction that comes of being “in the world, but not of the world” – all because of Christ’s Death through which the world has indeed been crucified to us!

Final Thot …
He who THINKS Christianly will never be WORLDLY!

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