The Overcomer Trust

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  • Highworth
  • Wiltshire
  • SN6 7BS UK

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STUDY 12   Not of the World (John 17 v16).

 

Bible passages to be read:  Galatians 1 v1-5, Galatians 6 v12-16, John 15 v16-25, 1 John 2 v15-17, James 4 v1-7, Romans 12 v1-2, Colossians 2 v20 and 3 v3.

 

In the Greek New Testament three words are used which are translated ‘world’ in the Authorised Version of the English Bible. The first, oikoumene, we can deal with quickly. It means,’ the habitable earth’, ‘the inhabitants of the world’, ‘mankind’. It is used, for example, in Hebrews 1 v6, Revelation  3 v10, Acts 17 v31. Next we have the word kosmos, which not only has a general significance, but means specially ‘the present order of things’, ‘the world external to the Christian body’. In our study this is the word used in John 17 v16, Colossians 2 v20, Galatians 6 v14, John 5 v18-19, John 2 vl5-17, James 4 v4. The last is the word aion, which is a word descriptive of time, ‘the natural condition of man’, ‘the age during which the kosmos is in operation as an organism outside God’s rule. In our study it is used in Galatians 1 v4 and Romans 12 v2. In 2 Corinthians 4 v4 Satan is called “the god of this age” (world).

 

In Galatians 1 v1-5 we are told that the specific purpose of the Cross of Christ is our deliverance from “this present evil world” (age).

1. Does this surprise you? What do you find in Scriptures and in your own experience, which confirms this statement?

 

Now turn to Galatians 6 v12-16. It has been said that the great peril for Christians does not arise from the fact that the Church is ‘in the worldÌ“, but rather from the times and places when ‘the world is in the Church. 

2. Read our passage carefully, and comment from it on the thought just expressed above. 

 

John 15 v16-25 contains a comment by the Lord Jesus Himself about our relationship to the world.

3. Do you think that there is such a thing as ‘popular Christianity’? Give reasons for your answer. 

 

John 2 v15-17 describes the nature of the world from which the Christian has been delivered; and from which he is to keep free.

4. Read also Genesis 3 v1-6, and Matthew 4 v1-11 and comment on the relationship between these three passages. 

 

James 4 v1-7 contrasts the two types of life, that of the world and that of the Christian.

5. Describe this comparison in your own words. 

 

Now turn to Romans 12 v1-2. 

6. Apply the teaching of these two verses with that already found in this study. 

 

Colossians 2 v20 and 3 v3 provide us with a link with our previous study.

7. How do you see our union with the Lord Jesus Christ in His death and resurrection in connexion with our deliverance from this “present evil world”?