Friday, May 08, 2009
The Liberty of Obedience - Elisabeth Elliot
The Scripture means two things by the expression, "the world." First, and most simply, it means all that is temporal. Second, and by implication it means all those who are occupied solely with the temporal. The first category comprises things; the second, people.
All inanimate objects are worldly. They will pass away.
Things are not incompatible with Christ. They are all 'worldly,' in the simplest sense - they are for this world. They are not sinful for this reasons. Only human beings my be sinful, or 'worldly' in the most precise interpretation of that world.
It is not what goes into the man that defiles him. It is what comes out. It is our use of things that determine their effect on us. It is our response to events, not the events themselves, that shapes us.
We have said that all things are worldly, that the Scripture does not therefore call them sinful. We refer to inanimate objects. We do have some lists, however, in Colossians and James of worldly things that are condemned. Let us be very careful to note that these are not material things - they are characteristics of people, that is, they are specific sins. We are to put to death these worldly (or 'earthly') things, since we have been raised from the dead with Christ Himself, and we no longer have any business with immorality, impurity, evil desire, covetousness, anger, malice, slander, foul talk, lying....These spring from a desire for 'things' that the world can provide, such as acclaim and status. God's wisdom, on the other hand,is characterized by purity, peace, gentleness, approachability, tolerance, kindly actions, impartiality, sincerity.