GOVERNED BY THE WORLD

Scripture Reading:  Ephesians 2:1-10

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.”  (Ephesians 2:1,2)

In the opening verses of chapter 2, Paul is describing humankind’s lost condition — “You were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked.”  He is referring to their spiritual condition — their inability to know God and their separation from Him.  It is a terrible state; it is life without God.

Unbelievers are not only without God, they are deeply impacted by the world.  As used in our passage today, the term “world” is referring to the system of evil that stands against God and against His people.  It is the environment that brings out the worst of fallen human nature.  The Apostle John warns us about being too influenced by the word:  “Do not love the world or the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world — the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life — is not from the Father but is from the world.  And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” (I John 2:15-17).

In our passage from Ephesians, Paul is telling us that a person who is not a believer in Jesus Christ is a man or a woman who is governed and controlled by the world — its mind, its outlook and its mentality.  Such people are deeply influenced by the priorities of the world.  They want what the world offers them — pleasure, possessions and power.  They yield to the desires of their sinful flesh and the desires of their eyes.  They become filled with pride.  They are always seeking more ways to find happiness according to the world’s standards.  And they are seeking these things apart from God.

The message of the gospel is that God has intervened; He has delivered His people from this evil world which is under the control of Satan:  “He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13,14).  The gospel is about what God has done for us in Jesus Christ — He rescued us; He redeemed us.  Through the work of God’s Son, we have forgiveness of our sins and a new outlook on life.  While these things are true, the world continues to pull us away from the priorities of God.  We must be careful not to become too comfortable in this world or to be seduced by its powerful passions.  As Christians we are to live in the world, but we are not to be of the world (John 15:19).

Loving Father, You rescued me from the world of evil and transferred me into the kingdom of Your Beloved Son.  Give me strength to resist the powerful influence of the world and keep me from being conformed to it.  Instead, let me be transformed by the renewing of my mind.  Keep me ever close to You and let me walk in a manner worthy of my calling to be Your child.

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