July 23, 2023

Sins of the Spirit #6: Worldliness

Passage: 1 John 2:15-17

When my parents were growing up, most evangelical Christians did not participate in certain behaviors they understood to be “worldly.” Things like playing cards, movie theater attendance, dancing, smoking, drinking, gambling, wearing makeup, playing sports on Sunday, and the like were all considered to be worldly. Some professing Christians did such things, but many evangelicals back in the 1940s and 50s would have thought of such behaviors as unsuitable for serious Christians. Those things were worldly.

Things have changed a lot since my parents’ generation. Today there are few evangelicals who even discuss or consider whether their behavior is worldly. It does not seem like many Christians are very concerned about whether they are worldly. Some Christians boast about how they feel free to indulge in what in previous years would have been considered worldly.

The passage of 1 John that we’ll be studying today gives us a clear definition for worldliness. As we study it, we might find that our assumptions about what worldliness is may not be very accurate. We must allow Scripture to define its own terms. John here tells us pretty plainly what worldliness is and why we must avoid worldliness.

Worldliness is one of those sins of the spirit that is quite common among believers. But worldliness is a dangerous if not deadly sin. If we love the world and the things of the world, we are in serious trouble. So let’s see how John describes the sin of worldliness.

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