Guests: and

Key Passages:

1 John 2:15 — Don’t love the world or worldly things.
1 John 4:1-3 — Believers confess that Jesus came in the flesh.
Phil. 3:17-21 — Enemies of the cross live for the belly.
2 Cor. 11:14 — Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
2 Tim. 3:1-5 — A form of godliness can cover much corruption.
Phil. 2:14-16 — No murmuring or complaining.

Wrongful imitating of the world:

1 Sam. 8:4-9 — Israel’s request for a king
1 Cor. 2:12 — God’s Spirit, not the world’s spirit
2 Cor. 6:14-18 — Come out and be separate
James 4:4 — Friendship with the world, enmity with God
1 John 2:15-17 — Desire of eyes and flesh; riches of life.
John 1:43-46 — Can any good come out of Nazareth?
Gal. 5:18-25 — Works of the flesh, fruits of the Spirit.
Phil. 4:8 — Think on the good and the excellent.

Discussion Questions:

1. How is it possible to love the world in the right way, i.e. the way God loved the world when He sent His Son?
2. Particularly in America, worldly practices tend to invade the church. What are the criteria that determine what can be accepted from the world and what cannot be?
3. Rebecca Pippert talks about “secular prophets,” voices outside the church which nevertheless support that which the church stands for, e.g. modesty, honesty, healthy living. Should the church actively seek out such voices or would it be wiser to view anything and everything in the world with a healthy sense of suspicion?
4. In 2 Tim. 3:1-5, Paul lists several highly unacceptable forms of behavior as manifested among those who cover their tracks with a form of godliness. In other words, “worldliness” has invaded the lives of the saints. How should the church address such compromises?
5. Is it possible that in some cases the world pioneers methods and approaches that can actually be useful to the church? If that is the case, then should the church more actively seek contacts with the world, or should it rely on finding such treasures more-or-less by accident?
6. What makes it possible for believers to look for the good in people rather than the evil? If one is well rooted and grounded in the faith, is it possible to affirm the good in the world instead of just attacking the evil?

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