The kingdom of God is not of this world.
John 18 “36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.”
The believer has died to the world and belongs to Jesus in the kingdom of God. What does that mean?
Paul wrote to the Galatians about boasting in Christ and not in the flesh. Paul said that he had died to the world and the world was dead to him.
Galatians 6 “Not even those who are circumcised keep the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your circumcision in the flesh. May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule…..The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.”
What does it mean for a Christian to have died to the world?
This is not about avoiding earthly things like family/ friends/ career/ hobbies/ music/ food/ shopping/ money/ riches / possessions/ cars/ houses/ etc..
The world in context is about boasting in human effort (flesh). That is what unbelievers do.
The Flesh of man is the opposite of the Spirit of God’s GRACE.
In the time of Paul, the Jews boasted in their righteousness under the Law trying to be justified before God by their works. The Gentiles did not know God but boasted in their wisdom, religions, and their mighty kingdoms and empires that brutally conquered nations.
The believer boasts in Jesus Christ and His cross where he made the believers righteous apart from our works. He made us sinless and perfect by His death and resurrection!
The “world” refers to boasting in human effort (the flesh) !!!
We died to the world because we don’t boast in the flesh (our works or abilities).
We boast in the Grace of God by faith in Jesus Christ.
I trust in Jesus alone and not in my works!
Galatians 2 “know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified….19 “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!””
Paul was a man who trusted in his righteousness of the law in the past (See Philippians 3). He died to the “world” (the law / justification of works / boasting in flesh) by trusting in Jesus Christ alone to receive Grace.
Paul stopped trying to be righteous by the law.
He was crucified with Jesus and raised as a new creation in Christ.
He was done with the Law and was now living under Grace.
We died to the world on the cross with Jesus Christ, and now Christ alone lives in us! We are righteous and sinless because Jesus lives in us! We live not based on self-effort (flesh) but by Grace through Faith in Jesus who loved us so much that He died for us to make us alive!
The Christian life is not about avoiding earthly things. It’s about just trusting in Jesus.
To think that everything on earth is evil, is a doctrine of demons (self-righteousness). It tries to become righteous by abstaining from the good things that God who richly gives us to enjoy in life in this world.
1 Timothy 4 “Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.”
1 Timothy 6 “17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant (boastful) nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. “
We are thankful for the good things that God gives in this world because we have to live in this earth for a temporary period of time.
But we don’t boast in our flesh or earthly things. We boast in Jesus Christ and His GRACE.
We have something greater than the world – we have GOD and Jesus Himself living in us!
It is because Jesus GAVE HIMSELF to us! He gave His Eternal Glory and Righteousness!
We were dead in the world like unbelievers who boasted in the flesh but now we died to the world, and we are now seated in heaven with Jesus by GRACE. We are in Christ and His GRACE, far above the world and its boasting in the flesh (self-effort).
Ephesians 1 “18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come”
Ephesians 2 “4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,… 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Jesus overcame the world by His death and resurrection! Jesus lives in us by faith and therefore we have overcome the world and are seated in heaven in glory!
John 16 “33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.””
Our eternal peace and satisfaction comes by knowing Jesus who loves us, and not like unbelievers who trust in the temporary world.
1 John 4 “4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.”
We are GOD’s CHILDREN and Jesus lives in us, who is greater than the world and its boasting in human effort.
1 John 5 “4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”
We don’t have to do works to overcome the world. Jesus has done it for us and we believed.
Jesus has made believers GREATER than the world just as much as GOD is GREATER than the world! We are beloved Sons of God, seated with Him in heaven!
He has given ALL His immortal glory to us, that is far greater than this temporary world!
God tells all believers this: Hebrews 1 ““You are my Son; today I have become your Father””
Jesus has made us SINLESS, RIGHTEOUS SONS of God, seated in heaven, greater than the world. We have GOD and Jesus in us, who are greater than the world !!
We have the LOVE of the FATHER that is greater than the world!
The LOVE of God for us is the true satisfaction, peace, and joy, far greater than the world!
John 14 ” 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives”
The Lord’s peace is that our sins are forgiven and we are righteous by His blood forever!
The world says that they have peace but it’s temporary because they will face judgment. But we have the true ETERNAL peace because we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5 “3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly…4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief….9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. “
The LOVE of GOD is eternal and undying for us, but the world is passing away!
1 John 2 “15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life —comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”
The world is about pride/boasting in human efforts but the will of God is to have faith in Jesus and boast in His Grace alone!
The love of God is in His Grace. It is not in the boasting and pride of the flesh of the world.
Jesus is telling the people of this world who are thirsty after running around in their own efforts of the flesh to come and receive ETERNAL LIFE by faith in Him, without any works!
Revelation 22 ““Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.”
Everyone who believes in Jesus Christ, is forgiven all sin, is righteous and sinless as God, is satisfied in HIS LOVE, without doing a single work!