To Ponder:

The world and the Church are essentially and eternally distinct–and they ought to be distinguishable. The Church ought not to mix with the world–but to bear a practical testimony against it, that its works and ways are evil. All through our Lord’s prayer, He keeps up the distinction, and twice over He asserts of His disciples, “They are not of the world–even as I am not of the world!”
Believers are not of the world. They are born from above, and possess a nature far superior to that of the world, which unfits them for its pleasures and pursuits; and qualifies them for the enjoyments and employments of the heavenly world. They are delivered from the thraldom of the world–and are raised above its pursuits and its joys. They will not be conquered by the world–but overcome it by faith. They will not be judged with it–but with Christ will sit in judgment upon it. They will not be punished like it–neither in the present nor in the future state. True believers are not of the world! Look at the world’s state–condemned; and theirs, justified! Look at its condition–wretched; and theirs, happy! Look at its character–enemies to God; and theirs, the friends of God! Look at its course–sin; and theirs, holiness! Look at its god–Satan, the most degraded, depraved, and despicable being in existence; and theirs, Jehovah, the high and lofty one, the holy and happy one, the great and glorious one! Look at its end–destruction; and theirs, salvation! The world is darkness–they are light. The world is corrupt–they are purified. The world is in chains–they are free. (James Smith, “The Wondrous Love of Christ, as Displayed in His Intercessory Prayer!” 1861)

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