Thursday, November 24, 2016

David's Digest: Love of the World, Part 3 - The Evil of Worldliness

1 John 2:15 - "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

This regards sermon 9 on love of the world from a set of sermons on Mark 10:17-27 from Puritan Thomas Manton, where the rich young ruler asks Christ what he must do to inherit eternal life. I found it very interesting, beneficial and challenging.

Here is a link to the entire set of sermons on the topic:
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A51840.0001.001/1:17?rgn=div1;view=fulltext

And here is a link to this individual sermon 9 on love of the world:
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A51840.0001.001/1:17.9?rgn=div2;view=fulltext

And here are the previous parts from our blog:
Part 1 - Cooling Zeal
Part 2 - Truth in Trials


The below is part 3 of just some of the main snippets from the sermon. I hope you will take the time to go through the entire thing as it has many more rich explanations and many scriptural proofs.


From Thomas Manton:

Mark 10:22 - "And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved, for he had great possessions."

Doctrine 3: That a man wedded to the world, will renounce Christ and his commands rather than the world, when it comes to a proof.

When two persons walk together, you cannot tell to whom the servant that follows them belongs, but when they part company then it is seen: so when Christ and the world part, then the servant of the world, and the servant of Christ is seen: for he that is addicted to the world will break all the commands of Christ for the world's sake. It must needs be so, for the world diverts the heart from Christ, and sets the heart against Christ.

(1.) The love of the world diverts the heart from Christ, that there is no room for holy things.

Just so our souls hang like a pair of balances between God and the world; what you give to the world you take from God, and what you give to heavenly things you take from the world, Col. 3:2, 'Set your affections on things above, not on things of the world'. Our desires cannot be carried out after heavenly things with any intention, unless they be remitted [set aside] to the world.

(2.) The love of the world sets the heart against Christ, and carries it to contrary things:

1. It disposeth and enclineth the soul to all evil. It makes a man break every command of the law of God: the love of money is the root of all evil, 1 Tim. 6.10. Let it once reign in the heart, and then a man sticks at no sin, and he becomes a ready prey for Satan; when his heart is intoxicated with the love of present things.

So that there is no sin so foul, but the love of the world will make it plausible, and reconcile it to the thoughts of men.

2. It incapacitateth us, and makes us uncapable of doing service to God in our general and particular calling.

(1.) In our general calling,

1. It destroys the principle of obedience, which is the love of God: 1 John 2.15, 'If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him'. The great principle which sways and inclines the heart to do the will of God, is love; now the love of the world, and the love of God are contrary, and inconsistent: love any thing besides Christ, and you will soon love it above Christ: Why? Because the love of God is a stranger and foreigner, the love of the world is a native [to the internal carnal man].

2. It is contrary to the matter of our obedience. The commands of God, and the commands of mammon are contrary,

Though his tongue dare not say earth is better than heaven, and that the things of this life are better than everlasting blessedness, and therefore they shall have more of his heart and care, yet his life says it,

In short, it unfits us not only for one duty, but for all duties required of us. God's laws are for respects to God, neighbour and self: this inordinate love of the world denies what is due to God, what is necessary for our neighbour, and what is comfortable for ourselves. A man that loves the world, is unthankful to God, unmerciful to his neighbour, and cruel to himself.

3. It slights the encouragements of obedience, which are the rewards of God: as it weakeneth all our future hopes, and depresseth our heart from looking after spiritual and heavenly things.

(2.) He that loves the world, will break with God in the duties of his particular calling for the world's sake

In example, for a minister, if his heart be set upon that, it makes him sordid, low-spirited, flattering and daubing to curry favour with men, more intent upon his gain and profit, than the saving of souls.

So if a man be a master of a family, Prov. 15:27, 'He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house': what a burden and trouble will he be to his servants, and all about him!

In short, it's love of the world that makes one an oppressing landlord, another a false tradesman, and an ill neighbour, that makes him study iniquity of traffick [trade, commerce].

3. It hinders the receiving of good, and those means of reformation that should make us better. A man that is under the power of worldly lusts [desires], is prejudiced against whatever shall be spoken for God, and for the concernments of another world:

If the word stir us a little, and men begin to have some anxious thoughts about eternal life, these thorns, which are the cares of this world, will choke the good seed, and stifle our convictions, so as they come to nothing;

If a man begins to do some outward thing, it will make us soon weary of religion, and attendance on holy duties, as if all time laid out upon God were lost; and they cry out, 'When will the Sabbath be over, that we may set forth wheat', Amos 8:5.

It interlines our prayers, and holy services with worldly projects and thoughts: nay it turns religion into a trade and market: men live by it, it makes religion to serve their worldly ends, they make a market of their devotion

USE. To inform us of the evil of worldliness.

If our children are loose, and drunkards, and riotous, we are offended, but if we see them worldly, we are not troubled. O it is a foul sin, but the men of the world will not believe it; surely we have too mild thoughts of it, and therefore we do not watch and strive against the love of the world:

Sins that are more gross and sensual [of the senses] are easier discovered, and such a sinner is sooner reclaimed, but this is a secret sin that turns away the heart from God: and to make you more careful to avoid it, in scripture a covetous man is called an idolater, Eph. 5:3, and covetousness is called idolatry, Col. 3:5, and is that a small crime? What, to set up another God? Who are you that dare to harbour such an evil in your bosoms, and make no great matter of it? Will you dethrone that God which made you, and set up the world in his stead? It is called adultery, James 4:4. It is a breach of your conjugal vow. You did promise in your baptism to renounce the world, and give up yourselves unto Christ's service, and will you cherish such whorish and disloyal affections as will carry you to the creature instead of God? O we cannot think bad enough of such a sin.


Stay tuned for part 4, if the Lord wills!

May we see the evil of the world, renounce it wholly and fully, in favor of cleaving to Christ and His commands!

-- David

2 comments:

Vicky Schreiber said...

Thank you Mr Sifford for posting these studies, a much needed reminder that we need to be constantly on guard against the things of the world. I pray that you and Mrs Sifford are well.
Regards,
Mrs Schreiber

David and Susan Sifford said...

Hi Mrs. Schreiber,

We are always grateful for the means of grace the Lord grants, like the writings of Thomas Manton.

Very nice to hear from you, and we pray you are well too. May God's graces and mercies be with you.

-- David