You Cannot Love God, and Love the World at the Same Time!
"For everyone born of God overcomes the world.
This is the victory that has overcome the world,
even our faith." 1 John 5:4
Faith then is the conquering grace!
Faith gives the victory!
Faith crushes this tremendous foe!
And how does faith overcome the world?
By leading the believer to the cross of Jesus!
True faith deals with its great object, Jesus.
It goes to Him in the conflict.
It goes to Him when hard pressed.
It goes to Him in its weakness.
It goes to Him in deep distress.
On Him it leans, and through Him it always obtains the victory.
Of the martyrs it is recorded that they
"overcame through the blood of the Lamb!"
Paul employs similar language in describing his victory:
"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." Galatians 6:14
It is faith in Christ that gives us the victory!
How could a feeble saint, with no strength or wisdom
in himself, overcome so powerful and subtle an enemy
as the world without supernatural aid?
He never could!
Look at the world!
There are its ten thousand temptations....
its temptations of pleasure,
its temptations of ambition,
its temptations of wealth,
its false religion,
its temporizing policy,
its hollow friendship,
its empty show,
its gay deceptions,
its ten thousand arts to ensnare, beguile, allure and charm.
Oh, how could one poor weak believer ever crush
this fearful, powerful foe but as he is "strong in
the grace that is in Christ Jesus"?
The cross of Christ gives him he victory!
Christ has already conquered the world, and faith
in His blood will enable the feeblest soul to exclaim,
while the enemy lies subdued at his feet, "Thanks be
unto God, who always causes me to triumph in Christ."
Reader! have you obtained the victory over the world,
or has the world obtained the victory over you? One
of the two is certain; either you are warring against it,
or you are its passive and resistless victim; either you
are "born of God," and "have overcome the world," or
you are yet unregenerate, and the world has overcome you.
On whose side is the victory?
Perhaps you profess faith in the Lord Jesus,
yet love the world, and conform to....
even its very religion- for the world has its hollow forms of religion.
Is it so?
Then hear what the Word of the Lord says to you.
"Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you,
for when you love the world, you show that you do
not have the love of the Father in you." 1 John 2:15.
A solemn declaration for you, you who profess faith
in Christ, and who are still lovers of the world!
You cannot love God, and love the world at the same time!
Do not be deceived!
The outward garb of religion will not save you!
The mere name, the empty lamp; these will
avail you nothing when you come to die.
If the world has never been ejected from your heart,
if you have never been crucified to it, then the love
of God is not there; if the love of God is absent,
then you are a stranger to the new birth."
--Octavius Winslow (1808-1878), from "The Soul after Conversion"