Another short essay from my friend Harvey Schultz
For whatever reasons my great great grandfather came from Germany to the U.S.A. is uncertain. But by doing so he changed his allegiance from one country to another. He then owed his allegiance to America rather than Germany.
In the same way when we were made a new creation in Christ, we changed our allegiance from the world to Christ. In Phil.3: 20 we are told that our citizenship is now in Heaven. The place of which we are citizens, is the place where we pay our taxes, vote, obey and enjoy the protection of its laws, and enjoy the blessings of the world of which we are a citizen. That helps us to understand why we are told to live in the world but not of the world.
As a result of a change of allegiance, there should also be a change in the way we feel toward the world and the life that we lived while in the world. We may well feel uncomfortable being around the same people, doing the same things, going to the same places, and talking the same way we use to talk. As a matter of fact, if we do not feel uncomfortable, then perhaps we may need to reexamine our commitment or our spiritual maturity.
In 1 Pet. 1: 3-4 Peter tells us that God, had given them all things that pertain to life and Godliness. He then says “By which are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world though lust.”
The word that is translated “partake” could also be translated “ To be in partnership with, to have fellowship with, or to share in a common way with the divine nature”. It is very significant, then, that we share in a common way with Gods divine nature. That we work in partnership with the Godhead. And as John says in 1 john 1:3 “…truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ”.
Perhaps it is because we do not separate ourselves from the world that we are admonished by such scriptures as Rom.12: 2 “And be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” Or James 4:4 where he says “do you not know that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” Perhaps our Christianity may not be as joyful as we would like, or we may not have the peace in Christ that we would love to have. Then it could be that we have not turned loose of the world and to its constant allurements, as we should.
Just something to think about.
Originally written for a local newspaper, this article is one of over 50 collected Harvey’s first book, “Just Something To Think About”.
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