Russell and Duenes

The World Belongs to You…I Have Been Crucified to the World

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St. Paul wrote: “May it never be that I should boast, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ; through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Yet St. Paul also wrote that we ought not boast in men, for “all things belong to you, whether Paul, Apollos or Cephas, or the world, or life or death, or things present or things to come. All things belong to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.”

By Jesus’ death on my behalf, the world is as dead to me, and I to it. I take this to mean that my hope and confidence ought not be in anything in this world: Wife, children, house, car, friends, parents, church, health, income, vacation, sports, vocational advancement, professional esteem, reputation, leisure, or anything else this world might offer me. As John Bunyan said, “I must . . . pass a sentence of death upon every thing that can properly be called a thing of this life, even to reckon myself, my wife, my children, my health, my enjoyment, and all, as dead to me, and myself as dead to them.” I am to depend on Christ and His sustaining power, in the myriad ways it comes to me.

At the same time, Jesus’ death has purchased for me – and the entire Church – “all things,” including everything in “the world.” I don’t think this means that I am to claim earthly things as my birthright, given to me to use as I see fit. Rather, I think it means that, for the Christian who has been crucified to the world, the world now stands as that which is useful for accomplishing the redemptive purposes of Christ. And whatever God needs out of this world to bless and use you, so that you will bring the blessings of Christ to others, God will put at your feet. So we never boast in the world, or hope for worldly reward, or bank our hopes for the good and happy future on the world. But we trust that our sovereign God has the world at His disposal, and that He will provide us with all good things for doing His will. There is something very freeing about this, and thus, I wanted to encourage you with it.

-D

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Written by Michael Duenes

April 6, 2014 at 9:34 am

Posted in Duenes, Theology

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