Bonhoeffer uses a similar phrase 'worldly Christianity'. It's J Gresham Machen that I want to line up most closely with. See his Christianity and culture here. Having done commentaries on Proverbs (Heavenly Wisdom) and Song of Songs (Heavenly Love), a matching title for Ecclesiastes would be Heavenly Worldliness. For my stance on worldliness, see 3 posts here.

EMA 2011 Bible Reading 02


So Thursday morning we continued in John 15 with Liam Goligher. He spoke of how it is tempting to jump straight to the word friend but again argued for the importance of first seeing the context. This was a unique moment in redemptive biblical history and that should be remembered. Three points were made, regarding
1. The love of Christ. First the focus was on the love of the Father for the Son and the Son for the Father leading into the love of Christ for believers and believers for Christ. Obedience is a key matter in the love believers show to God. That obedience leads to an exuberant and infectious joy that was seen first in Christ. We must love one another because of the joy he gives us. It was always God's intention that we should love one another. The cross demonstrated how far love should go.
2. The mind of Christ. It is clear from the Old Testament that Abraham was God's friend and that Moses also had a friendship with him. This friendship is now extended to the early disciples, who are representative of the church. It is important to remember that Jesus is speaking to specific people in a specific context. They have been his servants but now there is a promotion. They are also his friends. Obedience characterises such friends. They are God's friends (not that God is their chosen friend as in a human relationship but because God chose them). We are servants but not mere servants. How amazing and how humbling to think that we are his friends. The making known of what he learned from the Father is specific to the disciples there at that time. it would be enough. The twelve are appointed to witness to Jesus. We are witnesses only in a secondary sense.
3. The purpose of Christ. Christ has appointed (an important and significant word) these men to do his work - to bear fruit. In the context the fruitfulness is not necessarily to do with evangelism but more with their loving one another. We too are sent by extension in obedience and love.
Now is the time to trust Christ as his friends and as servants to a wonderful Saviour.

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