The World System
This is our world. This is how we can often be prone to think. We wake in the morning and grab our phones. We think what about what we have planned for each day. Do we have problems to solve? We set about solving them. We look for the cause. We seeks out solutions. We ask what resources must we gather to solve our problems. Or we ask what must we do to bring resolution? We walk through our days, often struggling to relate well to family and to those we love most. We walk through our days living in our minds. We worry. We think about the ‘what ifs’ of the future.
On a larger scale, we go to our places of business. We relate to those around us, sometimes well, and sometimes not. We set out to accomplish whatever is on the agenda for the day. We form committees and identify problems, and we form committees to solve problems.
Let me see if I can break down what this way of living does in us:
- It operates from rational human agency. We think. We solve. We make things happen.
- There is a technique for every problem.
- There is always a search for more and better.
The System of God’s Kingdom
God has quite a different plan for how His people should live. He is building a kingdom of light through the people He has called to Himself in the midst of a dark world. This is how God’s kingdom should operate. The Trinitarian God – God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit is at the center. We acknowledge His power, His wisdom, His loving care, His plans. We wake up in the morning with gratitude for a good night of sleep. We come to God’s word for Him to help us to think as He thinks. We talk to Him. Do we have problems? We tell Him about them and bring them to Him and turn them to Him for Him to solve. God’s kingdom is a place where we abide in Jesus, God’s Son, the One who has given us life. He’s already told us that without Him, we can do nothing. We know that we are to live in relationship with others who also live in God’s kingdom. They are our brothers and sisters who also live with the Trinity as their center. There are certain ways of behavior that characterize this kingdom of God. The people within it live according to God’s moral plan. Think about what that way of living looks like … they love God, they love their neighbors. They show this moral plan because they do not steal, they do not kill, they honor authority, they don’t desire what others have because they are grateful for what they do have. There are other behaviors that set apart God’s people in His kingdom. They treat one another well, with respect, they encourage one another, they care for one another, they praise God together. Most importantly, they love one another.
This is important. Jesus tells us in John 13:35 that everyone will know that we are His disciples when we love one another. When we love one another, with the Trinity as our center and abiding in Jesus, we are demonstrating to the world the reality of God’s kingdom.
There is one more very important piece of God’s plan for us. In Matthew 28:18-19 Jesus lets us know that He has all authority in heaven and earth; therefore, we are to go and make disciples of all the nations [help the people learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
God has told us to show Him to the world through the way we live and we are to tell the world about Him and help the world come to live within God’s kingdom as well.
The Contrast Between The Two Systems
The world system depends on each individual to live and deal with life. God’s plan is for God, at the center, to carry His people through life, individually and corporately.
The world system depends upon human agency. God’s plan is for each individual to be fully human, having been beautifully made in God’s image.
The world system is an abstraction. God’s way of living is real, it is as God planned for it to be and will fully be one day.
The world system will perish. God’s system will flourish into eternity.
Brothers and sisters, may we cast off the influences of the world system around us. May we abide in Jesus. May we love one another well. May we carry the gospel to tell and teach others about our Center.