The “world” (Gk. “aion”) is all that floating mass of thoughts, opinions, values, speculations, hopes, impulses, goals, aspirations, at any time current in the world … the spirit (frame of mind) of the world of men/people who are living alienated (hostile or indifferent) and apart from God” – Wuest’s Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, “Romans,” p. 207.
“Worldliness” is an attitude and life-style of self-centeredness; thinking and living like non-Christians (rather than being God-centered and God-glorifying).
1 Jn. 2:15-17 What are we not to love?
If anyone loves the world, then Who doesn’t he love?
What all is in and from the world?
[“the flesh” – people’s sensuous nature or bodily appetites that can or does excite to sin – Gal. 5:16, 20; Matt. 26:41; Eph. 2:3). It includes the sins of: gluttony (excess in eating) – Prov. 23:21; Phil. 3:19; drunkenness (excessive use of alcohol; stupefied by alcohol to the point where physical and/or mental control is markedly diminished) – Eph. 5:18; Gal. 5:21; sexual immorality – Gal. 5:19; Eph. 5:3; 1 Cor. 6:9; using illicit drugs (Gk. “pharmakeia”) – Rev. 9:21 (“sorcery”).].
[“the lust of the eyes” – includes the sin of coveting/desiring the wrong things, objects, people, possessions, or riches because they are not God’s will; greed – Ex. 20:17; Lk. 12:15; 1 Tim. 6:6-10.].
[“pride (from the things) of life” – includes the sins of arrogance/egotism, self-importance, and preeminence/superiority-complex because of a person’s position, office, power, wealth, prestige, popularity, abilities, talents, intelligence, achievements, possessions, associations, looks, race, etc. – Prov. 27:2; 25:14, 27; 26:12; Matt. 23:5-7, 12; Rom. 12:3, 16; 1 Cor. 3:18; 4:6-7; 8:1; 2 Cor. 10:12, 18; Gal. 6:3; Phil. 2:3; 1 Tim. 3:6; 6:17).].
Are you loving the world or the things in it? Why?
Why is it foolish to love the world (vs. 17)?
Eccles. 2:1-11 What is vanity (empty, worthless, qualitatively valueless from a spiritual and eternal perspective)?
What was Solomon’s conclusion regarding all his vast accomplishments and explorations (vs. 11)?
[“under the sun” – on earth, as far as being truly, deeply, and continually fulfilling].
Is this your conclusion too from a qualitative or eternal, spiritual perspective? Why?
Rom. 12:2 What shouldn’t be our relationship to this world (all the floating mass of thoughts, opinions, goals, impulses, values, and aspirations current at any time by people who are self-centered and rejecters of God’s Word, the Bible)?
How are we to be transformed (changed outwardly in our conduct, conversation, activities, etc. to conformity with our inner being – our new nature in Christ – 2 Cor. 5:17)?
How are we to “renew our mind” (Phil. 4:8; Col. 3:2, 16; Matt. 16:23)?
Are you doing this? If so, how and when?
Phil. 3:18-19 What is true of these people who are an enemy of the cross (vs. 19)?
Do you make a god out of (give supreme or excessive devotion to) your appetite (physical/bodily desires, e.g., gluttony)?
Do you set your mind on (i.e., dwell on and yearn for) earthly things (e.g., illicit sex or drugs, alcohol; greed for: money, materialism, fame, position, power, etc. – Col. 3:2, 5)?
If so, what do you plan to do about it, and why?
Prov. 23:20-21 Who should we not be among, and why?
[The reason we should not be among these kinds of people is because we might pick up their bad habits, and it will make us either stupefied or lazy and, therefore, mentally vulnerable and irresponsible.].
Mk. 4:19; Lk. 8:14 What makes this person unfruitful?
Are you worried about where your next meals or clothes are going to come from?
Or, where you’re going to live or how you’ll pay for it?
Or, your financial security or retirement?
Or, your medical or health bills?
Or, your marital status, career, or future?
Are any of these things causing you to be spiritually unfruitful?
If so, which one(s)?
Why are you letting it/them do this to you?
What do you plan to do about it, and why?
Whom does the world (that mass of people who follow their own wisdom, rejecting dependence upon God and obedience to His Word – 1 Cor. 1:21; 2:12-14) hate, and why?
Do you ever feel like compromising your godly/biblical convictions and conduct in order to have the people of this world system accept or like you?
Have you come to the place in your life where Christ is all that you could ever really need or want in life, like Paul did in Phil. 1:21?
What do you think that it will take for you to come to this place in your life (thinking), and why that?
Col. 3:1-3 Where should and where shouldn’t the focus of our attention be?
[“to set our mind on” means to ponder and yearn for. “The things above” are spiritual and eternal things, like: God’s kingdom, God’s attributes, the fruit of the Holy Spirit, salvation in heaven, spiritual blessings in Christ, the person and work of Jesus Christ, your close relationship to God, etc. – Matt. 6:33; Rom. 14:17; Phil. 3:20; Eph. 1:3; 2:6. The Christian’s citizenship is in heaven and, therefore, demands a continuing transformation of his/her mind in accordance to that reality. The “things on earth” (Col. 3:5) are things like, illicit sex and drugs, drunkenness; greed for: money, materialism, fame, position, power, etc.].
2 Tim. 2:4 What doesn’t a good soldier (Christian) do?
Why doesn’t a soldier on active duty get himself entangled in the business-pursuits of civilian life?
[While it is true that Paul made tents, this was not a business-pursuit in which he was engaged in order to establish himself financially (Acts 20:34; 18:3), but rather to help support his missionary outreach. Like a soldier, any Christian must realize that his exalted task of seeking and saving the spiritually lost demands his wholeheartedness, his life, and his all. Thus every true and faithful servant of Jesus Christ will actually devote himself wholeheartedly to the task God gives to him (Matt. 28:19-20) in order to please his Master (1 Cor. 7:32-34; Matt. 6:24) and not pursue a business on the side that would absorb all his interest, energy, and/or time.].
Are you entangled in the business-pursuits (or for that matter, anything else: sports, hobbies, material objects,money, career, politics, etc.) of civilian life? If so, what is it (or are they)?
What and/or who should your God-given priority be (Matt. 22:37; 28:19-20; Rom. 14:19; Eph. 4:11-13; 1 Pet. 1:15)?
What changes do you plan to make in order to get your priorities straight (i.e., God/Christ, evangelism, building up believers spiritually, and living a holy life), and how soon?
James 4:4 What is true of the person who wishes to be a friend of the world (its values, beliefs, thinking, goals, activities, priorities that are self-centered and/or contrary to God’s Word)?
How much does knowing this jolt you to live a life-style free of worldliness, and why?
Titus 2:11-13 What is the grace of God instructing us to deny (renounce or give up)?
Are you denying your wrong longings for selfish pleasure, power, position, and/or possessions (e.g., drunkenness, illicit sex or drugs, gluttony, materialism, sexually-stimulating dancing and/or music, greed for money, worldly-focused music, sports-mania, computer-mania, etc.)? Why, and how?
Gen. 3:1-7 In what area of temptation did the serpent (Satan) appeal to in Eve (vs. 5)?
In tempting Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, in what three areas of temptation is Eve affected (vs. 6)?
Are you ever tempted in any of these same three areas (lust of the flesh, eyes, or the boastful pride of life)?
When and specifically what kinds of things are areas of temptation for you?
Why do you think that these areas are weaknesses for you?
What can you do so as to not yield to these temptations?
Are you doing this? Why?
Matt. 6:24-34 What can’t people serve at the same time (vs. 24)?
What shouldn’t Jesus’ audience be anxious (worry) about (vss. 25, 31)?
And why shouldn’t they worry about these things (vs. 32)?
What should they seek instead (vs. 33)?
What are you seeking for: this world’s prestige, possessions, and high positions or God’s kingdom (rulership over your life – 1 Pet. 3:15) and righteousness (being and doing right – 1 Pet. 1:14-15)?
2 Tim. 3:2-5 What three things do people living in the last days (of which we are now in, Heb. 1:2; Acts 2:15-17) love more than God?
Do you love any of these three things more than God?
If so, which, and why?
Or, if not, why?
Matt. 4:1-10 In what three areas was Jesus tempted?
Why does it seem like these same three areas (i.e., flesh/bodily appetites – bread; eyes/emotional appetites – kingdoms; pride/mental appetites – self-important/independent of God) are the most vulnerable, and the ones that are solicited to?
How does Jesus handle each temptation which the devil prompts (vss. 4, 7, 10)?
Why does Jesus resist Satan with Scripture (Eph. 6:16-17; Heb. 4:12)?
What do you normally do when you are tempted, and why?
What should you do when Satan tempts you (James. 4:7)?
Is this what you do? If so, how?
Do you see the importance of knowing your Bible well enough to be able to quote appropriate passages to the demonic forces which are tempting you?
Do you think it would be wise to immediately start memorizing key Bible verses?
Jn. 12:42-43 What are some people more concerned about than getting God’s approval?
Is this ever true of you?
If so, when?
Why would you ever love man’s approval over God’s?
Do you feel insecure without man’s approval, and why?
How about claiming Phil. 4:13?
We are to be transformed by renewing our minds (Rom. 12:2) on the things Philippians 4:8 says?
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind, dwell on those things.”
True (Greek “alethe”) means actual, true to fact, conforming to reality, factual” (Vine, Unger, and White’s, An Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, p. 1170). It means not false and has its norm in God (W. Hendriksen, New Testament Commentary – Philippians, p. 198).
Examples: Church history; the kind, gracious, corrective words or actions of people toward either you or someone else; people’s experiences or lessons learned that could benefit you morally/spiritually/relationally; people’s words or deeds that could be spiritually motivating to your well being; the Bible; God’s attributes; Christian biographies; conversion testimonies.
Honorable (Greek “semnos”) means a noble seriousness, worthy of reverence (Wuest’s Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, vol. 2, “Philippians”, p. 110). It means “dignified, serious – in speech and behavior (New Testament Commentary – Philippians, p. 198).
Examples: Either a sermon on or thinking about on your own, that of reaching the lost with the gospel; God, Jesus Christ, or the Holy Spirit and their attributes or works; people’s gracious, kind, or generous acts toward others; Christian people’s sacrificial giving of themselves (their time, talents, treasures) to build up and/or train other Christians; the Bible; the Christian’s purpose in life and priorities; martyrs for the Christian faith; hell, heaven, eternity.
Right (Greek “dikaios”) means “that which is in conformity to God’s standards” (J. Walvoord and R. Zuck, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament, p. 664). It means “just, fair, that which is in harmony with God’s will and law” (New Testament – Philippians, p. 198).
Examples: Situations or circumstances where people either said or did the right thing even though under pressure or tempted to say/do the wrong thing; accomplishing goals or objectives in a legitimate way; solving a problem or counseling a person the way God would want; having the proper attitude/motives for something you will be doing or saying; the Bible; performing some action/decision in a fair or proper way.
Pure (Greek “hagna”) means “wholesome, not mixed with moral impurity” (Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament, p. 664). It means “not defiled or contaminated, free from fault/sin/evil” (An Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, pp. 903, 175).
Examples: How you can help someone in need because you love them Christianly; edifying conversations, hymns, or spiritual songs; biblical sermons/speeches; God’s creation or nature scenes; the Bible; cassette tapes on Christian growth; people as God’s wonderful creations; living a holy/obedient life for God; how to act biblically/correctly in different kinds of situations.
Lovely (Greek “prosphile”) means “what promotes peace rather than conflict” (Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament, p. 664). It means “that which inspires love” (Wycliffe Bible Commentary, p. 1330). It means “pleasing” (An Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, p. 695).
Examples: God’s creation or nature; how to increase group morale and/or unity; what you could say to compliment/encourage someone; what someone said/did to comfort or encourage you; saying or doing something nice for someone who dislikes you; how you can reconcile a broken relationship; doing a special act of kindness for a needy person or to someone who’s in full-time Christian work; the Bible; how you can please your spiritual leader or others.
Good repute (Greek “euphema”) means “what is positive and constructive, admirable” (Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament, p. 664). It means “uttering words of good report or fair-sounding or good reputation” (An Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, p. 953).
Examples: Good things said about another person; a biblical sermon/talk/seminar; someone’s biblical advice to you or correction of you; the Bible itself; someone’s wise instruction; helpful lessons learned in life shared; Christian biographies or testimonies; witnessing experiences; tips on money management to be a good steward for God; someone’s complementation of another person.
Excellence (Greek “arete”) means “virtue; good in it” (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, Commentary on the Whole Bible, p. 1312). It means “moral/spiritual excellence; virtue” (New Testament Commentary – Philippians, p. 199).
Examples: People’s plans to serve God or to obey the Bible; a right decision made; a good deed performed by someone; a speech said that was biblical (i.e., true, loving, etc.); character changes in the lives of Christians; Christ-like traits displayed.