Thursday, July 20, 2017

Stop Loving the World - Chap 4

Stop Loving the World [ISBN 978-1-60178-118-5] by William Greenhill is an appended sermon to his book The Sound Hearted Christian and provides excellent advice on identifying and suppressing inordinate love of the world.  In this book Mr. Greenhill expounds 1 John 2:15, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world" by properly distinguishing between the correct use of the world versus the undue love the world.

Mr. Greenhill notes that "even saints are prone to love the world" and that "[t]here is a great suitableness between the world and hour corrupt hearts and natures," (p. 2).  In Chapter 4 he gives directions for examining the Christian's heart for the love of the world.

First, he looks at the usefulness of applying the doctrine to not love the world:
  1. Examining the heart informs a Christian of the corruption of his nature, which is very prone to love the world and the things of the world (pp. 42-43).
  2. If those in a state of grace should not love the world, then there are very few who are truly in the state of grace because there are so few who do not love the world (pp. 43-44).
  3. If a Christian should not love the world, then those who are gracious and godly should be content with a little of the world (p. 44).
  4. Examining the heart serves to reprove professing Christians (pp. 44-45).
Next, the author provides probing questions to help the Christian examine his heart:
  1. Am I more concerned about the things of the world than I am for heaven and spiritual things? (p. 45-46)
  2. Does the world push aside and cut out the things that are of God? (pp. 46-48)
  3. Am I content with a little when it comes to matters of the soul? (pp. 48-49)
  4. In what then do I find most sweetness and contentment? (pp. 49-50)
  5. Do I use questionable or unlawful means to get the world?  Do I neglect lawful and unquestionable means that would get me heaven and spiritual things? (pp. 50-51)
  6. Do I love ideas, learning, wisdom of words, talents, gifts, and things of this nature? (pp. 51-52)
  7. Am I more grieved for the loss of outward, worldly things than I am for the loss of spiritual things? (p. 52)
Mr. Greenhill concludes this chapter with the following directions: "Honestly answering these several questions should help you know whether you love the world or not.  And if you find that your heart is set on this world, you are worthy of great blame," (p. 52).


***
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever," (1 John 2:15-17).

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Stop Loving the World - Chap 3

Stop Loving the World [ISBN 978-1-60178-118-5] by William Greenhill is an appended sermon to his book The Sound Hearted Christian and provides excellent advice on identifying and suppressing inordinate love of the world.  In this book Mr. Greenhill expounds 1 John 2:15, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world" by properly distinguishing between the correct use of the world versus the undue love the world.

Mr. Greenhill notes that "even saints are prone to love the world" and that "[t]here is a great suitableness between the world and hour corrupt hearts and natures," (p. 2).  In Chapter 3 he describes the Christian's relationship to God's Creation.

First, the author looks at how a Christian should legitimately interact with the world:
  1. Christians may study the world and the works of God in the world (pp. 29-31).
  2. Christians may pray for the things of the world (pp. 31-32).
  3. Christians must follow a calling in this world (pp. 32-33).
Next, Mr. Greenhill lists six ways that the Christian can use God's creation well and right:
  1. Use all things for the end that God has made them (pp. 33-34).
  2. Walk with God in the use of the world and answer God's call (p. 34).
  3. Use the things of the world to promote spiritual good in ourselves and others (pp. 34-35).
  4. Use the world slightly and consider the things of God and of the soul as the main business (p. 35).
  5. Use the world in moderation, keeping the affection in check (pp. 35-36).
  6. Give a good and cheerful account to God concerning worldly possessions (p. 36).
He also shows us how to love good things in the world:
  1. Keep the good of creation in proper perspective (p. 37).
  2. Remember the right use of these good things (p. 37).
  3. Place the greatest Good (love to God) second to none (p. 38).
Finally, Mr. Greenhill gives five reasons why a Christian should not make his own wealth a goal in life:
  1. It is a heathenish thing to argue for the goodness of a calling from the gain of a calling (pp. 38-39).
  2. Christians must aim at the public good in their callings (p. 39-40).
  3. To make being rich a goal is against the great and glorious principle of the gospel, self-denial (p. 40).
  4. It is directly against Scripture for Christians to make earthly gain an end (p. 40).
  5. Christians should follow a calling to glorify God, whether there is gain or not (p. 41).
The author reminds Christians to "[l]et our moderation be toward things as if they were not ultimately ours," (p. 36).  He also encourages Christians to keep the right perspective:
"The things of the world feed our lusts and are stronger to set our corruptions to work than to further the good that is in us.  And because the things of the world divert us from God, discourage us toward good, or corrupt the good that is in us, therefore the Lord has forbidden us to love the world--even though there is some good in the world," (p. 37).


***

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever," (1 John 2:15-17).

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Stop Loving the World - Chap 2

Stop Loving the World [ISBN 978-1-60178-118-5] by William Greenhill is an appended sermon to his book The Sound Hearted Christian and provides excellent advice on identifying and suppressing inordinate love of the world.  In this book Mr. Greenhill expounds 1 John 2:15, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world" by properly distinguishing between the correct use of the world versus the undue love the world.

Mr. Greenhill notes that "even saints are prone to love the world" and that "[t]here is a great suitableness between the world and hour corrupt hearts and natures," (p. 2).  In Chapter 2 he looks at reasons for not loving this world:
  1. Christians have a higher calling (p. 15).
  2. It is unreasonable (pp. 15-19).
  3. It is scandalous (pp. 19-20).
  4. It is idolatrous (p. 20).
  5. It is dangerous (pp. 20-22).
  6. It deals with the impossible (p. 22).
  7. It makes God the Christian's enemy (pp. 22-24).
  8. It debases our understanding (pp. 24-25).
  9. It is utterly destructive (pp. 25-26).
  10. It is hostile to godliness (pp. 26-27).
  11. It is the devil's trap (pp. 27-28).
  12. It leads to apostasy (p. 28).
The author states an obvious, but discredited, reality: "The things of God are better than the things of the world," (p. 18).



***

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever," (1 John 2:15-17).

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Stop Loving the World - Chap 1

Stop Loving the World [ISBN 978-1-60178-118-5] by William Greenhill is an appended sermon to his book The Sound Hearted Christian and provides excellent advice on identifying and suppressing inordinate love of the world.  In this book Mr. Greenhill expounds 1 John 2:15, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world" by properly distinguishing between the correct use of the world versus the undue love the world.

Mr. Greenhill notes that "even saints are prone to love the world" and that "[t]here is a great suitableness between the world and hour corrupt hearts and natures," (p. 2).  In Chapter 1 he addresses what is meant by "the world" and what it is to love the world.

First, the world is (1) all things created by God, (2) the customs and fashions of men, and (3) the pomp and splendor of men (pp. 3-5).

Next, Mr. Greenhill describes what it means to love the world.  To love the world is:
  1. To hold it in high account (pp. 5-6)
  2. To fix your thoughts on it (pp. 6-7)
  3. To desire it (p. 7)
  4. To set your heart on the things of it (pp. 7-8)
  5. To employ your strength in, on, and about it (pp. 8-9)
  6. To watch for all opportunities and occasions to get the things of it (pp. 9-10)
  7. To endure great hardships for it (pp. 10-11)
  8. To favor it the most (pp. 11-13)
  9. To mourn and lament for the things of it that are taken away (p. 14)
  10. To be resolved to be rich and have it one way or another (p. 14)
This short book is not only very convicting, but it is also very helpful as it encourages the Christian to obey the first and greatest commandment to "love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all they soul, and with all thy mind," (Matt. 22:37).


***
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever," (1 John 2:15-17).