In the World but Not of the World

In the World but Not of the World

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent. Each weekday morning, we’re going to spend a few minutes in a passage in John. Here’s the goal: read it, pray it, share it. Every post will have a passage of Scripture, a short prayer, and a question to meditate on and talk about. In a few minutes every day, we can prepare our hearts for all that God has planned in this season of Lent. 

Read: John 15:18-27
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. [19] If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. [20] Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. [21] But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. [22] If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. [23] Whoever hates me hates my Father also. [24] If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. [25] But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’

[26] “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. [27] And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning. (ESV)

The phrase “in the world but not of the world” may get overused, but there’s truth in it. Christians should never expect to be liked by the world. There’s a version of the gospel the world likes; you are enough, you’re good the way you are, God takes us as we are. But this is just a half gospel; it’s not the whole thing. The truth is the world rejected Christ. Earlier in John’s gospel, he put it this way, “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil” (John 3:19).

The first step to trusting in Christ is admitting we’re not good people. Sure, we may keep up outward appearances, but we can never measure up to God’s standards. We’re sinful all the way down to our deepest desires. That’s not popular news.

If you can admit your need for a Savior, there’s one waiting. Jesus said, “whoever comes to me I will never cast out” (6:37). We are not of the world. We have a different Lord, a different Savior, and a different hope. But that does not make us hate the world. It makes us long that more would be saved.   

God, every time I think of my own sinfulness I remember your great mercy. Show me my sin so I can see your wonderful grace. Turn me away from my sin so that I can be more like you. When I face opposition in the world, remind me that you are always with me and that’s all that matters. Amen.


Have you had an in the world but not of the world moment? When you think of your sin do you turn to condemnation or forgiveness?

Try to remember the first time you ever knew you were forgiven. What was that feeling like? Who can you share that story with today?
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