Citizens of Another Land
The Bible verse “not of this world” is more a combination of 3 different Bible verses distilled down into a biblical teaching or principle. It comes from the concept that Jesus has taken us out of the natural or earthly world and given us a new identity and vision as citizens of the kingdom of God. Let’s take a look at all 3 of the Bible verses that talk about being not of this world.
Jesus Said He Was Not Of This World
Jesus said that people of this earth were from below but that He was not a citizen of this world. What He was talking about was that His kingdom and His residency was in another place. His kingdom and residency originates in heaven and permeates the hearts of those that put their trust in Him.
Jesus said that those of us that have become Christians and disciples are no longer of this world either
Jesus said that we are not part of this world and because of that the world does not accept us but rather hates us. He says that if we were part of this world the world would love us, but instead He called us out of this world. Now this should cause the sincere believer to stop and think. If the world hates us because we are not of their world, then should we be concerned about what the world thinks of us? Now that does not mean that we should intentionally try to alienate people, but the fact remains that since the world loves and behaves in ways that are contrary to what Jesus loves and how He behaves, that there will be a natural disliking to anyone who is sincerely following Jesus.
The Apostle Paul taught that we are not to be conformed to this world
Now many have interpreted this scripture to mean that we should not dress, or go places that the world goes to. They say we should separate ourselves from the world. There is some truth in that interpretation as long as you do not take it too far. There is a place for modest dress so as not to give the appearance you are out looking for sex, and there is a place for being careful where you go and what you put before your eyes. However this scripture is primarily talking about having the way we think changed and conformed into thinking the way Jesus thinks. For instance. I always questioned why people always looked upon others by their outward appearance. Even in the church they do it. If they look clean-cut, then they must be godly or at least more godly than the unkempt person. But is that the way Jesus thought or the way the world thinks? The world puts a lot of emphasis out appearances. The beautiful, the successful, the well to do are always given the attention. And unfortunately in many of today’s churches it is the same. We reward the beautiful and successful and shun the plain and average who may be much more faithful than anyone else.
So at least to me, not being part of this world means to take on a different set of values
If we are to truly be in the world but not of the world, then we need to take on the values that Jesus had. It means that we must value people, let go of materialism, and die to self. But it also means having life and life more abundantly. Now to me that is more than a fair trade!