Romans 1:18-23—For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
The new man discerns between the material world and the souls who are living in the world. He turns from the souls who are in the world to serve God. He turns to follow his Master who did nothing of himself (John 5:19). God commands his children to love all of the souls in the world, whether our neighbors or our enemies (Matt. 5:44). Though we are commanded to love our neighbor, we are also admonished not to be his friend. “… know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4). Though the new man is to love the (souls in the) world, he is not to have fellowship, communion or concord with them. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (2 Cor. 6:14-16). We are to come out from among them and be separate from them (2 Cor. 6:17). We are to love the souls in the world by doing good to them when we have opportunity, praying for them (Matt. 5:44) and feeding and clothing them when they are in need (Rom. 12:20). The new man is informed of what needs are: “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content” (1 Tim. 6:8). If our enemy or someone in the world has needs, we love our neighbor as ourselves by supplying his needs. He does not fellowship, commune or have concord with the souls in the world, but in that sense he comes out and is separate from them.
The new man also turns from the material world. Jesus admonished the Jews that “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Luke 16:13). The Pharisees knew what mammon was and mocked him, for they knew they loved mammon because they coveted the material things of this world – which is mammon. (Luke 16:14). Jesus then stated plainly that we must not esteem what the world highly esteems. “And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15). If we are like God, then what is highly esteemed among men will be abomination to us also. He directs the new man not to love the world. “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). He directs the new man: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:1-2). The Christians who were faithful to their Creator were those who did not “mind earthly things” (Phil. 3:19).