April 24, 2023 Grace United Church Northampton

The benefits of a Christian worldview

The benefits of a Christian worldview

Jesus saw things different from everyone else; so He lived different from everyone else. He had a different perspective, a totally different worldview. 

Jesus knew the truth about God, the universe; He saw the spiritual dimension of angels and demons, the glory of man, the devastation of sin, the meaning of life. Jesus knew the full story; His worldview made sense of the world. 

What is a worldview? It’s the lens through which we interpret all of life. Or a worldview is like the lid on top of a jigsaw puzzle box; it gives you the big picture so that you can make sense of how the individual pieces fit together.  

A book titled, Hidden Worldviews, says worldviews may best be described as the cultural stories that we believe about reality.  

A common cultural story begins with a big bang billions of years ago, random mutations, evolutionary progress, apes, prehistoric man, up to man, today. 

The Christian worldview follows a story as well: from Day One of Creation to the flood, to the Exodus, to Jesus’ incarnation, His death, resurrection, and His future return and reign. This is the story that forms our worldview.

How do we make sense of the world? The competing messages, the confusion, all the changes taking place? It's like everything is up for grabs. 

So we are wise to embrace a Christian view rooted in the teachings of Jesus and in the Word of God.  

A Christian worldview starts of course with the core reality of God. He was, He is, He always shall be exactly who He reveals Himself to be in Scripture. 

The naturalist says “there is no God,” for all that exists is the material, physical universe. From this way of viewing, say the universe, our solar system, the earth and sun, there is no intelligence behind it, no design, no plan, no purpose. Everything about the universe is random, purposeless, meaningless.

Yet, the Christian worldview gladly and confidently asserts, 

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.||| All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 

So as a believer looks at the universe she gets a first glimpse of God’s glory, the brilliance of His design, the complexity of His intelligence, the greatness of His power.

With other worldviews some are tempted to worship the planet, or to fear its demise. A Christian worldview calms fears.

For the all-powerful, sovereign Creator who loves us has total control over black holes, wayward asteroids, Mexican killer bees, aliens invasions, global warming, nuclear wars… 

A Christian worldview sees God’s sovereign care, even when it is not immediately apparent.

A Christian worldview has its foundation in the Bible. This sets us apart. We’ve a divine source of truth, wisdom, knowledge. 

Granted, if there is no God, there is no final authority. There may be your truth, or my truth, but there’d be no absolute truth for all. No universal morality for all. No basis for universal justice, no good or evil, right or wrong. 

It would just be personal opinion or majority rule, or truth would be determined by whoever has the power at the time. This is the Pomo view!

Yet God HAS recorded TRUTH in the Bible. This was clearly Jesus’ worldview:

Jesus said, God’s Word is truth. How many times did Jesus say, “It is written.” “Have you not read?” For all Scripture is God-breathed and profitable.

John 5:39 [Jesus said to them,] You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me.

It’s not always easy to understand. It’s not written like a textbook; it’s more like a library of stories. Individual parts of the big picture. Read it. Know it.

Another thing about the Christian worldview, every human being—good or rotten, abled or disabled, black or white, in the womb or in a rest home—every individual person has great value and worth.

Look how Jesus saw the poor, the broken, the oppressed. Think of Genesis. 

According to the biblical story of reality, humankind is created different from and set above the animals. We aren’t animals. We aren’t related. They are made for us. We have authority over them.  

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

The Christian worldview answers deep questions about us.

1. Where do we come from? God hand-formed the very first male and female.

2. Who are we? We are the pinnacle of God’s creation, created in God’s image and likeness.

3. What is our purpose? God created us to know Him and to love and enjoy Him, and to fill the earth and to rule over it.

But ignoring or rejecting what God says, people sadly have no idea who they are, where they are from, if they have worth, or if they even matter. 

So we have empathy for them; we understand why they think only this moment matters, and why they want to be something else, someone special.

For any view that deprives people of knowing God’s love, or keeps them ignorant of who they are and where to find their worth and life, sinks them into a fearful sense of worthlessness, meaninglessness, depravity, despair.  

Yet, God made each of us in His image. And why?—that we may know, and love, and enjoy God, now and forever. He did this for mankind alone.

Yet, here’s something else a Christian worldview knows about us—we are all broken by sin, afflicted by sin, and inclined toward sin. We’re forgetful of God, we misunderstand God, we distrust God, and we live contrary to God.  

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

This is our core problem: we separate ourselves from God because we pridefully reject His Word, and we doubt His love, and we resist His authority.

A Christian worldview has a realistic understanding of sin and evil.

Why are we the way we are? Why do we do some of the things we do? The Christian worldview sees sin and man’s brokenness at the center of it

Romans 8:7 The mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

When people question what’s going on with the world today, why are bad things happening, why is there injustice, suffering? Different worldviews offer different fixes. The answers given are when people are educated and prejudices are taught out of people, when the right political system is in place, when more money is spent on the real issues around the world, when every sexual taboo is normalized, when nothing is considered shameful, when addictions are treated medically, when the right people are in power and control, when AI can do the work for us, then we will have "utopia." 

A Christian worldview puts no faith in any of these. For the problem is sin. Sin manifests differently in each of us but it messes with all of us. It’s not a simple matter of just making ourselves better. We are not able to.

Since our the main problem is that we separate ourselves from God because of sin and pride, how is this problem solved? We need God to act in our place, so enter the grace of God and the actions of our Lord Jesus.

The Christian worldview gladly declares God sent His Son as an offering for sin, and through Jesus’ death He condemned sin in His body. Through His resurrection He gives the believer forgiveness, new hearts, new life, power. 

Romans 8:3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did! By sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh…

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 

This is our God. His heart. His wisdom. This is why Jesus loved Him so! This is why we can trust Him. Through Jesus’ sacrificial death, God justifies all who trust in Him, not counting our sins yet accounting to us Jesus’ own righteousness and life. God’s acceptance. The Holy Spirit. God’s mercy and love. 

So believe in the Lord Jesus to forgive you right now, to reconcile you to God, give you eternal life with Him. And walk with Him by His grace, daily. 

Finally, a Christian view looks beyond the present world, to the return of Christ and the righting of wrongs and the making new of all things.

Jesus viewed the world with an eternal perspective. He said things like “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, but look to what is to come and store up for yourselves eternal treasures in heaven.” 

Seeing things as Jesus did gives us an eternal perspective which can keep us from being tossed to and fro by shifting societal views, mob uproars, social media negativity, and political campaigns, to be guided by God’s eternal truths, God’s unchanging values. It can help us to love, be peacemakers…

Here are a few tips moving forward: 

The war is for how you think.

1) Be in God’s Word! For in Scripture, God gives us the true view of Himself and the world He created. Including us. Our glory. Our fall. Our future.  

See the big picture: from God creating the heavens and earth to Jesus incarnation, His death and resurrection, the church today, the return of Christ, & His future reign w/us. See knowing what Jesus knew. Put on the mind of X. 

The war is for how you think; we can be taken captive through our thoughts,

Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. 

Is this true? Does this view affirm or ignore God? Is this a true view of man? Does this square with Scripture? Does Genesis agree? Does Jesus? Or Paul? 

For GU Kids, youth, bible teachers, parents, protect those under your care,

2 Corinthians 10:5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 

Think biblically. Think with the mind of Christ. Allow God to transform your way of thinking, by reading His Word and by relying upon God’s Holy Spirit. 

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

But in rejecting a secular worldview for ourselves, we do not want to judge or reject those who embrace it. A Christlike world view leads to humility and compassion, and believing the Gospel is the power to give them eternal life.

2) We’ve a message that needs to be spoken; speak the message of Christ.

Here was Jesus’ view: there are dark powers, spiritual enemies blinding our friends and families who don’t believe. Yet He wanted people to know that they have an invitation to God the Father, forgiveness, and eternal life, thru faith in Jesus. And while “the powers that be” want to control what can and cannot be said, Jesus is with us to bring light to where it’s otherwise dark.  

Jesus told us to go therefore, and make disciples of all the nations. Again,

Mark 16:15 … “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

For Jesus wants the world to know and relate to God the Father as He did.  

3) All that said, perhaps what most defined a truly Jesus-formed worldview, is for us to intimately know and trust and love God above all else. 

Jesus’ relationship with the Father was one of awe, intimacy, obedience. You saw this in His prayer life, His words, service.  

John 4:34 Jesus said, “My food [that which gives Him strength and joy and satisfaction] is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.”

Another time Jesus said He does only what He sees the Father do. And why?

John 5:20 For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all that He is doing.

In a Christian worldview shaped particularly by Jesus, we know there is an all-powerful, all-knowing, and sovereign God—and He loves us. We call Him, “Father”, “Abba.” And He gave us His Son. Eternal life. And He’ll give us His kingdom. His glory. His joy forever. God is truly awesome. Jesus, who knew Him best, found no greater joy than to be loved by His Father and love Him. 

Listen to His words…

John 8:49 I honor My Father…

John 10:29 My Father is greater than all.

John 14:28 You heard me say, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

Jesus knew God the Father and was in awe of Him. He PRAYED intimately. He KNEW God personally. He TRUSTED the Father was always engaged, listening, caring, leading. May we help to foster & enjoy that experiential faith.  

Live with Him daily. And be generous and unafraid to share Him with others.