Part 9: Biblical Worldview in a Nutshell

Part Nine: Biblical Worldview in a Nutshell

This morning, we bring our series Developing a Biblical Worldview to a close.  What I’d like to do with our time this morning is to tie it all together as a summary.  I think this will be a good way to take all of the concepts that we looked at in isolation and bring them all together.

Just to refresh your memory, we defined a worldview according to James Sire.

Sire’s definition:“a commitment, a fundamental orientation of the heart, that can be expressed as a story or in a set of presuppositions which we hold about the basic construction of reality, and that provides the foundation on which we live and move and have our being.”

As Sire points out in his last line of his definition, a worldview provides the foundation on which we live and move and have our being. So developing a Biblical Worldview is important and practical because what we believe affects how we behave.  Or put another way, doctrine drives action.

We began by looking at prime reality.  Some worldviews claim that all is god or god is all, that there is no distinction between creator and the creation.

The Bible teaches one Supreme Being, named Yahweh, who is God over all and Creator of all things.  There is a clear distinction between creator and creation.  He isn’t a god who created all things and then stepped back to see what would happen, but he is invested and involved in his creation.

How does that doctrine drive action?

The picture of God that we get from the Bible is one of a loving, gracious, God who is faithful and all powerful.  He is involved with his creation.  We should be a praying people.  A people who seek God in time of need and trust him to provide for our earthly and spiritual needs.

God connects with His creation through covenant; covenant is the context of the Bible.

There is a clear distinction, Biblically speaking, between those in covenant with God and those outside of covenant with God.

We see God in covenant with Adam as the bible opens.  Then God makes a covenant with Noah.  And then Abraham.  In the covenant with Abraham, God calls a people group out from the rest of the world to be his special people, the people who bear his name, a people who would be his treasured possession, the apple of his eye, the people Israel.  Israel was to be the light of the world and bring the nations to a knowledge of God that all might fear, worship, and acknowledge him.  God raised up Moses from among the Israelites, through whom he gave the law, which we refer to as the Old Covenant.  In that covenant, God would bless the Israelites for their obedience and curse them for their disobedience.  God also made a covenant with David, promising that he would have a descendent who would reign on David’s throne over Israel forever; this was the promise of the Kingdom.

Throughout the time of the kings, God sent prophets, who were his messengers to communicate on God’s behalf.  Often their message was one which called Israel to return to God in obedience to the law or face the consequences of destruction at the hands of a foreign army.

Their messages also contained promises of a future restoration and regeneration, a time when Israel would be restored to her former glory and an everlasting Kingdom would be established in line with God’s promise to David.

These prophets also spoke of the end.  The Bible never speaks of the end of time but the time of the end.  The question is, “end of what?”  

The answer is the end of the age.  The end of the age of types and shadows.  The end of the Old Covenant age, the end of the era in which Israel as defined by ethnicity and geography are God’s chosen race.  The end of the age in which God’s covenant people are defined by circumcision of the flesh.  The end of the age of the law of Moses.  The end of the age in which God’s temple is defined as the building made of literal stones in geographically defined Jerusalem.  In AD 70, when Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed by the Romans, that age came to an end.  That is the end spoken of in the Bible.

The end of that age made way for the spiritual realities foreshadowed by the types.  The end of that age made way for the promised everlasting Kingdom, what the Bible referred to as the age to come.  The bible was written while they were still living in the Old Covenant age so the Kingdom of God hadn’t fully come until that Old Covenant system came crashing down.  But, for you and me, our paradigm, our worldview should be defined by the fact that we are living in what they referred to as the age to come.  We are living in the everlasting Kingdom; we are living in the New Covenant Age, the age without end.  We are living in the age in which God’s chosen people are the true Israel, spiritual Israel as defined by those in Christ, the church, the age in which circumcision is circumcision of the heart, the age in which the law is written not on tablets of stone, but the royal law of love is written upon the heart by the spirit, the age in which God’s presence resides in his people, living stones, not a building, the age of the New Israel, the New Jerusalem which knows no geographical boundaries.

How does that doctrine drive action?

Rather than believing the next cooky prediction of the end, supporting the modern state of Israel as a people still in covenant with God, and overlooking the blessings of what we already have in the New Covenant in Christ, we should enjoy what we have now with gladness and thanksgiving, not imposing the law upon ourselves and putting ourselves in the yoke of bondage, but enjoying the freedom that we have in Christ.

Engagement vs marriage illustration.

According to Chuck Colson and Nancy Pearcey, every worldview attempts to answer three basic questions:

  1. Where did we come from and who are we?
  2. What has gone wrong with the world?
  3. What can we do to fix it?

A Biblical worldview answers those questions in this way.

  1. Where did we come from and who are we? We are the pinnacle of God’s creation.  God created man in his own image and declared that it was very good.  We were created to know God and make him known – to worship him, to love him and to love others.
  2. What has gone wrong with the world? Short answer: sin.  Man rebelled against God and has turned to his own way instead of obeying God’s decree.  Everything that has gone wrong in the world can be traced back to sin.
  3. What can we do to fix it? Nothing.  We can do nothing to atone for our sins, nothing to appease God and make up for our rebellion.  There is no amount of good things that we could do to make up for the bad.  God alone can fix the problem of sin.  The good news is that God has done something to fix the problem and that is sending his son Jesus in the likeness of sinful man and condemning him for the sin of the world as our substitute.  He died the death that we deserve and by faith in him we are restored to a right relationship with God.

Man was created in the image of God.  Through sin, man experiences a loss of fellowship with God.  

In Christ, the image of God is restored, man is forgiven of sin and has fellowship with God.

How does that doctrine drive action?

Not only is this God an all-powerful God who can provide, but he is a God who desires fellowship with his people.  So our prayer life should not simply consist of God gimme, God gimme, as if he were some genie in a bottle or lamp, or some cosmic gumball machine, or Santa Claus, but rather, our prayer life should also be simple conversational communication between us and our heavenly father who loves us.

If man remains unreconciled to God, he will continue into eternity separated from God.  Those who trust in Christ receive the gift of eternal life – that is knowing God now through Jesus and then into eternity beyond the grave.

Many would say that for those who do not place their faith in Christ they will suffer eternal conscious torment in a fiery place called hell.  We explored that in depth and if you missed that message, I would encourage you to check it out online.  Our conclusion was that such a teaching is not as consistent, cohesive, and coherent as the alternative, which is that unbelievers simply perish, leaving the traditional view of hell as being highly suspect.

How does that doctrine drive action?

Either way, whether an unbeliever suffers eternal conscious torment in hell or simply perishes, he or she is eternally separated from God.  He or she does not enjoy fellowship with God here on earth or beyond the grave.  And what we believe affects how we behave.  Which should lead us to reach out to others, share the good news of Jesus Christ, invite them into a relationship with him where their sins can be forgiven and they can enjoy the spiritual blessings of the Kingdom, knowing God now and forever.

The God who created all things reserves the right to declare what is right and wrong.  Morality is defined by God and revealed in the Bible.  Thus, the Bible is our source for knowing how to live.  How do we sum up what is right?  Love God with all your heart and mind and soul and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.  The entire law is summed up in the one command to love.  In the NT we find several texts which give contours to this command to love, give shape to love, and teach us what biblical love should look like.  Jesus summed up very beautifully for us what Kingdom living should look like in the words, Do to others what you would have others do to you.

And again, the good news is that though we do fall short and at times do wrong instead of right, if we put our faith in Jesus Christ, we are forgiven for all of our wrongdoing.

How does that doctrine drive action?

Certainly not to see this as a license to sin, nor is it to say that we can or should do whatever we want even if it’s wring because Jesus was already condemned in our place so no judgment no worries, live a life of sin.  Rather, it should be the very motivation for us to live a life that is pleasing to God.  Our motivation for right living is not fear of punishment, but love for our heavenly father.  We love him so we want to do what is pleasing to him.

The Bible is our source.  We believe the bible is true, inspired by God and authoritative in the life of a believer.  Our development of a Biblical worldview shouldn’t be limited to the words you hear from my mouth on Sunday mornings.  If we believe that the Bible is our foundation for our worldview, the lens through which we see the world and the framework for the basic construction of reality, then we should be reading our bibles on a daily basis on our own time.

I believe that honors God and it’s beneficial for us.  Last week I shared with you very briefly some tools to equip you with a proper approach to the Scriptures, some principles of interpretation and I would challenge you to take those principles and apply them in your daily reading of the Scriptures.

I challenge you to go one step further and if you haven’t done so, listen to the series we did entitled rightly dividing the word of truth.  Grab a disc from the welcome table or go to our website and listen to that ten-part series, which goes way deeper than I could in one message.

That is a biblical worldview in a nutshell.

As you can see, what you believe has an impact on how you behave.  Doctrine drives action.

That is why our vision is to grow a loving community of Christians with a Biblical worldview.  And a biblical worldview should cause us to be a people who share the gospel of Jesus, who pray, and who love.