The Christian Worldview:
"People Who Are
Christians Look at the world differently
than do people who are
"While so engaged as I was journeying to Damascus with the authority and
commission of the chief priests, at midday, O King, I saw on the way a light
from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining all around me and those who were
journeying with me. And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice
saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It
is hard for you to kick against the goads.' And I said, 'Who are You, Lord?' And
the Lord said, 'I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. But get up and stand on
your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister
and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things
in which I will appear to you; rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the
Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn
from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may
receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been
sanctified by faith in Me.'"
Last Sunday evening we focused on the question,
is a worldview?" I tried in practical ways to illustrate what a worldview
is. I stressed: (1) A worldview is the way we look at life and the way we look
at death. (2) From that personal view we determine how to use life, the purpose
of life, and what to expect after death. (3) Our view of the world is a
significant factor in every decision we make from how to work to
who to marry, from how to maintain a marriage to
how to be a parent, from how to live to how to die.
This evening I want to focus on the Christian worldview. The point I wish to
make is this: the way Christians look at the world and the way people who are
not Christians look at the world is distinctly different.
The Christian worldview involves too many concepts to cover in a single
lesson. I want to consider only four major considerations.
- The Christian accepts God as the source of life and the world.
- The role of God as the Creator is a basic truth in the Bible.
- The Bible begins with God (1) creating the world and creating us and
(2) declaring all He created was good. (Genesis 1)
- Moses said to Israel in Deuteronomy 4:32:
Indeed, ask now concerning the former days which
were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and
inquire from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything been done
like this great thing, or has anything been heard like it?
- In a Psalm that called upon everything created to praise God, Psalms
Let them praise the name of the Lord, For He
commanded and they were created.
- The prophet Isaiah wrote in speaking of God's greatness:
Isaiah 40:26 Lift up your eyes on high And see who
has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He
calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the
strength of His power, Not one of them is missing.
- Malachi called Israel to better conduct with these words:
Malachi 2:10 Do we not all have one father? Has not
one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously each against his brother
so as to profane the covenant of our fathers?
- Paul wrote in Romans 8:38, 39:
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor
angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor
powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able
to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- Paul also wrote in Ephesians 4:23, 24:
... that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in
righteousness and holiness of the truth.
- Paul wrote again in 1 Timothy 4:1-5:
But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times
some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits
and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in
their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and
advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully
shared in by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created
by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with
gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.
- So strong is the connection between God and His creative acts that
several times the Bible refers to God simply as the Creator.
- For a moment, consider a perspective:
- From chaos God created the world and life.
- From Adam and Eve's failure, God created grace in God-human
- From the flood, God created a new beginning.
- From Abraham, God created Israel.
- From Israel, God created Jesus.
- From Jesus' death and resurrection, God created the savior.
- From the savior, God created our salvation.
- From our salvation, God created a new "me."
- From our physical deaths, God will create an eternal existence.
- While we look at God and see a Creator of good, the world does not
believe in creation and blames God for the existence of evil.
- Those are two distinct worldviews.
- We will never share Jesus Christ with the world unless we understand
the world does not look at God as we do.
- The Christian looks at the world through the concepts of a fall and a
- The Christian accepts these matters as fact:
- There was a period of time when there was no evil in human existence.
- The deception we know as "temptation" resulted in humans being
deceived, willfully surrendering to evil, and thereby corrupting human
life and God's good creation.
- The Bible is basically about God's efforts to reestablish relationship
between Him and fallen humanity.
- The first two chapters of the Bible are about the period when there
was no evil in our world.
- The third chapter of the Bible is about the deception that resulted
in evil becoming a part of human life.
- The rest of the Bible (the huge bulk of it) is about God's
determined efforts to reestablish relationship between Himself and
- For just a moment, let me challenge you to cultivate an insight.
- God understood that the defeat of evil is accomplished through
- Adam and Eve failed, and God humbled Himself.
- Noah failed, and God humbled Himself.
- Isaac and Jacob failed, and God humbled Himself.
- Israel failed in the wilderness, and God humbled Himself.
- Israel failed repeatedly as a nation, and God humbled Himself.
- God sent Jesus, and in doing so God humbled Himself.
- Jesus was rejected and crucified, and God humbled Himself.
- God forgives us, and to do so God humbles Himself.
- It should be no surprise to Christians that if we are to defeat evil
in our lives, we also must humble ourselves. Consider just two scriptures:
- (Jesus to a Jewish audience in the sermon on the mount) Matthew
5:43-48--You have heard that it was said, 'You
shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love
your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be
sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on
the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the
unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you
have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your
brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles
do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is
- (Paul to Jewish and gentile Christians) Romans 12:17-21--Never
pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of
all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all
men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath
of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the
Lord. But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give
him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head."
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
- While the Christian looks at the world in the conviction that evil is
defeated by doing good, most people in the world are convinced that evil
will be defeated through acts of human justice.
- That is two distinctly different worldviews.
- We will never succeed in communicating Jesus Christ to the world
unless we understand that mercy and not justice is the message of the
- The Christian understands that the purpose of life is, in the name of
Christ, serving other people.
- I want to affirm this Christian view by citing three familiar
- Jesus made this statement to his disciples in Matthew 20:25-28:
But Jesus called them to Himself and said,
"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it
over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not
this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be
your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your
slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and
to give His life a ransom for many."
- Jesus also made this statement to his disciples in Matthew 10:24, 25:
A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave
above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his
teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of
the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his
- The third is a statement by Paul to the Christians at Ephesus in
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and
that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works,
so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ
Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk
- The Christian says, "The purpose of my life given to me by Christ Jesus
is to serve others."
- That is a very different worldview from the worldview held by many in
this society or most in the majority of societies.
- We will never communicate Jesus Christ to the majority of people in
our world if we do not understand we see life's purpose quite differently.
- I want to make one brief comment on the fact that Christians look at death
- There is a very different worldview in regard to death.
- The Christian sees death as (1) a matter of accountability on how one
used physical life and (2) a beginning of the "good life" with God.
- The person who is not a Christian rejects the concept of
accountability and thinks the "good life" can be experienced only in
- If we do not understand that many look at death quite differently than
do we, we will never communicate Jesus Christ to them.
- I want to end with two examples.
- The first is found in Ephesians 4:28:
He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must
labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have
something to share with one who has need.
- Two things jump out at me.
- First, some of those converted had been thieves.
- The converted were to stop being thieves and get a job.
- Second, the purpose of Christian wages was to be able to share with
the one who has need.
- What a striking change in worldviews!
- What you have is not mine.
- What I have is yours.
- The second is very personal.
- Since my health problems were diagnosed, my life situation has changed
significantly, and with time it will change more.
- Are there moments I struggle? Yes!
- There are very frustrating moments.
- There have been moments I stood on the edge of despair.
- There are moments when I come face to face with depression.
- Has my life changed in ways I never expected? Yes!
- I planned to retire from here, probably make Fort Smith my home, and
do short mission efforts here and abroad if the money was available.
- I have spent a significant portion of my life working in small
congregations here and in mission fields in other nations.
- "What do you plan to do now?"
- I have no idea.
- I just know my voice and my balance will not let me do what I
planned to do.
- "Then why do you continue to do what you do?"
- Very briefly, I do what I do because of the Christian worldview.
- I have no idea how God will use what happens, but I have no doubt God
will use it.
We desperately need this understanding in the church: No matter what happens
in the world or in our individual lives, God can and will use it for good if we
cooperate with Him.
West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Evening Sermon, 12 February 2006
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