DO YOU HAVE A BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW?
Text: Matthew 22:29
Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God. KJV
Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. NIV
Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken (deceived), not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.” NKJV
Jesus answered, “You don’t understand, because you don’t know what the Scriptures say, and you don’t know about the power of God.” NCV
Scripture Reading: Matthew 22:23-33.
The question tonight is, “Do you have a biblical worldview?”
Article from The Sword of the Lord, January 30, 2004:
“Few American Christians Have Biblical Worldview”
Relatively few Americans have a biblical worldview – even among devoutly religious people. That’s the conclusion by the latest study of the Barna Research Group (BRG), which suggested that a large share of the nation’s moral and spiritual challenges is directly attributable to the absence of a biblical worldview.
…The [December 2003] survey of 2,033 adults discovered that only 4 percent of Americans have such a perspective on life. Only 9 percent of those who called themselves Christians have a biblical worldview. Those numbers were even lower among other religious classifications: Protestants (7 percent), adults who attend mainline Protestant churches (2 percent) and Catholics (less than half of 1 percent)…
The research defined a biblical worldview as having a firm belief in six specific religious views: Jesus Christ lived a sinless life; God is the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe, and He still rules it today; salvation is a gift from God and cannot be earned; Satan is real; a Christian has a responsibility to share his faith in Christ with other people; and the Bible is accurate in all of its teachings.
Editor’s Comment: The liberal schools in “Christian” circles are largely responsible for producing several generations of “clergy” who are thus indoctrinated. The churches in turn are much to blame for allowing these liberals in their pulpits and for continuing to fund the schools from the Sunday offerings. As the survey reveals, the results are catastrophic!
What do we mean by the term worldview? A couple good ways to describe that concept are:
"What is a worldview? A worldview comprises one’s collection of presuppostions, convictions, and values from which a person tries to understand and make sense out of the world and life.
A worldview is a conceptual scheme by which we consciously or unconsciously place or fit everything we believe and by which we interpret and judge reality"
-- Ronald Nash, Faith and Reason.
"A worldview is, first of all, an explanation and interpretation of the world, and second, an application of this view to life."
-- W. Gary Phillips & William E. Brown, Making Sense of Your World from a Biblical Viewpoint.
-- from the Introduction in John MacArthur, Gen. Ed., Think Biblically!
Quite simply, it is everything we believe, why we believe it, and how it affects how we live.
A biblical worldview, then, begins with
"Seeing things the way God sees them."
It is not developed with worldy wisdom but wisdom that is from God. We must exercise discernment and study to show ourselves approved unto God to be able to separate true biblical wisdom from God from that worldly wisdom which is often costumed and disguised to appear as godly teaching.
Illustration: "Honey or Vinegar?"
Sister Bilinda handed me a printout of a little story the other day which can illustrate the importance of knowing the difference between outside appearances and what’s really inside. Since it’s off the internet and I only received a copy of it, I do not know the author and acknowledge that it is not an original idea of my own.
(Perform this illustration as an object lesson with a volunteer to taste a small spoonful of each substance, beginning with the vinegar. Be sure to find brands of vinegar and honey that are close in color to each other.)
"The preacher placed two identical jars on the table next to the pulpit. He quoted 1 Samuel 16:17: ’The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’ These jars came from the same factory, were made of the same materials, and can hold the same amount. But they are different,’ he explained.
Then he upset one and it oozed out honey. He turned over the other, and vinegar spilled out. ’When a jar is upset, whatever is in it comes out. Until the jars were upset, we reveal our innermost thoughts and attitudes, ’for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.’" (Luke 6:45)
What if someone tipped you over today?
What would flow out?
Would you reveal the "honey" of grace and patience?
Or the "vinegar" of anger and criticism.
"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4:8).
This was a very good illustration of how looking only at the outward appearance can be deceptive as to what is on the inside.
Here are several books that look according to outward appearance like a Bible, the Word of God. However, close examination on the inside reveals each of them to be something significantly different!
This one even says "Holy Scriptures" on the cover and appears to be a very nice study Bible; but inside it is revealed to be the New World Translation of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, the Jehovah’s Witnesses. This book has been translated to support some teachings that are very different from historic orthodox biblical Christian doctrine! Its outward appearance is misleading to what is actually what’s on the inside.
These other books also look like a Bible on the outside, but a look inside reveals this one to be a Book of Mormon, this one a copy of the Koran.
We need to exercise discernment, godly wisdom, and make sure we examine carefully what’s on the inside of things, not just be satisfied with a quick impression of an outward appearance, often intended to deceive.
We must also be careful to examine ourselves, to be sure that we have not been deceived nor have deceived ourselves. The Pharisees and Sadducees we read about in the New Testament believed that they had the correct worldview. However, Jesus told them that they were deceived, being deceived, that they were on the wrong track, because they thought they had it all figured out but in reality they did not know the Scriptures. (see Matthew 23)
There are numerous examples today of individuals and cults that have led many souls away from the Lord Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of Heaven by presenting a worldview that was dressed up to look like a biblical worldview but was indeed the very opposite.
Extreme, tragic examples: Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple; David Koresh and the Branch Davidians; Heaven’s Gate and too many others.
There are too many false teachings within the church today as well, which many accept freely because they do not want to take the time to test all things, they are looking for some new teaching, they like their "ears tickled", the preacher was very "charismatic" and can "preach up a storm", and many other reasons.
Do you have a biblical worldview?
Or is your worldview influenced by the philosophies of the world?
Let’s take a look at those six points mentioned in the article and try to see those things the way God sees them. How do we do that? Very simple. See what the Bible, the Word of God, says about them. Unless you have a problem with point number six. But then that’s a "whole ’nuther lesson".
I. Jesus Christ lived a sinless life.
A. Hebrews 4:14-16.
B. 1 Peter 2:21-22.
C. 2 Corinthians 5:21.
II. God is the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe, and He still rules it today.
A. Genesis 1:1.
B. Revelation 19:6; 1 Kings 8:39; Jeremiah 17:9-10; Isaiah 46:10.
C. Exodus 15:18; Psalm 66:7; 103:19; Revelation 11:15.
III. Salvation is a gift from God and cannot be earned.
A. Romans 6:23.
B. Ephesians 2:8-10.
C. Revelation 22:17; John 4:10.
IV. Satan is real.
A. Genesis 3; Job 1:6; Matthew 4; Luke 4.
B. 2 Corinthians 11:14; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8.
C. Revelation 12:9; 20:2,10.
V. A Christian has a responsibility to share his faith in Christ with other people.
A. Luke 24:48; Acts 1:8
B. Matthew 28:18-20.
C. Mark 16:15.
VI. The Bible is accurate in all of its teachings.
A. 2 Timothy 2:1; 3:16.
B. John 17:17.
C. Psalm 19; 119; Proverbs 30:5.
What of the other essential doctrines of the Christian faith:
The Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ;
The Deity of Christ;
The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit;
Conversion, Regeneration, Sanctification, etc.;
The Cross of Christ and the Atonement;
The Bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ;
The Future Return of Our Lord Jesus Christ;
just to mention a few.
The statistical numbers we noted in the article earlier are probably much lower when you consider additional essential teachings of the Bible.
"The intentional development of a biblical worldview requires years of integrated effort."
-- George Barna, Transforming Children Into Spiritual Champions!
“Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him (Proverbs 30:5).”
Those who do not receive and believe what the Bible says about these and other basic fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith do not have a biblical worldview!
Do you have a biblical worldview?
If we think we perceive a flaw in the Word of God, we need to correct our thinking. The Word of God is flawless. Therefore, the flaw is in our thinking. The error is not on the side of God; it is on the side of man. The error may be in an incorrect translation, or in a faulty interpretation, or in an error in understanding. In any case, we should not seek to make the Bible relevant by means of worldly thinking, but we should seek by means of biblical thinking to examine ourselves and the world in which we live and to respond accordingly.
May God give us eyes to see and ears to hear that we may know the truth and possess and live according to a truly biblical worldview that He may be glorified. Amen.