What Is A Biblical Worldview – Part 3
Updated: Dec 3, 2018
In previous blogs, I wrote a high-level overview of what a biblical worldview is (which can be found here) and a summary of how the Bible validates itself to be the true word of God from which we should take our worldview (which can be found here). In this post, I will discuss what it means to have a biblical worldview.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1: 15 – 17 [ESV]
All of creation is not just made BY God it is made FOR Him. The universe is about God, the Bible is about God and our lives are to be about God and His purposes as well. This is the foundational element of a biblical worldview. As humans, it is natural for us to want to make creation, our lives and our salvation about us. It is all too easy to even make God about us (after all, He is said to be our protector, our Savior, etc.). The Bible clearly teaches, however, that we are to be God-focused not human-focused.
As an example of how this theme plays out in the Bible, look at the famous 23rd Psalm. Why does God renew our vigor? For His name’s sake. Why does God direct us toward righteous living? For His name’s sake.
He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Psalm 23: 3 [ESV]
Ephesians chapter two has another great example of this theme. Here Paul writes that we are saved, through Jesus, by God’s rich mercy and great love. The reason he gives for this – so that God can show His amazing grace and kindness.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved … so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2: 4 – 5, 7
Of course, the Bible provides us with explicit rules on how we are to live our lives. One example of these guidelines are Jesus’ teachings in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5, 6 and 7). Other great examples are Paul’s lists of things we should do and should not do found in his various letters in the New Testament (Romans 12: 9 – 13: 14, Galatians 5: 16 – 24, Ephesians 4: 17 – 5: 20 and Colossians 3: 1 – 17).
But foundational to a biblical worldview is not just how we live a righteous, godly life but the motivation for doing so in the first place. Having a biblical worldview means understanding that we are not responding to unfair and burdensome rules and regulations out of fear. In fact, it is just the opposite. God promises that the way He asks us to live is best for us (even when we don’t agree or understand) and we are to respond to His commands based on love. If religion is nothing but following unfair rules that take away our fun and we are only doing it out of fear, it is more likely to lead us in rebelling against or abandoning our faith.
In the Old and New Testaments, great prophets – such as Moses and Jesus – assure us that God’s rules are not only fair but are actually best for us. Moses says God’s commandments are “for our own good” and Jesus says He wants to give us the best life possible. We are also taught, though the proper fear, respect and reverence for God is the beginning of all wisdom (Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 1: 7 and Proverbs 9: 10), that ultimately God’s perfect love casts out fear as the reason we should obey Him.
And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good? Deuteronomy 10: 12 – 13 [ESV]
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10: 10 [ESV]
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. 1st John 5: 3 [ESV]
By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 1st John 4: 17 – 18 [ESV]
Given our imperfections, humans are not equipped to determine or design an ideal moral code for ourselves. The Bible clearly teaches that we can’t always trust our judgements or emotions. In fact, we are taught through the scriptures that there are ways which humans can be quite certain are correct and beneficial but which will ultimately lead to death [Proverbs 14: 12 & 16: 25]. We need the guidance of the Bible to honestly teach us right from wrong.
As we discussed in the last blog, the Bible validates itself as the true word of God and, therefore, we should take our worldview from its pages. A biblical worldview is not just understanding and living by the moral right and wrongs of the Bible, though that is important. The very foundation of a biblical worldview is the understanding that the world and our lives are about God and His glory and living our lives day to day by fully embracing the belief that God’s ways are fair and best for us overall.
This subject is covered in greater detail in my book Clear Vision: How The Bible Teaches Us To View The World, which can be purchased here.