We now have a better understanding of what people believe and why people believe what they do. This highlights the importance of teaching, preaching and showing by living example the truths as found in the Bible.
EVERYONE HAS AN OPINION
Many people have opinions based on nothing more than feelings or the traditions and wisdom of worldly people. This is often a result of pressures from peer groups, society, family and even the media. As a practical example, take a few minutes to think about what you really believe about the morality of some critical issues of our day, such as:
- The death penalty for crimes
- Political parties
- The Role of Government
We all have opinions and perspectives, even strong feelings, about these issues. The real question is: Do our opinions or feelings agree with what is in the Bible? You can also ask: What would Jesus’ perspective be on matters of morality or truth? Let’s look at just some of what He taught:
- “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matt 5:17).
- “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matt 7:21).
- “Then Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner’” (John 5:19).
The question is not, “Do we have a worldview?”, because we all have a worldview. The question is, “What is the basis of our worldview?” How did we form our opinions and why? Are our opinions based on casual acceptance, carefully considered thought, or a foundation of core beliefs?
FOUNDATION OF CORE BELIEFS
A biblical worldview is one which is based upon the rules of action or conduct given to us in Scripture. These rules were given by God, the One who created mankind, and Who knows what is best for us. As pastors and leaders, we should be boldly proclaiming this biblical worldview.
A biblical worldview is formed upon a solid foundation of core beliefs. For a Christian, these core beliefs consist primarily of the Ten Commandments and the precepts of the Bible. Precepts are commands or principles intended as a general rule of action or conduct.
Of the many biblical doctrines and precepts we could study, let us briefly look at ten essential precepts or doctrines that should be at the core of a biblical worldview:
- The Bible, including both Old Testament and New Testament, is without error as originally given (2 Pet 1:20,21).
- The Bible was verbally inspired (“breathed out”) by God and is a complete revelation of His character and will for the salvation of men (2Tim 3:16,17).
- The Scriptures constitute the divine and only rule of Christian faith and practice (2Tim 3:17).
- There is oneGod who is infinitely perfect (Matt 5:48).
- God exists in three Persons: Father (Phil 2:11), Son (John 10:30) and Holy Spirit (2Cor 3:17). Each is fully God, yet these three Persons are one (Deut 6:4).
- Jesus Christis the image (exact representation or revelation) of the invisible God (Col 1:15; Heb 1:3), which is to say that He is also God (John 10:30).
- He took upon Himself a human nature (Phil 2:5-8; Heb 2:9).
- He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin (Matt 1:20-23; Luke 1:34).
- He suffered and died upon the cross (John 19:30) as a substitute, a sacrifice for the sin of the world (Heb 9:26).
- He physically rose from the dead (Luke 24:1-7) and ascended into heaven (Acts 2:32,33) where He is now interceding for us as our High Priest (Heb 7:25).
- He will come again, personally and visibly (Luke 21:27; Col 3:4) to judge the living and the dead (2Tim 4:1).
- The Holy Spiritis a divine Person, God (2Cor 3:17, 18).
- The Holy Spirit is sent to indwell (John 14:17), guide (John 16:13), teach (John 14:26), empower (Gal 5:16,17), and transform (Gal 5:22-25) every believer in Jesus Christ.
- The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment (John 16:8-10).
- Manwas created by God in His image and likeness (Gen 1:27).
- Man chose rebellion against God’s righteous commands, thus falling into a state of sin (Rom 5:12). This is true of all men (Rom 3:23), and unless a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God (John 3:3).
- Salvation is by grace through faith in Christ alone (Rom 3:24; Eph 2:8,9).
- The punishment of the wicked and the reward of the righteous are everlasting (2Thess 1:9; 1Tim 1:16).
- The righteous will know and experience their reward; the wicked will know and experience their eternal punishment (Matt 25:31-46; 2Pet 2:9).
- Salvationhas been provided through Jesus Christ alone for all people (John 3:15-17).
- Only those who repent and believe in Him are born again (John 3:3; Acts 2:38) of the Holy Spirit (John 3:5); there is no other way of salvation than through faith in Christ; there are not many ways to God (John 14:6).
- Those who are born again receive the gift of eternal life (John 3:16) and become the children of God (Rom 8:16).
- Sanctification, holiness and the overcoming life are God’s design and command for the Church, which is the Bride of Christ (Eph 5:25-27; 1Pet 1:13-16).
- Sanctification includes: 1) a consecration or setting apart of every believer’s life for holy use; and 2) a progressive cleansing from all moral defilement throughout one’s lifetime (2Cor 3:18; 2Tim 2:19-21; 1John 3:2,3).
- In the area of sanctification, sexual purity is necessary for all of God’s children and requires abstinence from adultery, fornication, incest, homosexuality or other sexual relationships or practices forbidden by Scripture (1Cor 6:18; 1Thess 4:1-8; Heb 13:4; Lev 18:1-30); marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime, and is a sacred institution established by God (Matt 19:4-6).
- Being filled with or led by the Holy Spiritis the will of God for each believer (Luke 11:13; 1Cor 2:12; Eph 5:18)
- It is evidenced by ongoing sanctification (2Thess 2:13), being separated from sin and the world (Rom 8:12-14) and being fully dedicated to the will of God (Phil 2:13).
- It leads to receiving power for holy living and effective service working through love (Gal 5:6).
- The Churchconsists of two manifestations:
- The Global Church, which consists of those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38-41,47), are redeemed through His blood (Heb 9:14) and are born again of the Holy Spirit (John 3:5). Christ is the Head of the Body, the Church (Col 1:18), which has been commissioned by Him to go into all the world as a witness, preaching the Gospel to all nations (Matt 28:19).
- The Local Church, which is the body of believers in Christ in a local assembly who are joined together for the worship of God (John 4:23), edification through the Word of God (2Tim 3:14-15), prayer (Isa 56:7), fellowship (Acts 2:42), the proclamation of the Gospel (Acts 2:47), and the observance of the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Luke 22:7-20). The gifts of the Holy Spirit are manifested within the assembly for the edification of the saints for the work of the ministry (1Cor 12:4-12).
- The Resurrectionshall be a bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust: for the just, a resurrection unto life; for the unjust, a resurrection unto judgment (John 5:28,29; 1Cor 15:50-58).
These ten basic doctrines from Scripture provide a solid basis for developing a biblical worldview. But having a biblical worldview goes beyond just having right beliefs or correct understanding. We must be in “agreement with God” from the deepest part of our being, exhibiting full cooperation with His Spirit and a desire to obey God and do His will.
The Bible teaches that our walk with God requires agreement with Him. “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” (Amos 3:3).
Agreement with God means more than just an intellectual or mental assent, for even the demons believe in God and tremble (Jas 2:19). God is looking for our intellectual agreement with Him that is then confirmed through our actions of obedience! This is true of all believers, but especially true of pastors and leaders – because we are responsible for what we teach in words and through the example of our lives.
Agreement means to “come into harmony regarding a matter of opinion, sharing the same perspective.” God has made His ways known through the Bible. It is our responsibility to enter into agreement with His Word. Agreeing with God’s view of the world is more than acknowledging that He is right.
Agreement means that we have replaced our view with His view, and we then live our lives according to His ways.
We can agree with a biblical worldview and the core beliefs founded upon Scripture, yet still be very inconsistent in how we apply what we know in our own lives. In other words, we can say that we believe one thing and yet do another. That should never be.
As pastors and leaders, it is imperative that we do our utmost every day to live out what we are teaching to others from the Bible (Rom 2:21-24).
PASTOR TO PASTOR
Pastor, as a minister of the Gospel, are you preaching, teaching, counseling and modeling a biblical worldview? Sadly, many today are presenting as truth their personal opinions, secular humanism and other forms of the “traditions of men”. They are preaching ideas that appeal to human flesh, but that work against raising up submitted, obedient and humble disciples of Jesus (1Tim 4:1,2; 2Tim 4:3,4).
Remember that the apostle Paul cautions the Church against ministers who have a non-biblical worldview: “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Col 2:8).
It takes faith and courage to go against the flow of popular opinion and be a man or woman of conviction who preaches the truth. As ministers and as individuals, if we do not stand for a biblical worldview, we will be led astray by the latest popular trend, theory or deception (Eph 4:14).
Today’s culture puts pressure on us to be “tolerant”. This tolerance often expresses itself as “all things are permitted” or “even if it’s wrong, I won’t judge someone else for doing it.”
But compromise is always wrong when it means sacrificing biblical principles. We can be tolerant of people when they stumble; but we should never be tolerant of any attitude or behavior that does not conform to the Truth, the Word of God.
We must never compromise or dilute the truth of God’s Word to make it more acceptable. The Bible and its standards will be an offense to some (Rom 9:32; 1Pet 2:4-8), but the truth can save them from destruction.