Foundations for a Christian Worldview: Begin Here (2)
“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” John 15.10
The sum and substance of Christian worldview
Jesus is the beginning, center, and end of the Christian worldview. He is its sum and substance. If, in developing a Christian worldview, we are seeking anything other than to know Jesus, love Jesus, follow Jesus, be transformed into the image of Jesus, join in Jesus’ agenda, seek Jesus’ Kingdom, bear witness to Jesus, fill the world with Jesus, and glorify the Father through Jesus Christ – if we are seeking anything other than this, we have become distracted from the true focus and purpose of Christian worldview. We may come up with something that sounds very Christian and Biblical, but if Jesus is not the driving force, thrust, goal, and message of our undertaking, then we are following a worldview of our own devising.
A Christian worldview must be erected on a Biblical foundation, one laid with all the counsel of God, and not just a few select passages agreeable to our interests (Acts 20.25-27; cf. 2 Pet. 3.15, 16). In the Scriptures, all roads lead to Jesus. And those roads begin their journey toward Him in the Law of God, the first five books of the Bible. Moses wrote about Jesus, our Lord insisted; so, we will get off on the wrong foot in our effort to achieve a Christian worldview if we neglect the Law of God in the books of Moses.
We might wonder why Jesus is so much the focus of the Bible. After all, the Bible addresses many different topics, a fact many advocates of Christian worldview are quick to point out. This, of course, is only what we would expect. In His Word, God reveals Himself and His will to people, and people inhabit a world of other people, creatures, places, and things in which they need to make their way and thrive. It makes sense that God, the Creator of people, and the One Who loves them supremely, should provide counsel for all manner of subjects relative to people and their interests and needs. We are not surprised that the Bible addresses a wide range of topics with which people have to do, or that it provides sound guidance in how to benefit and be fruitful in those topics.
But for all that, the defining focus of the Bible is Jesus. And the reasons why this is so are not difficult to understand.
The glory of Jesus
The glory of God, the apostle Paul reminds us, radiates from the face of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4.6). The apostle John encountered this glory in Revelation 1, and he was overwhelmed. The disciples Peter, James, and John saw that glory on the mount of transfiguration, and they found it both terrifying and enthralling. Jesus is the glory of God, as much of that glory, at least, as we can bear to contemplate (Heb. 1.3). God has invested His glory in Jesus, so that, as we see and are transformed into the image of Jesus (2 or. 3.12-18), we might glorify God in all we say and do (1 Cor. 10.31).
The glory of God is the reason for anything and everything, and Jesus is the key to knowing and manifesting God’s glory in the world. Jesus is God’s Son, His Word, Redeemer, Savior, Lord, and King. He is the fairest of all the sons of men (Ps. 45.2), the loveliest, most wonderful, most majestic, most glorious, and most honorable Person there ever was. He is more beautiful than the beauty of God’s temple, whether in its heavenly or earthly manifestation (cf. Pss. 47, 68, 93; Eph. 2.19-22). Jesus is destroying the work of the devil (1 Jn. 3.8); He is bringing the light of grace and truth to banish the darkness of unbelief and the lie (1 Jn. 2.8); He is the very Treasury of all wisdom and knowledge (Col. 2.2, 3); the Fount of every blessing; the Beginning and End of all things; the One Who has reconciled the world to God and is making all things new (2 Cor. 5.18, 19; Rev. 21.5).
And the story of Jesus begins in Genesis and all the writings of Moses. Thus, if we would know Jesus in His glory, and discover God’s purpose in and for all things, we must give careful consideration to the Law of God.
To know Him is to love Him
Simply put, Jesus is amazing. And amazing to know. And knowing Jesus begins in the Law of God.
Jesus is central to Scripture because God wants us to see Him as He is, know Him for what He has accomplished, and love Him as Savior and Lord and King (cf. Ps. 2.6-12). Indeed, eternal life, as Jesus Himself said, consists in knowing (loving) Jesus and His Father (Jn. 17.3).
Jesus appears throughout the Scriptures because God doesn’t want us to miss any of His glory. He wants us to hear Jesus and love Him, so He shows us Jesus from all kinds of angles, by means of all kinds of resources, in teachings and types, sayings and symbols, acts and activities, people and places, doctrines and deeds, portraits and precepts. We are commanded to hear Jesus, to see Him, to follow Him, to love Him, and to serve Him as the fullest and finest expression of all we are, do, and have.
But loving Jesus is not just a matter of seeing, admiring, and adoring Him. Jesus says that if we truly love Him, we will keep His commandments (Jn. 14.15). Where are those commandments to be found? Throughout Scripture, of course, but beginning in the Law of God. God wants us to love Jesus, for in Him we find the truth of life, the way to live it, and meaning and fullness of it, all in One. Jesus is the Good Life, and loving Jesus is the way into that life. No wonder Jesus said that, when people turn away from His Law, their love grows cold (Matt. 24.12).
To love Jesus is to know Him and keep His commandments. To keep His commandments is to abide in Him, and thus to grow in Him. So, as we begin this study of Christian worldview, in which Jesus will occupy center stage, we turn to the five books of Moses, the Law of God. There we will discover Jesus, that through the lens of Jesus, we may understand the world and our place in it according to the plans, pleasure, and purpose of God.
1. Can we have a true and reliable Christian worldview without having Jesus at the center of it? Explain.
2. Christian worldview seeks Jesus, that we might know and love Him better. Twice the writer of Hebrews instructs his readers to consider Jesus (Heb. 3.1; 12.3). What does considering Jesus involve? Why is it important that we grow in our consideration of Jesus?
3. According to Jesus (Matt. 22.34-40), what is the relationship between the Law of God and the life of love?
Next steps – Transformation: What is one thing you could do to bring more contemplation of Jesus into your daily life? Why should you do this? Share your answers with a Christian friend.
The Christian worldview focuses on Jesus. Do you know Him? Our book, To Know Him, can help you answer that question confidently, and equip you to tell others about Jesus as well. Order your copy by clicking here.
At The Ailbe Seminary, all our courses are designed to help you grow in your Christian worldview. Watch this brief video (click here) to get an overview of our curriculum, and to see again the place of Jesus in the Christian worldview.
If you value ReVision as a free resource for your walk with the Lord, please consider supporting our work with your gifts and offerings. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.