Biblical Principles for Christian Maturity

John H. Stoll, Th.M., Ph.D

Copyright 1996, John H. Stoll

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Chapter 28- Toward A Worldview

In order to properly construct a worldview that is constructive, positive, and fulfilling to the individual, it is necessary to have some underlying assumptions, based on objective principles. Since we are all biased and prejudiced in some form, it stands to reason that it is impossible to construct a worldview that is balanced, without these objective guiding principles. Also, since every person desires a fulfilled life, it is necessary to have a proper worldview that will guide one toward that goal. There is nothing in this world that is able to be an objective guide toward a balanced worldview, therefore one must go outside to find that objective standard.

A basic assumption toward building one's worldview is to accept the validity of the Bible as a guide toward establishing basic premises. Again, this is to assume that there is a God, who created the universe and all that is in it, including mankind. It also is assumed that His revelation in the Bible was given as a model or guide to helping us model our lives, provide some guiding principles for life itself, and to assure us that when we follow these guidelines, we will have fullness of life (John 10:10).

The Bible states that God created mankind for three purposes, as seen in Psalm 8:4-6: 1) For fellowship with Him, 2) To be a reflection of God's moral character (that is the understanding of the word "image" as seen in Genesis 1:26), and 3) To place mankind as king over all God's creation. God then told man to fill the earth with his progeny, and thus the purposes of God would be multiplied in people, and this would go on eternally. But, sin entered in to mankind, in the form of his turning from being God centered to becoming self centered, and now mankind constantly struggles between that for which he was created, and the selfishness that he constantly desires. This has set up a constant conflict within each of us, that is prohibitive of our being fulfilled, as well as skewing our ability to construct a worldview that would be fulfilling.

This is the reason why God sent His son into the world, to be both a revelation of God's purposes to us, as well as to care for the problem of our sin (i.e. self-centeredness). When one accepts and commits himself to the work of regeneration and reconciliation with God, through Jesus Christ, then that person has a new life in Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, that gives him the ability to construct a proper worldview that is consonant with God's intended purposes from the beginning, so that that person can be fulfilled in life, and find purpose for living. Since God's original purposes are eternal, the ultimate outcome for eternity will be the consummate fulfillment of these purposes in the lives of all God's family.

Between God's original purpose in mankind, in the garden of Eden, with the original sin that entered in, and the ultimate consummation of the world, when God restores it to the original Edenic conditions, lies the individual trying to construct a life, predicated upon some worldview, that would provide fulfillment in life. Unfortunately, the inhibition of life due to one's self-centeredness is the cause of the consternation and lack of fulfillment. The only way by which one's life can be ordered aright, is to have a worldview founded upon God's guiding principles. Since He is the creator and sustainer of life, it is also true that He has provided a manual of operations for life, that we call the Bible, and it and it alone gives guidance to each person, so that life can be maximized and provide hope for the future.

In order for one to construct their individual worldview, there are certain basic elements that must be accepted in order to have a solid foundation for life. The Bible is a book of basic principles, that are applicable to every person. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to apply these guiding principles in their unique application to each one. Therefore, each person will have a different worldview, since we are individually unique, yet all will be constructed upon a principled foundation of the Bible.

Some of the basic principles that are found in the Bible, that act as guidelines for us, are important to understand, so that we can construct our worldview properly. A suggested list of them, to be used as a guideline, are as follows:

1) That there is a sovereign creator of the universe, who created and sustains in His omnipotence all that there is.

2) That He created mankind as the ultimate of all His creation, and that in him alone is the "image" of God, which consists of God's moral qualities. These moral qualities are reflective of God Himself, but were marred due to man's sin of turning from being God centered to being self centered.

3) That since God's purpose for mankind is eternal, God determined to provide salvation from man's sin, which separated him from a holy (i.e. sinless) God, and reconcile man back to God eternally. This came in the person of God's son, Jesus Christ, who came into the world to reveal the Godhead to all, and to provide that reconciliation of man back to God, through His death/burial/resurrection. In order for any person to have reconciliation with God, and be assured of life eternal (i.e. heaven), one must make a personal committal of his sinful life to Jesus Christ and what He did for him(see John 14:6).

4) Until the time that the person goes to heaven, it is imperative to realize that the rest of life must be spent in building a mature Christ- like life, as guided by the principles of the Bible, and administrated by the Holy Spirit in that person's life. The Bible states that when one commits his life, with all of his personal resources to God's control, then that person really begins to live the full life, that everyone desires to have (see Romans 8:6).

5) To be totally surrendered to the Holy Spirit's control, is to experience freedom from guilt, worry, fear, the future, whatever. It also allows the person to accept everything that comes in to life, beneficial or detrimental, to be assimilated in such a way as to recognize God's guidance on that person's life, toward maturity and fulfillment (I Thessalonians 5:23). God is not a capricious God, who sits in heaven zapping His children for the fun of it; rather He is a God of economy, who utilizes His power to allow trials and tribulations of life to instruct and build us up, not to tear us down.

The primary purpose of God in the life of a Christian is for that person to "grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ" (II Peter 3:18). In other words, spiritual maturity is the ultimate concept for life that God has in mind. Everything else flows out of this design. Therefore, the individual construction of one's life, i.e. profession, work, where one lives, how one's time is spent, attitude toward economics, politics, world situations, education, etc., all is specifically determined by the basic foundation of Biblical guidelines, and is then specifically directed in that person's life by the influence of the Holy Spirit, who is God's director to every Christian.

God did not make us alike in Christ, though spiritually speaking we are one in Him. He has given to each of us differences of abilities and talents, to be used for our maturity as well as our service for Him (I Corinthians 12:4-31). As God's children we differ in our interests, learned behaviors, desires, etc. When Romans 12:16 states we are to, "be of the same mind one toward another", it does not mean we are to think alike, but to exercise love toward one another, and not allow our differences to adversely affect our love.

Everyone has a worldview, whether they realize it or not, or if they do, whether they are able to articulate it or not. God wants us to understand His revelation to us, for our benefit, and to provide a model or guideline in order to construct our lives for His honor and glory and for our benefit and fulfillment. His guarantee to us is that when we follow His guidelines we have a happy, beneficial life, that will allow us to say when we come to life's end, "I have had a fulfilled life". (Psalm 1:2.3).

"For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love, and of a sound mind." II Timothy 1:7.

Power to live constructively,
Love to live sacrificially, and
A sound mind to live reasonably.

'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word,
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know, "Thus saith the Lord".

Yes, 'tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease,
Just from Jesus simply taking,
Life and rest and joy and peace.

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him,
How I've proved Him o'er and o'er.
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus;
O for grace to trust Him more.

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