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And He Himself gave some to be....evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ...
- Ephesians 4:11-12

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Location: The Hill Country of Texas

Pastor - Providence Reformed Baptist Church
Director - TIME in the Word Ministries

Monday, January 30, 2006

Faith and Your Worldview

TIME in the Word - Daily Devotional
Together for Inspiration, Motivation, and Encouragement

Verse of the Day - Hebrews 11:3
By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

Daily Scripture Reading - Romans 1

Puritan Catechism
Question #14 - What is sin?
Answer - Sin is any want of conformity to, or transgression of the law of God (1 Jn. 3:4).

Devotional Thoughts

We are returing this week to follow up on the topic we began last week, namely the definition of faith. As we looked at Hebrews 11:1-3 we learned what faith is, what qualities it has, what effects it has, and how it sets our understanding, especially in regard to the formation of the world. By faith we understand the doctrine of Creation! Further, we see by faith that the Word of God informs us of the truth of creation ex nihilo (out of nothing) by God speaking what is into existence.

This then helps set our worldview. Remember that a worldview is defined as "a set of fundamental assumptions about the most important issues in life." (quote attributed to Dr. Ligon Duncan). So this week we will take a look at what a worldview is, learn how to discern whether or not ours is Biblical, and we will investigate the prominent worldviews of mankind throughout recent history.

Another, more detailed definition borrowed from Monergism.com states:

The composite set of presuppositions, beliefs, and values a person possesses that shape how he or she see reality and determines how he or she will act. It refers to the collective set of fundamental convictions people hold and on which they base their actions. A set of assumptions and perspectives that are true, partly true or completely false, which we hold consistently or inconsistently, consciously or unconsciously, through which we make sense of our lives and our world. This is the case for individuals and collectively for a society or culture, as well.

There, that makes perfect sense doesn't it? The truth be told, while we all have a worldview it is difficult to discuss, because so many people have such variations in their worldview that at times it is hard to know what a person believes about the fundamental things of life.

So what are the basics? What are the foundational elements that make up our worldview? What effect does our worldview have on how we think about life, the Bible, family, society, the church, etc? Everything we believe in fact is influenced by our worldview.

As Dr. Duncan states, a worldview is simply a "grid" through which we view all of life. It is the way we perceive the world around us. It influences our beliefs about basic everyday things. In fact, we really do believe (faith) and act (behavior) based on how we "see" reality.

We have to understand that everyone has a worldview, whether they are aware of it or not. It is basic to rational thought. We have a system in our head through which we filter decisions about what is right and wrong and what is good and bad. It motivates us to act like we do, talk like we do, and think like we do. It infiltrates every fiber of our being and defines for us how we see the world. Hence, "worldview."

Knowing then that we all already have a worldview will help us identify what we believe about the basic facts of life (and death), and it will help us to be aware of the logical grid we use to make decisions and formulate what we believe. It will also help us identify whether or not our worldview lines up with Scripture or blatantly stands in opposition to Divine Truth - in which case our worldview needs an overhaul!

So what forms our worldview? Part of it we find in Romans 1:28. The Bible tells us that all men have a knowledge of God. It has been shown to them through what we call natural revelation. In fact, God has revealed Himself to all men, writing His law on their hearts (Romans 2:15). All men have a knowledge of God, and sinners try to forget what they know! They try to blur what they have clearly seen in creation itself.

Some, in this attempt at denying God even begin to worship the creation that reveals the true Creator. They work hard at stifling the knowledge of God, for to admit the truth, that there is a God, who is holy and just, requires that this God holds us accountable. And the natural man hates nothing more than being held to account for his life and sin!

So part of our worldview is just intrinsic in that we were created with the knowledge of God.

Our worldview is also affected by our culture and the world around us. We are very prone, as sinful human beings, to desiring the praise and acceptance of others around us - it is called the fear of men! And many times, what the people around us think affects how we view the world and life.

Other elements of our worldview, other than the inate knowledge of God and His standards of righteousness, include questions that are basic to who we are.

Who is God? Is there a God? Can we know God? What is truth? What is right? What is wrong? How do we know what is right and wrong, true of false? What is the standard for determining these things? How did we get here? What is the meaning of life?

All of these questions, and the answers we give to them, inform our worldview, that system of thought, that mental grid through which we see all of life.

So these really are basic things. And we need to know what other people's worldview is so that we can see the assumptions that they have made about life, death, sin, God, salvation, etc. If we are to be salt and light and witness to people we also have to know what we believe. We need to be sure of our faith and certain about truth.

So our goal then is to see what a Biblical worldview is, where it comes from, and how we apply it in examining the other worldviews that exist all around us.

Here is a question to prepare you for the rest of this week's study:

How did the world and mankind come to exist?

Your answer to that simple question will tell us what the foundational elements of your worldview are. If you need help, by the way, a Biblical worldview agrees with Hebrews 11:3!!


Links for Further Study
This week I will be providing links that you can use to study each daily topic in more detail if you have the desire and the time!

(The use of these links should not be taken as an endorsement without reservation of everything on a given site, or of everything believed or taught by the authors who have posted these resources. They do provide helpful articles relevant to this study and are given with that intent.)


Bible Reading For Further Study

Recommended Songs for Worship

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