Christian Worldview – 8 – Glorifying God

Over the last few days we have been talking about food and work. God has provided us richly all things to enjoy and he has given us all sorts of food as part of his good gifts for our enjoyment. He has also given us strength to carry on meaningful work. We discovered that God gave Adam work to do even before sin entered the world and so work itself is not part of the curse.

How does this teaching about food and work fit into the big worldview picture we framed for you earlier? Let’s review some of the key points.

  • God created the world for his pleasure and glory.
  • His allowing of sin somehow ultimately demonstrates his glory by demonstrating the contrast between God and that which has its source in evil.
  • Now and through all ages we are a demonstration of the glory of God to other human beings and principalities and powers.
  • There is a contrast between good and evil, light and darkness.
  • This demonstration of contrast highlights God’s character and glory.


The Bible explains some of this contrast with passages such as Philippians 2:14-15 where we read, “Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” The purpose here is that God wants to demonstrate the difference between his children who trust him without complaint and the rest of the world.

Another example is in Jesus’ sermon on the mount where he admonishes us not to worry about our clothing and food. There he reminds us that the Gentiles seek after all these things. This is what normal people do. But his exhortation to us is to seek his kingdom first and let God take care of the other things.

So when it comes to food, we should eat and drink with thanksgiving to God and enjoy what he has made and provided for us. We should thank him for the manifold flavors and textures we get to enjoy. We should give him credit and acknowledge his love and care for us.

When eating with others, we should be careful not to chow down all the food before everyone else gets a chance. We men are notorious for having our plates half empty before our wife, who spent time making all of this, even gets a chance to sit down and enjoy the meal herself.

What was Paul’s admonition to the Corinthians when it came to the Lord’s supper? When he challenged the Christians there to examine himself, he wasn’t specifically challenging them to make sure there was no unconfessed sin. He was correcting their behavior of selfishly pigging out before some of the poorer folks had a chance to get any food! This kind of behavior does not glorify God nor show love for their brothers and sisters. It shows that they were not really discerning the meaning of the oneness of the body of Christ. What they were demonstrating to the world was not the picture of God that was pleasing to him and so he was not ultimately glorified in it.

When it comes to work, do the best job you can. Be an example. Don’t steal time or anything else. Demonstrate creativity, discipline, structure and orderliness. Always be thankful for the fact that you have a job, that you have strength to do your work and that God has given you the abilities, talent and mental capability to do the work you’ve been give.

These admonitions don’t just apply to employment. They apply to your housework and yard work as well. When you keep things picked up outside so that your home and yard look neat and clean, you demonstrate the glory of God. The same thing applies to the inside of your house. Is the way you keep your house worthy of God? In other words, does it look like God lives there? It should if you are a Christian. As a Christian you are a child of God and his spirit lives within you. God is orderly and creative and as his children we have those same traits.

When you drive by the home of someone with a beautiful yard and flowers, thank God and give him glory for his creation and for the presence of a person who has been made in the image of God who lives there.

The ultimate nature of sin is to be ungrateful for all God has provided. He has given us life and breath and all things (Acts 17:25). That means the clean water we drink, the hot showers we have, all the good food we enjoy, the fresh air and sunshine are all from his hand. Not acknowledging these things and being grateful for them is equivalent to assuming we have provided them for ourselves or that we have a right to them or that they are here by chance. As Christians, we need to demonstrate the glory of God by showing how we respond differently to all the blessings God has provided.

Christian Worldview 6 – Food

(For Part 1 click here)

We are continuing our thoughts on creation and God’s provision for us and how this helps us establish a biblical frame of reference for living.

One of the key resources we get from the earth is our food. In the Bible we see a progression of revelation about man and his food. In Genesis 1:29 and 2:16 we find God providing mankind with plants for his food. Adam and Eve were given plants of all kinds for their food with the exception of the fruit of one particular tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But as is the case with most of us, we focus more on the thing that we can’t have than the abundance of provision of what God has given. Adam and Eve did the same thing and this ultimately led to their downfall.

After the flood, God gave animals for food along with the plants (Genesis 9:3). The only prohibition was that we were not supposed to eat meat if it still had its blood in it. When the Jewish nation was established there were entire lists of animals that were out of bounds (Leviticus 11 for example).

After Jesus’ death and resurrection when the church was being established, God told Peter to kill and eat animals that had been on the unclean list. Peter refused, but God told him that he should not call unclean what God said was clean (Acts 10:15). So now, biblically speaking there are no foods that are off-limits for Christians.

In 1 Timothy 4:3-4 Paul warns believers about making human rules about what can be eaten and what can’t. All foods were created by God and are to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. He says that every created thing is good and nothing is to be refused if received with thanksgiving. It is made holy by the word of God and prayer.

Obviously we are to be careful of gluttony which is prohibited in the Bible and we should eat in moderation, but we should not be making rules for one another as to what we should and shouldn’t eat. The Bible is very clear that these man-made rules do nothing to improve our spirituality (Colossians 2:23).

(Part 7)

Christian Worldview 5 – Made in the Image of God

(For Part 1 click here)

In the Bible class I teach we are discussing how to develop and defend our Christian worldview. This week we are investigating the creation narrative and what it tells us about being made in the image of God. Along with that we are discussing the position God has given mankind in subduing and having dominion over the creation.

What does it mean to be made in the image of God? We know that God does not have a physical body like we have. He is a spirit being. So that can’t be what the Bible means. There are certain characteristics that God has given us that he also possesses. For example, he is able to think and we are able to think. God is creative and he has given us the ability to create. God can communicate and we have the ability to communicate. I’m sure you can think of others. Internally we are a spirit as well. God says that his spirit bears witness with our spirit. So we are spirit beings inside of a physical body.

God has given us the dominion over his creation and has told us we are to subdue it. To subdue means to bring it under control. We are God’s representatives to be the stewards or care-takers of his creation. One of the first things that Adam did was to name the animals. Naming things is one way we make sense of and gain control over our environment. After Adam’s fall, this stewardship responsibility became much more difficult. Work was harder and more laborious.

As God’s managers we have the responsibility to take good care of the created world, the environment we live in. But we are to remember that God has created this world with resources for us to use. Some of the creation has been given to us for food and so we should not be afraid to take plants from the ground or kill animals for our nourishment. On the other hand, having dominion doesn’t mean we should wantonly waste resources or pollute them so that they are unusable by others. There’s an important balance that we must maintain as we serve God by managing his creation.

(Part 6)

Christian Worldview 4

All of the things we have looked at picture what things were like before time began. It seems to me that if we take a look at what things will be like after time is over, we might get a better idea of The Point. In the whole scheme of things from the biblical point of view, the period of time from the beginning until the end is very short compared to all of eternity before and after. So if we can see what is taking place at the end, we will be able to see what God accomplished during time. That will give us insight into the purpose of it all.

If we could “visit” the end, what would we “see”? First we would find that the Triune God was still there. But we would notice that God the Son now has a glorified human body and further we would notice that that body has been wounded. What Christianity pictures for us at this point is astounding! The Spirit-God of the universe has somehow taken on a human body that had lived a life on earth, died a gruesome death and is now back in heaven with a wounded human, but glorified, body.

Along with the trinity we will see countless other glorified human beings. As we watch and listen we learn that these are one spirit with the Son and of His flesh and bones. We learn that they share in the divine nature, are variously called brothers or the bride of the Son. They are called joint-heirs with the Son putting them basically into the family of God. And furthermore we see that they share in ruling and reigning along with the Son of God. (see Hebrews 2:11; Eph 5:30-33; 1 Cor 6:16-17; Romans 8:17;2 Peter 1:4; Rev 20:4)

We hear countless groups giving praise to God with sayings such as these:


Holy, holy holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!

You are worthy, O Lord to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.


You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.


Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!


Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!


In addition to these glorified human beings we see other created beings that we would call angels who are serving and ministering. But the sad thing we see is that there is a terrible place of torment where both humans and demons are being punished eternally for crimes they have committed against God.


What do we learn from this picture of what is taking place at the end?  1) God created all things for His pleasure, glory and honor. 2) We learn that God is just and must punish evil and rebellion. He doesn’t just sweep everybody in and wink at sin. 3) We learn that God was willing to sacrifice Himself to redeem a people for Himself. 4) We learn that there will be people of every tribe and nation participating. God does not discriminate. 5) His people will rule and reign with Him. 6) Finally, we learn that there will be enduring praise forever and ever for God and the glory He demonstrates in all His ways.


So what this tells us is the same thing all of the Bible is telling us. God created and then sent Jesus to redeem a people for Himself for the eternal praise of His glory. That’s why we’re here! As John Piper puts it, “The purpose of God is the ingathering of the nations to worship His Son. The magnifying of Christ in the white-hot worship of all nations is the reason the world exists.”

(Part 5)

Christian Worldview 3 – God’s Eternal Plan for His Glory


Last time we saw some of the things that the Son of God agreed to do in relationship with the creation of the world and redemption of His people. God the Father promised that He would prepare a body for His son (Luke 1:35; Heb 10:5). He promised that He would give Him everything He needed for His mission (Matt 12:18; Isa 42:1-8; 49:8; Ps 16:8-11; John 3:34; Acts 2:25-28). He promised that He would make Him the surety or guarantor of the New Covenant (Heb 7:22). As a reward He would make Him head of the church, His spiritual body (Acts 2:33; 1 Cor 12:13; Eph 1:22). He promised Him a numerous seed in reward for His work (Ps 72:17; John 6:37; Romans 5:18-19; Col 2:9; Hebrews 2;13; Isaiah 53:10, 11).

God the Holy Spirit’s role was to empower Christ for His ministry (Luke 4:1, 14, 18; John 3:34) and to apply the benefits of Christ’s redemptive work to God’s people after Jesus left (John 14:16-17, 26; John 15:26; John 16:13-14; Acts 1:8; 2:17-18, 33).

So as we look at the big picture and try to answer the big questions about what is the purpose and meaning of life and the world, we see that at the beginning the only thing that existed was an all-powerful, all-knowing God existing in three persons. All were spiritual beings, meaning they didn’t have physical bodies. They communicated with each other, loved each other and had fellowship, all within the Godhead. Before anything had been created they planned together to create a universe and world that would have creatures of all kinds, but the pinnacle was to be human beings who would have many characteristics that God had. Humans would be able to love and communicate and fellowship. They would be conscious beings who would be able to plan, create and appreciate their surroundings.

Why would God plan this? The Bible tells us that God does everything He does for the glory of His great name. By creating other conscious beings, His glory would be able to be seen and appreciated by a host of beings who would share in His joy and delight in all He had made.

(Part 4)

Worldview Thoughts 1

Sometimes when I contemplate the Christian faith I like to step back and try to get a grasp of the big picture. In philosophy and even in our own personal lives we ask the big questions: “Why I am I here?” “What is the meaning of life?”  I’ve been thinking about these things recently as I a write a book and as I teach a series on the Christian World View in my church. I thought I would take some of these ideas and condense them for my readers. So let’s begin at the beginning.

In the beginning, before time began and before anything had been created, what was there? The Bible tells us that “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1:1). In the beginning nothing existed except God. We learn from Scripture that is Trinity, that is, He is three persons in one Godhead.  There is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Christians believe that this is not just a religious teaching but it is the truth about the way things actually are.

We also know from Scripture that there was love, fellowship and communication among the persons of the Godhead. This is important because the question often comes up among modern thinkers about where love comes from, or why we enjoy fellowship with one another as human beings. The Christian answer is that these traits don’t come from evolution nor are they just figments of our imagination or neural responses to stimuli. According to the Bible, we were made in the image of God and since God has love, He communicates and is a fellowshipping being, it makes sense that we would also have those traits.

(Part 2)