The Christocentric worldview
Updated: Jan 10
Since the beginning there have been two basic worldviews. In the garden of Eden there were two specifically named trees – the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen 2:9-17). If Adam and Eve had eaten from the tree of life, they would have lived forever (Gen 3:22). What made the tree of the knowledge of good and evil the wrong choice was not because it was good for food or pleasant to the eyes (Gen 3:6). All the trees were (Gen 2:9). Neither is wisdom bad. What made that tree a bad choice is that it represented man relying on his own wisdom rather than the wisdom of God (Jer 17:5-10, Jam 3:13-18). It meant that man chose to define good and evil on his own without the word of God to guide him. The tree of life represented a God-centered worldview, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil represented a self or man-centered worldview. The Bible is a God-centered book. While it is His word to us, it shows us that He is the center, not us. “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist (Col 1:17).” The word before in this verse is the word pro which means in the primary position, above, in front of, and superior. The word consist means put together, unite, or be composed. Jesus said, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty (Rev 1:8).” The prophets in the Old Testament pointed ahead to Christ (Mt 5:17, Lk 24:27 & 44-46, Gal 3:24, 1Pet 1:10-12). The Bible is a Christocentric book. It is all about Him. It teaches us to have a Christocentric worldview and to reject the self or man-centered worldview.
It sounds overly simplistic, but this is still the choice today. We can be centered on Christ or self. The self-centered worldview has corrupted everything it touches, including Christianity. Pay attention to how people pray and what they sing in supposed worship to God. Has God become a Santa Claus to you? Is it about Him being the center or you? This is reflected in our perception of many religious words. Most people understand that words like worship, praise, honor, and glory are God-centric; but many words that are also God-centered have become self-centered. This does not mean that we get do not blessed as well, but the point is we need to be continually asking ourselves who is at the center of it all – God or us? Here are some words we automatically think of in regard to ourselves but have just as much if not more focus on God. How about the word blessing? Don’t most people automatically go in their minds to what they can get when they think of this word? President John Kennedy famously stated in his inaugural address on January 20, 1961, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country”. We can and should have faith that God will bless us, especially according to His word (1Jn 5:14-15); but do we consider how we can bless God? The song and slogan “God bless America” speak a great sentiment, but a better one is “America bless God”. You may ask, “How can a mere man bless God?” After all, the scripture says, “And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better (Heb 7:7).” However, God has chosen to give us ways to bless Him which He will receive. The Bible is clear on this (Jud 5:9, 1Chr 29:20, Neh 9:5, Lk 24:53, Jam 3:9, Rev 5:12-13, Rev 7:12). The book of Psalms says to bless God 19 times.
We speak much about our faith, but do we realize that God has faith, and that our faith comes from His (Rom 3:3, Rom 12:3)? We seek for our peace, but the same is true of it as with faith. God has peace (Jn 14:27, Phil 4:7, Col 3:15), and He grants that we partake of it on His conditions, the main one of which is righteousness (Ps 72:3, Ps 85:10, Is 32:17, Rom 14:17, Jam 3:18). There is no peace in wickedness (Is 48:22, Is 58:21). Have we sought to have peace with God, not just from God?
When we speak of love, do we consider loving God by keeping His commandments (Jn 14:15, 1Jn 5:3), and not just being loved by God? What do we think being loved by God means – that He gives us what we want, or that He leads us into what He knows is best?
How about joy? The Bible says the joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh 8:10). It is necessary to know the context in which that statement was made to understand its true meaning. The Israelites had lost their nation and their people to sin. Now God in His mercy was starting the restoration process. They stood outside for six hours with their families listening to the reading and expounding of the scriptures, and they responded with repentance and tears. Also, notice it does not say, “your joy is your strength”. Is says the joy of the Lord is your strength. That means we find spiritual strength when we learn to enjoy the same things God does. God has joy (Deut 30:9, Is 62:5, Jer 32:4, Jer 33:9, Zeph 3:12 & 17, Mt 25:21-23, Lk 15:6, Jn 4:36, Jn 15:21, Jn 17:13). He wants us to partake of His joy which is far greater than any earthly joy. The psalmist said, “If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy (Ps 137:6).”
Hardly anyone thinks of God when they think of pleasure. Many people think of sexual pleasure first, and there is no sin in it when it is between husband and wife (Heb 13:4). Some people think of vacations or fine food. Yet we are created for His pleasure (Rev 4:11).
Here is one that is definitely rarely if ever mentioned in regard to God – freedom. Not only is freedom a rare thing on earth, and increasingly more so, but who ponders the freedom of God? The basic nature of freedom is the freedom to choose. Who has more freedom to choose than God? He is the Creator and Lord over everything. He is the potter and we are the clay (Jer 18:1-10, Rom 9:15-24). The Greek word exousia is translated power 69 times, authority 29 times, right 2 times, liberty 1 time, jurisdiction 1 time, and strength 1 time. It’s first definition is “power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases”. Here are some examples of where it is used. “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth (Mt 28:18).” “Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come (Eph 1:21).” “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power (Col 2:10).” He does not need anyone’s permission or approval to do anything. Yet so often we attempt to assert our freedom of will over God’s freedom to choose when we should be praying, “not my will, but thine be done (Lk 22:42)”.
When we seek for God to be the center, all these things take care of themselves. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Mt 6:33).” It is not that God is a tyrant or selfish. It is quite the opposite. God is exceedingly loving and generous. However, since He is the source of life He knows what happens when we disconnect ourselves from Him through sin and self-centeredness. When Jesus is not just Lord generally, but our Lord, we get access to all He has to offer His people.