Author: Ron Graham
Our Right World View
—(1) Grasping the realities
In our previous two lessons, we looked at our self image and our set of values.
In this lesson we look at another similar element, our world view. Each of us has a personal view of the world, which more or less matches the way the world really is.
These three things, which are part of our mindset, have a great bearing on the character and direction of our lives. It is important that we get them right.
If our self image, set of values, and world view, are wrong, our lives will fail. Here are seven parts to a correct world view.
1 The Great Things are Unseen
"Your faith is more precious than gold... though you have not seen him, you love him, and though you do not see him now, but believe in him, you greatly rejoice..."
One view of the world is that all things which we see in the physical world are just an invention of the mind and don't really exist —the only true reality is mind or spirit.
An opposite view of the world, is that the physical and visible things are the only reality —the mind is no more than the physical brain, and there is no spirit.
Visible and Invisible
Bible writers, including Peter, take neither of those views. In the first chapter of the Bible, Moses shows that the physical world is something real which took God six days to create. Peter acknowledges this in his second epistle (2Peter 3:4-6).
Peter however, like the other Bible writers, believes in things which are not seen and which are not part of the physical creation.
It's true that we are part of the physical creation, and the Son of God himself even became part of it.
However we are also part of a spiritual reality which transcends the physical. The unseen spiritual things are the greater than material things.
Believing in the Unseen
We cannot see Jesus Christ now, nor can we see the Holy Spirit, nor heaven. But we truly believe these things are real. We love and trust these invisible things, and our unseen Lord, more than we do any material thing.
We regard the unseen things as even more real than physical things which are by nature uncertain. To the Christian, Jesus is a "Rock" infinitely more solid than the densest rock on earth. His glory is infinitely brighter than the sun.
2 This World is Passing Away
"All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off, but the word of the Lord abides forever."
Peter compares the perishable things of this world to the imperishable and eternal things. He has already reminded us of that "inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled, and will not fade away, reserved in heaven" (1Peter 1:4).
The world, and everything in it, is passing away. In his second epistle, Peter devotes a whole chapter to this fact, and how it should affect our thinking and our lives. He looks toward a day when the world will be destroyed by fire, and a new heavens and a new earth which are eternal will come into being (2Peter 3:1-18, 2Peter 1:4)
3 God is Above Kings
"Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as one in authority, or to governers sent by him... for such is the will of God..."
The primary thought in this passage is that we should obey the law and the civil authorities. However, this is only because it is "the will of God" and God's will is paramount. Manifestly, God does not have to obey the king or the earthly authority, and the king, like the rest of us, is subject to God's authority and will.
This passage supports what has been called "the divine right of kings". Many kings, however, have taken that idea too far and placed themselves above God or equal to God, rather than under him.
The same Peter who tells us to obey the authorities, himself chose to disobey them — when they were in conflict with God's commands. He said, "We ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 4:18-20, Acts 5:27-29).