On Sunday I continued a sermon series that is examining what a person who has been transformed by Christ looks like and acts like. You can follow that series here.
One of the ways that a Christ-follower is transformed is found in how he or she sees the world and interprets reality (this is often referred to as a “worldview”).
A great example of this is seen in the life of the apostle Paul, whose worldview was transformed in nearly every way imaginable. Paul tells his story of transformation in Acts 22:1-16, and in his New Testament letters we can observe five specific areas of Paul’s worldview that were transformed by his recognition of the reality of Christ. Those five areas are…
His view of Jesus
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law,
so that we might receive adoption as children.”
Galatians 4:4-5 (NRSV)
His view of others
“For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them. From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!”
2 Corinthians 5:14-17 (NRSV)
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Galatians 3:28 (NIV)
His view of suffering
“Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.”
Philippians 1:12-14 (NIV)
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18 (NIV)
His view of the gospel
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed – a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’” Romans 1:16-17 (NIV)
His view of himself
“This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.”
Ephesians 3:6-9 (NIV)
These transformations of thought had a profound effect on Paul’s life. He went from being a non-believer in Jesus Christ as the Son of God to a baptized follower of Christ, and this man who was once a harsh persecutor of Christians was transformed into one of the boldest and most effective proclaimers of the Gospel of Christ.
Paul’s encounter with the resurrected Christ and his ensuing baptism into Christ and into the worldview made possible by Christ transformed how he viewed the existence of God, the nature of God, and the role of God in the world. It transformed how he treated those who were different than him. It transformed his attitude toward suffering and the hardships he experienced. It transformed his understanding of how one is saved from sin. It transformed how he saw himself and his purpose in life.
This is the kind of transformation that ought to happen in the life of every follower of Jesus Christ.
And just imagine what our witness to the world would be like if we Christians sincerely lived out of this transformed worldview.
Imagine what our co-workers would see if they saw us dealing with our hardships with an uncommon sense of hope that enabled us to see opportunity in the midst of our challenges, instead of griping and complaining about them the way the rest of the world does.
Or imagine what our neighbors would see when we treat every person with the respect that comes from believing that every person is a beloved creation of God, instead of engaging in the divisive rhetoric and politics of the status quo.
Or imagine what our families would experience if we lived life with a Christ-centered purpose, instead of drifting through our lives without a purpose.
This kind of life – the kind of life that’s inspired by the Christian worldview – would stand in such stark contrast to the secular worldview of our society that others could clearly see, through our lives, just how attractive the way of Christ truly is.
Let’s live a life of transformation so that others can witness the transformation Christ makes.