Grade 10: A Christian Worldview
Goal: Your student should learn the basics of a Christian worldview. Your student should be able to identify the eight major areas of Christian doctrine.
A Christian Worldview
A worldview is how you look at the world. Everyone has one, whether they know that word or not. A worldview is the framework of ideas by which you live your life. For example, if you have an evolutionary worldview, you are likely to conclude that life is meaningless. If you have a materialistic worldview, you believe that material things are all that exist, and you have no place for the spiritual. In the past, most people in our country inherited a Christian or biblical worldview even if they were not Christians. They still tended to believe in a framework of absolute truth and right or wrong. That is changing. Many people have a “postmodern” worldview in which truth is relative and what is right for you might not be right for me.
Basic elements of a Christian worldview include:
- God exists. Thus, there is absolute truth.
- God is righteous and loving. Thus, there are absolute values in our world. Some things are right and some things are wrong.
- God created our world and is guiding it. Thus, our world has meaning and purpose.
- Human beings are the greatest of God’s creation. Thus, human life is of great value and worth.
Here are some good resources to help your student develop a Christian worldview:
Focus on the Family: What is a Christian worldview?
Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry: Essentials of a Christian worldview:
Chuck Colson Center for a Christian Worldview: Introduction to the Christian worldview:
A great resource is the video series The Truth Project by Del Tackett. We have this series of 14 videos in our church library. We recommend your student watch these videos this year.
The Eight Major Areas of Christian Doctrine
What Christians believe can be summarized in eight major areas. The goal is for your student to be able to list these eight doctrines and summarize them in his own words.
• Humanity and Sin
• The Holy Spirit
• The Church
• Last Things
God has revealed himself to humans. We can know God because he has chosen to reveal himself. This revelation falls into two categories.
General revelation is the revelation of God available to all people everywhere. God has revealed himself through creation. (Psalm 19:1-4; Acts 14:17; Romans 1:19-20). The beauty and design of creation reveal a God who is powerful, beautiful, and creative. God has also revealed himself through the human conscience (Romans 2:14-15). We have a sense of right and wrong in our lives that reflects a moral God. This general revelation is only partial revelation about God.
Special revelation is the specific work of God to reveal himself in human history. God has revealed himself uniquely through the nation of Israel (Genesis 12:1; Psalm 103:7). God chose to interact with this group of people out of all the nations of the world in order to specifically reveal his purposes in the world. God has finally and fully revealed himself through his son Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-3; Colossians 1:19; John 14:8). Jesus was an Israelite, but he was more than a human being. He is the exact image of God on earth. We get our fullest picture of God in Jesus. The Bible is the written record of God’s special revelation to humanity. The Old Testament records his revelation through Israel. The New Testament records his revelation in Jesus. The Bible is the inspired word of God (2 Peter 1:19-21). The Bible is reliable and infallible (Matthew 24:35). The Bible is the authority for what we believe and how we should live (2 Timothy 3:14-17).
There is only one true living God (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). Yet, Christians believe God is Trinity---three persons in one God. The three persons of the Trinity are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We believe this mystery because the Bible clearly says there is only one God, yet the Bible identifies each of these three persons as God. The three are often mentioned together in the Bible in equal terms (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14). We do not believe these three are just different names or expressions of the same God, because the three persons interact, such as at the baptism of Jesus when the Father spoke from heaven and the Spirit descended in the form of a dove (Matthew 3:16-17). The Trinity is important because it shows us that God is relational and it models how we are to relate to others in community.
God has revealed his nature to us in the Bible. God is omnipotent or all-powerful (Genesis 17:1). He is omniscient or all-knowing (Psalm 139:6). God is omnipresent or present everywhere (Psalm139:7-16). God is eternal (Psalm 90:2). God is unchanging (Psalm 102:27). God is spirit (John 4:24). God is holy (Leviticus 20:26). God is love (1 John 4:8). God is righteous (Romans 3:26). God is the creator of everything (Genesis 1:1).
Humanity and Sin
Human beings are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). Thus, every human life is valuable and precious. God created us male and female (Genesis 1:27). Thus, gender identity is a part of God’s design for us. God gave us the ability and responsibility to make choices (Genesis 2:15-17). We are accountable for the choices we make in life.
Human beings are sinful. Sin is universal (Romans 3:9-23). That is, we are all sinners. Sin does not erase the image of God, but it means we are flawed. Sin originated with the temptation of Satan and human choice at the time of the fall (Genesis 3:1-6). Sin has horrible consequences. It brings separation from God (Genesis 3:8), suffering (Genesis 3:17-19), bondage (John 8:34), guilt (James 2:10), and death (Romans 5:12).
Both of these things are true of humans: 1) We are created in the image of God and are valuable. 2) We are sinners and are guilty. We must not lose sight of either of these truths.
Jesus existed eternally in heaven before he came to earth (John 1:1-3). Jesus came to earth as God in human flesh to bring us redemption (John 1:14; Luke 19:10). Jesus was and is fully God (John 14:9). Jesus was fully human (Matthew 4:2). Jesus was born of a virgin (Matthew 1:20). Jesus lived a sinless life (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus performed miraculous signs that testified to his identity (John 2:11). Jesus died on a cross for the sins of humanity (1 Peter 3:18). Jesus rose from the dead on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-6). Jesus ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9). Jesus now reigns in heaven, seated at the right hand of God (Ephesians 1:20). Jesus will one day return to earth from heaven (Acts 1:10-11).
The basis of salvation is the atonement, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Christ became the sacrifice for our sin on the cross (Ephesians 5:2), dying in our place (Romans 5:8). His death turned away the wrath of God (Romans 3:25), freed us from the bondage to sin (1 Peter 1:18-21), and gave us a new relationship to God and other people (Ephesians 2:14-18).
Salvation begins with God’s initiative. He extends his grace to us (Ephesians 2:4-8) and draws us to himself (John 6:44). Salvation is a gift of God (Romans 6:23).
Salvation is received by repenting of sin (Acts 2:38), believing in Jesus (Acts 16:31), and confessing him as Lord of one’s life (Romans 10:9-10). This is called conversion (Matthew 18:1-4) or being born again (John 3:3). At conversion, one is justified or made right with God (Galatians 2:15-17).
The work of salvation continues in a Christian’s life through sanctification or growth, which happens through God’s word (John 17:17-19). Salvation is completed at our final glorification when we become like Jesus (Romans 8:30; 13:11).
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is personal and divine. He is the third person of the Trinity (2 Corinthians 13:14). He was active in creation (Genesis 1:2). He inspired the writing of the Bible (2 Peter 1:20-21).
The Holy Spirit brings about salvation (1 Corinthians 12:13). He convicts of sin (John 16:8), brings about the new birth (John 3:5), gives assurance of salvation (Romans 8:14-17), and seals the believer until the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14).
The Holy Spirit fills and empowers believers (Ephesians 5:18). He produces his fruit in the lives of believers (Galatians 5:22-23), encourages the believer (John 16:6), and gives boldness for witnessing (Acts 1:8).
The Holy Spirit enlivens the church (1 Corinthians 3:16-17). He gives gifts to the church for ministry (1 Corinthians 12:7-11) and calls the church to missions (Acts 13:2).
The church is the community of believers founded by Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:15-19). The church is both the universal fellowship of believers (Hebrews 12:23) and the local congregation (1 Corinthians 1:2). The purpose of the church is to reveal the wisdom of God’s plan through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:10-11). The mission of the church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19) by proclaiming the gospel (Acts 1:8), worshipping God in joyful fellowship (Acts 2:42-47), teaching sound doctrine to equip Christians (Matthew 28:20), and ministering to needs in the name of Jesus (Galatians 6:10).
The two ordinances of the church are baptism (Romans 6:1-4) and the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
The kingdom of God has already come to the hearts of those who believe in Jesus (Luke 11:20). The kingdom will one day come in fullness (Mark 14;25). We live in the last days, the time between the first and second coming of Jesus (Acts 2:16-17).
Every person (except the generation alive when Christ returns) will experience death (Hebrews 9:27). Death is the separation of body and spirit (Mark 15:27).
The Christian has hope of life after death. When he dies, the spirit of a believer immediately leaves his body and goes to be with Christ (Luke 23:43).
Jesus Christ will return to earth one day (Acts 1:11). He will bring with him the spirits of dead believers and raise the bodies of dead believers (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Believers who are alive will be immediately transformed. At his return Jesus will defeat evil (2 Thessalonians 2:3-12) and judge the world (2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:11-15). Those who are saved will spend eternity in heaven (Revelation 21-22), and those who are lost will spend eternity in hell (2 Thessalonians 1:6-10; Revelation 20:10).
Resource: Introducing Christian Doctrine by Millard J. Erickson.