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Redemption and The Work of our Hands (Vol 06) - Gospel and the creation mandate

Sunday English Service - 03 DEC 17


Please turn with me to Matthew's gospel chapter 28. I want to read to you two passages. The first passage I want to read to you is Matthew's gospel chapter 28 and verses 18 to 20. And the second passage I want to read to you is Genesis chapter 1 and verse 28. Matthew 28 verse 18,19 and 20 first - And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go thereforeand make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.

Genesis 1:28 - Then God blessed them and God said to them, be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves on the earth. I am going today try to show you how these two verses are related to one another and synchronize them and show you the relation between these two passages. You remember we have been talking about work. In the first part we talked about work as given originally by God for man, how God had designed man to work and what was the purpose behind it. And then we looked at what happened when sin and fall happened - how it affected work; how work became difficult. And now the third part is about working as redeemed people. We titled it as "Redemption and the work of our hands" - how through the redemption that we have in Christ Jesus, how our work is affected, how it impacts our work and so on. We already said a few things about that. But today I want to go on a new direction, starting from today, for the next fewweeks, I want to go in a new direction. I want to go in depth into a study of our work, calling and vocation - we want to study about work, calling and vocation, as it is taught in the protestant church.

Now, the protestant work ethic is very famous. Some of few may already have heard the expression - protestant work ethic. It is quite famous, and in the sixteenth century when the Reformation happened some great truths have been unearthed by the Reformation - that have been buried for centuries. It is already been there in the bible, but it has stayed buried - nobody got them out. And because of the tremendous emphasis, and respect and reverence given to the word of God, when the Reformation happened, they began to get a revelation concerning so many things that are very important to human life - some very basic and fundamental things. And one of the great revelation is concerning work. It revolutionized the world, I would say. Martin Luther began to understand what work is all about, what vocation is all about. He began to recognize the fact that the bible seems to teach that work or vocation is actually a calling from God. Now in his time they thought that only spiritual work - by the work of a priest or a nun, or monk or somebody that had given himself for God's work; they are really people that are really working for God, their work had value and so on. But all other work, where necessary we did it, we carried on - but it had no meaning, it had no purpose. It was there just to fill our stomachs and meet our needs, we had to work. That is the way it was looked upon.

But Martin Luther began to acknowledge the fact that the bible teaches that work is a calling; no matter what work it is; that there is no difference between the sacred and the worldly. And he began to recognize that the biblical doctrine of work is something amazing and he taught it and other reformers that came after him developed further the thought. And I want to go into it detail and teach it here because it is going to be very helpful for all of us to just know the truth; and if it does anything like what it did in the 16th Century when it was taught and how it changed society if we would do the same thing among us today - you will see tremendous changes in your personal life as well as in the church as a whole and in the society as a result.

Now in the 16th Century when the Reformation happened people were unaware of these things because of so many reasons. Mainly because they didn't have the scriptures. You know you got to be highly educated, know Latin and stuff in order to under the scriptures because it was only available in Latin. Not available in common man's language - common man had no access to the scriptures. So whatever they said, you had to believe it. And one of the things that came along with the Reformation is the printing press which made it possible for the bible to be printed and be given in the people's hands.

And Martin Luther, when he brought the reformation his life was in danger; they kept him hidden in a castle for 10 months because they feared for his life and while he was literally hiding there and kept there, he translated the entire New Testament into German. And they say he literally invented German. German language was fragmented. There was no unified form of German language at that time. Everybody spoke whatever way they felt and so every community... if you went a few miles within Germany you will hear a totally different German. There was no unified language. There was not one particular way of speaking German. So it was very difficult to communicate with those people. But Martin Luther, very highly educated man, and knew Greek and Hebrew andall of that, got his doctorate in theology, was a seminary professor. And university professor and so on, translated the New Testament and made it available for common man to read, in German language. Literally he has invented the German language, they say, and presented for the first time a language that everybody could read and understand. And the printing press also came along at that time and that made the bible available and so on.

So the thought began to spread everywhere and make a big impact. Until then people didn't know much about these things. But now we are living in such a modern age. You can google everything and know everything. But even today a lot of people don't know what the bible teaches about work. Still, as far as some Christians are concerned, even the protestant circles, these truths are still unearthed. They are still hidden and not brought out. If you asked the Christians to describe the work - If you asked some Christians to describe the work they were doing, that was important to God, you will find many of them telling you that they go to church every week and serve in the Sunday school, serve as a volunteer or something like that. A work that is important to God to them meant that you got to do something with regard to the church with ministry, or something like that. Or they went to a village ministry or something like that. Work that is important to God meant that one or two hours of work or one day of work in a week that you do, by way of some kind of ministry, they thought that is the work you do to God that pleased God much. Whereas they work 40 or 50 hours every week in another profession, for which they are gifted, they studied for it and they work and they spend so much time in it - they don't think that is the work that pleases God. Isn't it amazing? They would say, "I go and serve a couple of hours there in the church" - and would they say that is work for God, but they don't see their work as work for God. That is an indication of a lack of knowledge concerning the protestant teaching about work. That means those people don't understand that their work, their profession is a calling. Work is their vocation. God given gifts and abilities are used; and that it is pleasing to God and it is a means by which they can be the salt of this earth and the light of this world. They don't understand that. Such people you will find them actually jealous about those who are doing fulltime ministry as missionary or pastor, or something like that. I don't know if they are jealous about being a pastor. Some people think it's such a lot of trouble; it is such a bad idea about being a pastor. But at least as an Evangelist or somebody is doing some work, they are jealousy of those people because they think they are so privileged - called by God to do some kind of ministry, full time ministry work. And they regret the fact that they got to do some worldly work whereas these people are called to do some ministry work. It's all because of some lack of understanding that their work, their vocation is a gift and a call of God.

How can it be that they do their work most of the week so many hours and they think that it is not so important to God whereas they think that few things that they do in the church is so important to God and that is the thing that God is pleased with. The protestant teaching will open your heart and mind to something new. The protestant teaching basically says three things about our work. It says, no matter what your work is - even if you are sitting at home taking care of your two children as a mother, your work is a work that God has entrusted in your hands. God has given it to you. It is your mission. It is your vocation for which God has gifted you and called you, and therefore it glorifies God, they say, first of all. Secondly, it serves a common good and thirdly it furthers the Kingdom of God. "Common good" means that through it many people benefit - not just yourself, many other benefit and it benefits the Kingdom of God - or furthers the Kingdom of God means that the rulership of God and the impact of God and his way of thinking and doing things begin to spread everywhere. God's will is done on this earth more and more and the Kingdom of God spreads more and more as a result of your work. So it glorifies God, serves common good and furthers the Kingdom of God. That is the way the protestant teaching concerning work looks at it.

So the work is the very thing through which we could be the salt and the light that Jesus called us to be. I showed you last week, you are the salt of the earth, Jesus said. Salt must come in contact with the thing that it wants to protect from perishing. Food products, you got to bring the salt and put it in contact with what you want to preserve - for it to work as a preservative it must come in contact. So, some people complain all the time about where God has placed them - that in such a wicked place and all sinners are there, and you know, nobody is right and everybody is crooked and so on. But God has placed you there. That is why God has placed you. Why? Because without you everything will perish. Without God's people in these places everything will fall apart. God has placed you - they are like salt. He wants you there in contact. God calling is not for everybody to be a sanyasi you know. Leave town and go into the woods and spend their time, you know, far away from society. You see, how many Christian people think that is great? It's still the medieval type of thinking. For so many centuries, those people taught that you want to do anything good, you need to leave your home, leave your city, leave your life here and go to some monastery somewhere far away and lock yourself into a little room, in a cell and pray and meditate and be alone with God and that is a way to live a life that is pleasing to God - God is very pleased with that, they think.

Even today I hear people tell me, "Oh, you are wearing a coat and a suit, preaching in the church like this. What do you know? This man has left everything. He has left everything. No wife, no children, no family - nothing in this world. He doesn't even talk to anybody. He stays alone. Always meditating. Sounds nice, sounds so spiritual. But Jesus said, "You are the salt of the earth." Now only be the salt of the earth you got to be there - right in the middle of the society - where the rubber meets the road. You got to be in contact with the world, you go to be in contact with the very people that you think are sinners, you think are not good and so on, in order to make an impact. What a powerful statement that is, "You are the salt of the earth."

Alright! So our work no matter what it is has real value and purpose in God's Kingdom. Work is not something that we do to live. People have this expression, "What do you do for a living?" I hate that. We should never use that, I think. "What do you do for a living?" they say. Boy that sounds very bad. "What do you do for a living?" The bible says, the just shall live by faith. "What do you do for a living?" they say. So we think we do everything that we do -our profession, our career, is to make a living - to pay our rent, to take care of our children, educate them, take care of our bills. After all you have got to pay for the house for the next 20 years. So we think that is what it is. We work inorder to pay our bills, we work in order to make a living. But protestant teaching says that we don't work to make a living, it is not something we do to live, but it is something that we live to do. It is a totally different picture. Work is something that we live to do. Why? Because God has given us gifts, and abilities and talents. He sends us forth, places us in a certain place in society - strategically for a purpose, guides us and leads us into that place. He has a purpose, he's got us there. That's the way the Protestant teaching teaches us. In the next few weeks, it is going to be a teaching about how to integrate our faith and this whole idea of work.

Let me say a few things about calling before I go any further. The biblical teaching is that work is a part of a Christian's calling; work is God's calling. That is the way protestant teaching goes. I heard that in a motivational conference in America - they have a lot of motivational conferences; these speakers are fantastic as you know. One of the speakers asked the question. He said, "If you went home tonight and found that a long lost relative had died and left you 10 million dollars, would you be at work tomorrow?" See, you know the answer. It looks like you know the answer. If somebody left you 10 million dollars and you went home to find it, got the cheque in your hand, would you be going to work tomorrow? Or from tomorrow, would you be going to work? All the 5,000 joined together - there was a resounding "No" as a response. "Noooo, we won't go to work" they said. Amazing. The Gallup Poll, the famous pollster, says that 77% of Americans hate their jobs. This is good because, it's America. We think America is so great. If there 77% hate their jobs, just imagine what would happen in other places. 77% of the people hate their jobs. So don't think, "Well, it is America, it is not about us." No, no, no, it has something of relevance to us. Just imagine what would be the case in other countries. Fewer than half say that they are satisfied with their current job. They work 40 to 50 hours a week and have to travel long distances in heavy traffic and make their way through all that - taking the trouble to go to work, but they are unfulfilled and find themselves dissatisfied with their jobs. Even Christians - for them work is just a means to an end, many times. They say, "Well, like I said, I am just trying to make a living. Otherwise I won't be working. If I had some way to pay my bills, I wouldn't do work."

And there is a great misunderstanding among the Christians about the secular and the sacred. When I say, "Secular and the Sacred" - Sacred means "Work having to do with religion" - having to do with the church, having to do with, having to do with God's service. Secular means "Worldly work" - work having to do with the secular fields, such as working as a lawyer, doctor or clerk or teacher, or whatever. They made the distinction there and they have taught in the church. This is a medieval idea. They have taught in the church - that working in the church is the only full time service that you can render to God. "You want to give service to God, you want to do some service to God, you got to work in the church." - That's the way you can do some service to God. That in itself must change - that's a terribly wrong idea.

Do you know working in your job you can do service to God? In fact, working in your job - no matter what your job is, you are serving God; being there as the salt of the earth, as the light of the world. Your being there, in the God-placed position, with your God given abilities and talent, you are working there in that job, to which God has called you in that vocation; you are working there for the glory of God. If you think like that the secular and sacred distinction will be gone. The Reformers thought that all labor is noble if it is accepted as a calling and performed as unto the Lord. If you thought of your work, no matter what it is as a calling and performed it as unto the Lord every kind of work is noble. You know this teaching - this protestant teaching made such an impact in Northern Europe and North America. These areas embraced protestant teaching, became very wealthy and that is how the protestant work ethic - it came to be called like that. It was something special in the eyes of the world. Protestant work ethic - everybody respected the protestant work ethic because it was based on the bible and it led to prosperity, it led to success, it led to innovations, it led to so much of good. But even in those countries today, they have forgotten God; and that is why 77% of the Americans today - North America, they hate their jobs, because they are not the way they were a few centuries ago. According to the Scriptures we serve as salt and light wherever we are placed in the vocation or calling that God has placed us.

Alright, when it comes to calling the bible talks about two kinds of calling and I will go into details later on, not at this one - but later on. But let me just mention this: There two kinds of calling - One is "The Calling to be" - it's about what you are. God has called us - that means we are called by God, we are called to God and we are called for God. So, who are we? We are a people called by God. Why? He has called us to Himself. And He has called us for Him. So, what does that make me? I am a person given to God. I am in God's hands. He has called me. He has made me His own. He claims me. So, as I live in this world, I live for Him. I belong to Him. That is my position in life. But then there is a calling, a secondary calling, a calling to do, not just to be, but to do. What is this calling? The calling to do is where as a believer, everywhere and everything in your thinking, in your doing, in your living and in your acting, you reflect God and His character and His nature. We are called to do this. That means we are called to fully integrate our faith - our faith in Christ, our Christianity, this salvation, this Redemption, being a Christian. We are called to integrate that into every area of our life including our work, our profession, our vocation into all areas of our life. And one of the areas that is very important is the area of work, literally. So, we are going to be talking about these things.

Now, in order to understand the protesting teaching concerning work - even the world talks about it. In order to understand this, you need to understand five things. I want to cover just two things today. One is, the fact that the gospel is in four parts. I will tell you which four-parts, what the four-parts are. But the gospel is in four-parts - you need to understand that. If you don't understand that, then you will terribly go wrong. And you will understand when I explain why. Secondly, you need to understand the creation mandate or sometimes it is called the cultural mandate. That is what Genesis 1:28 is all about. What is its significance? What does it make man? What does it say about man and man's life? You need to understand the creation mandate or cultural mandate as it is called. Thirdly, you must understand the concept of the Kingdom of God - what the Kingdom of God is, how it works, how it comes and so on.

Fourthly, you need to understand common grace. You understand grace, but there is a difference between common grace and special grace. We have people who are recipients of special grace. When we sing about grace, we are redeemed people; we are singing about God's grace towards us. What kind of grace have you received? We all have children. We treat our children very special. After this maybe you will go home and you would be eating lunch. If mutton or chicken or something is not there, your child is going to look at you and say, "Where is that thing?" I don't see anything here. He demands it, you know. He knows. He needs it, he wants it, he demands it. What if you see a child on the street that has eaten and he says, "I am hungry sir. Can you get me some food?" You may give him a few rupees and take him to a restaurant and tell them to serve him food. We don't know whose kid it is. But you don't care - because he is hungry and no child should be hungry. You are willing to pay a few rupees for that child, even though you don't know that child. You just want to pay a few rupees to fill that child's stomach. That is common grace. That is, you love all the children of the world in that way. As much as possible you feed as many children as possible, if it is left to you. You will do to any child that is. But with your child you treat them very special. So common grace is the grace that God shows even to those that hate Him, that deny His existence, that don't want to believe in Him, even those that are outright sinners that shake their fist against God. There are people that say there is no God. He who believes that there is a God is a fool, and all that. God sends rain upon them. When it rained all of last week, you can be sure it rained on their head also. And when the sun shines every morning, you can be sure they are getting the sun and all the benefits that come from the sun. That is called "Common grace."

Without common grace, life would be very difficult. People won't be able to survive. Thank God for common grace; that God sends His rain and shines His sun upon the good and the bad, and I say the ugly also. Thank God for that. That's common grace. You need to understand common grace and you need to understand the meaning of success.

So, five things there: Four-part gospel, creation or cultural mandate, the Kingdom, the common grace and the meaning of success. I am going to be talking about this. And as you go into this you will understand what the protestant teaching concerning work is. But let's talk about the four part gospel.

Why do we say the gospel is in four parts? We have read two passages. Just wait until I talk about this then it will come together. I need to talk about it to bring you there - to the point where I want to explain those things. What is the four-part gospel? What four-parts are there in the gospel? The four parts are:

1. Creation
2. Fall
3. Redemption and
4. Restoration.

The gospel has four parts to it. The first part is Creation, the second part is the Fall or Sin, the third part is Redemption - which is through Jesus Christ. Fourth part is the Restoration of all things. So, what the four part gospel says is this: that God created the world and when sin came everything got ruined by sin. Everything - what God formed so beautifully, in creation, became deformed through sin. And it has to be reformed in the end. Unless it is reformed, remade and brought back to its original condition that it was in; unless it is brought back and restored back to its original condition, there is no real salvation. So, you want to talk about the gospel; the gospel is the story about how God created the world and how sin came and ruined everything, and how Jesus Christ came as a Savior - not just to save mankind, but to save everything that has been ruined. And Fourth thing is the restoration of all things. These four things must be there in the gospel. Why I say this is because in the last couple of a hundred years, somehow the gospel has become a narrowed gospel; greatly reduced gospel or minimized gospel, a truncated gospel. How? Because, look at the gospel as it is preached in many placed today. Most people know the gospel as a two part gospel, basically. They will say, "Man is a sinner, Jesus is the Savior." That is the gospel.

Man sinned, the fall happened - that's what ruined everything. That's a problem. Jesus came, he is the answer, he is the solution. So this is the gospel. So they start with sin and end with Christ and salvation; at best they will go up to heaven. So they would say, "You are a sinner, accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, now you will go to heaven." That's it. Sinner, Jesus is the Savior. "You come to Christ, believe in Christ, you will be saved. God loves you and God has a plan and purpose for you." - It's all about the individual person and so on. Something missing there. When you start with the sinner and end with the work on the cross and salvation of man,his forgiveness of sin, that he will go to heaven when he dies, there is something terribly missing. What is missing? See, you are starting the whole story from Genesis chapter 3 instead of Genesis 1. That is what is wrong with it. You are leaving out two chapters completely and starting with the third chapter; because the third chapter is where the sin happens in Genesis. What about the first 2 chapters? It is creation. It is very important - those first 2 chapters arethat chapters that I really like very much, because if you start there, even the gospel story will be so effective. Now just try to imagine, going and telling a person: The problem is brother, "You are a sinner." The thing is fall has happened, sin has happened. You know what sin is? I will tell you what sin is. And then I will tell you what the savior is all about and who the savior is. He will outrightly tell you, "I am not a sinner." Please go mind your business. You are starting in the wrong place. You got to start in the first chapter, where God created everything and how God created man; and how man was created with glory and honor, and everything was placed under his feet and under his authority. That man was given this whole world in his hand to rule and to govern. God said, "Be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue and dominate" to man. So man was supposed to have dominion over all of God's creation. This is the glorious, honorable position that man was created in. Now when you talk about things like that, people will listen - that man is such a creature. That he was created by God, given such honor and glory - crowned with honor and glory. That's what the bible says -that's Genesis 1. Everything was put under his feet, under his control, under his governance. He was the highest, the best of all of God's creation. That is where the story starts.

And then the trouble started because of sin. Now once you understand what the original positon was, the glory and honor was and what it made man then you will be able to talk about sin even more effectively because now the hearer can understand where man has fallen from. If you start talking about the fall, he doesn't even know where he fell from. You got to show what a high position he had and how he fell from there. So talk about the creation first and man's position in that creation, the glory and honor that belongs to man by virtue of creation and then talk about the fall - everybody will listen. They will have no problem, because they will know that humanity has certain flaws and certain problems. And you can explain to them in terms of what sin has done and they will understand. And then you talk about how the Savior came, Jesus came. And when he saves it is not just a salvation that is personal - just me being saved, my sins forgiven, me becoming a child of God. It is there, but it is not just that. It is not all about you. God's plan is not just about you, my friend. It is for the whole world - everything. So, God not only saves me, forgives me, makes me His child, but I am a part of the whole. He restores all things. If God did not restore all things, you will leave the fourth part out and have just the three parts - then it is incomplete. The story, narrative is incomplete. So, you got to have a complete narrative. God created, man sinned, the fall happened, Jesus the Savior came and one day everything will be restored. Even our body will become a body that cannot die and does not die - immortal body. That day everything will be changed. This is how the bible presents the story.

If you present a two part gospel, you are missing some wonderful things there. You are missing man in the image and likeness of God. That story, that narrative is missing. You are only talking about man as a sinner and what kind of position he in is now. But you are not talking about what he originally was. Therefore you will be ineffective talking about what God wants to do for him and how God wants to save him. People would say, "Save him from what?" So once you talk about the creation and man's position, then you can talk about sin, then you can understand salvation better; because as soon as you start talking about salvation, you that that salvation has to take you back to the original position that you are in. Otherwise it will not be a complete salvation.

So basically the story is that God formed everything beautifully in creation. Whatever God formed became deformed by sin, and it has to be reformed and unless all of these things happen, it is not a full story.

Alright, so we got to start from Genesis 1: The Four Part gospel really elevates our work as image bearers of God. The two-part gospel doesn't pay any attention to that at all. The four-part gospel reminds us of our dignity that was there originally and dignity that must be restored again in salvation. Then you won't have problem understanding how even material prosperity is part of it. A lot of people have problem because they have two part gospel. That is why material prosperity doesn't sit well with them. Why? Because the problem is sin, the Savior is Christ. Don't about anything else. This is their position. Just talk about sin, just talk about the fall, just talk about the cross, just talk about the Savior. Material prosperity is immaterial, you don't need it. What is the point about material property? No, it comes in the picture because God created man in that way, then He sinned, lost all that blessing. Then Savior came, if the Savior came and he really saves, then he must deal with that aspect also. So, the two-part gospel really messes everything up, if you are believing the two-part gospel.

The gospel is in four-parts. Let's all saying it together: Creation, Fall, Redemption and Restoration. This is the full story of the bible. The story is not complete without it. Now, let's come to the cultural mandate or the creation mandate. Now, Genesis 1:28 is called the "Creation mandate". Creation mandate is nothing but the fact when God created man, 26th verse says, Let's make man in our image. 27 says, God made man in His image. Made them as male and female. 28th says, God made them and pronounced blessing on them. And mentioned 5 things in connection to that blessing. He literally announces five things. literally mandates 5 things for man. What did He mandate? He said, Be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue and dominate. - These are five things mandated by God. That means, mandated means, God says I have made man in my image and likeness and this is how he will be. He will be a person who is able to be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue and dominate. This is the way he should be. Now if man ever lived like that being fruitful, multiplying, filling, subduing and dominating - man ever lived like that, then that man bearing children, bearing families, bringing up families and so on, will create a whole new culture like that. He won't be just Adam and Eve living like that. It would be a whole society, civilization, a culture formed under the basis of those five words. That is why it is called cultural mandate. In other words, God was saying to him, it seems, make a society like this. "Adam and Eve I have created you... Go, be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue and dominate. Create a society, a civilization, a culture like this." So culture making was Adam's job. That is what He was interested with. Now be fruitful and multiply and fill means to develop the social world.
What do we mean when we say social world? To develop families, build families. That's a big job, isn't it? - To build families, to build nations, to build schools, to build cities, to build the governments, to build laws, and later on to build churches. These are all societal developments - develop the social world.

Then the phrase in the end: subdue and dominate has to do with subduing and ruling means to harness the natural world - everything that God has given and bring out all of its potential. That's what it meant. So it may mean a lot of things: Plant crops, produce a lot, build bridges, design computers, make cars - now they are going to make driverless cars. Did you hear about that? I am glad because more than 5 lakhs people die on the roads by accident; all because of the people driving the car. And think they should take away everybody's license, nobody should have a driver's license, no man driven cars, then you will have very few accidents, I think. You can sleep and go, comfortably. They say all the taxis are going to be driverless, very shortly. You call a ola taxi. The taxi will arrive without a driver. How nice it is. You don't have to battle with this guy. He says, Get in and travel safely, and arrive at your destination. There is nothing about you don't know the way and all that. It knows the way and it will take you, drop right at your door-step - where you want to go. Man is finding solutions. To subdue and dominate means this kind of thing. Accidents are a problem, so man is subduing and dominating. The man is bringing it under control. He is governing.

How do you bring it under control? We have tried everything. We told people to drive slow. We have put policeman on every corner. We find them more and more and we did everything and nothing works. Here is a wonderful solution. There is a solution for everything. Thank God for that. And just like God who took the chaos, emptiness and darkness and turned it into a beautiful earth, man can just be as creative as God. He is a little creator, made in the image and likeness of God, and that's his work. He is supposed to work like that, and man is doing it. That is what subduing and dominating is all about. So the cultural mandate - creation mandate or culture mandate tells us that the original purpose that God had in mind for man is to create cultures, build civilizations and nothing less; create civilization, build cultures.

The culture mandate was not just given to Adam and Eve. It is given to us by giving to Adam and Eve. It's a mandate given to all men. It involves two basic responsibilities. One is multiplication, the other is dominion. Multiplication means to produce enough images of God, to cover the earth, that wherever you see them there must be an image of God. Image of God, means not some statue. I showed you before that the kings put their statue everywhere throughout their domain, wherever they ruled so that people will know who is in-charge - the man who rules. Sometimes they are not able to travel and go there and show their face. So people would know by their statue. That is how the statues came. Now we have T.V. everybody can see. Still they put the statues. So statues were put up in those days, but God says, "No, no, I don't want statues. I want real life images. I want men and women made in my image and likeness to be there. I want them to be seen everywhere they must be seen. I want my image everywhere. So, this is what the cultural mandate is. Produce enough image to put everywhere, cover the earth with that image and dominion means to exercise authority over the creation, to manage its vast resources on God's behalf.
Now, even after man sinned, God never withdrew the cultural mandate. God never said, "Alright, I said be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue and dominate. I cancel it now because man has fallen. He is not able to do it." No, after the sin and fall happened - remember in Noah's time, the flood came and after the flood was over, God speaks to Noah (Read chapter 8 and chapter 9 - read how similar it is to chapter 1 verse 28). God looks at Noah who has come out of the flood - only his family survived and God says to him, "Be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue and dominate" - same thing. The cultural mandate was never withdrawn, canceled, revoked. It stands good, even after the fall.

Now, look at the great commission. Matthew's gospel chapter 28, we read verses 18 to 20. The protestant teachers interpret and point out and interpret this - this portion of scripture as another cultural mandate given to the new creation. Just like Genesis 1:28, this is another cultural mandate given to Adam. And here is another cultural mandate, because a new society is now coming up. Jesus has brought salvation. He has died on the cross, he has risen again. He has done his work on the cross of Calvary. And now he speaks and says, "All authority has been given to me in heaven and earth. Go therefore and make disciples, baptizing" and so on. Now listen to this: All authority and power is given to me. What is he talking about? He is the son of God. He is the second-person of the Trinity. He came as a man. So we understand that he is the creator over everything. John 1 says that without him nothing was made. So he already has all the authority that he only can have. Is God, he has got all authority, in heaven and earth. He is the creator of everything. So does he mean when he says, "All authority and power is given unto to me" he says. What authority? The thing is he has become as a man and has become man's representative; and that is how he died on the cross as a representative of man. For man he died taking man's place, now he is risen again. This risen man, representative of man, receives from God officially, all the authority that originally belonged to man but was lost due to sin and the fall receives it back from God on behalf of man. This is a fundamental truth, my friend. That is what he is talking about. Otherwise this passage will make no sense - where he says, "All authority is given to me, in heaven and earth. Therefore you go." If you had any sense you say, "All authority is given to you, you go brother." Don't tell me to go, all authority is given to you. You must go. The one with authority must go. Why are you saying, "All authority is given to me, therefore you go." It doesn't make any sense. It will make sense when you understand that all authority given to me is a statement that means: if it given to him, it is given to him representatively as a representative for us on our behalf, he has received it.

He has received it means that we have it now, restored to us through the cross of Calvary and therefore now we should go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature and baptize them in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Authoritatively we can go and do it, he says. Now listen to this: he says, go and preach the gospel and baptize. Now this also you have to understand. See, a lot of people go and preach some kind of gospel, two-part or four-part, whatever. And then they try to get people to come. They try to immerse them somehow; very much interested in baptism. Will you take baptism this week, next week? Don't delay because if something happens, where will you go? Will you go to heaven? So, a lot of people think of baptism as a ticket to heaven. So, when I used to baptize people I use ask two to three questions and say, "Have you received Jesus as Lord and Savior. Will you follow Christ all days of your life?" And then the third question is very important. I said, "Will you come to church regularly, hear God's word and live by it?" Why this third question is important? If baptism is just a ticket to heaven, that you got to be baptized in order to be saved - if you look at it like that then you can be baptized and very well stay at home. You don't need the church, you don't need the bible, you don't need anything. You have got the ticket and we become travel agents. Just issuing tickets. Why do you have to come to church? Why do you have to bring your bible? Why do to sit here are listen to a sermon like this? The reason is this: because this is a cultural mandate again. That is why this mandate mandates such as thing as this. "God into all the world, preach the gospel, make disciples." Why? Because all authority is given to me, all authority has been restored to mankind. Mankind lost it, mankind representative, Adam lost it for mankind. Now another representative - the last Adam has come. He has taken it back, God has given all authority to him and through him to all humanity. Now everyone can come and believe and accept Jesus and receive him as Lord and Savior, get back to that original position of authority and governance, where they can be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue and dominate. They can do that. That is what salvation is about. So, if that is possible, so that is saying literally, "You go." All authority is given, that is why you should go. Why? What are you going announce when you go?

You got to preach this four-part gospel. How we had authority, we lost the authority, now salvation has brought us back the authority, that we can rule and dominate again. That's the gospel, that's the full gospel. Full gospel is not just full gospel, you know. This is full gospel my friend. When people say full gospel, you want to know what kind of full gospel do you have. Full of what? This is the full gospel. So go and preach because all authority is given back, now they have it, they can receive it. It is theirs. It is given back to them. And in that, it doesn't stop with baptism if you noticed. That is why I read verse 20 also. "Go preach the gospel, make disciples, and baptize them in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Then teaching them to observe all things." Have you noticed in the bible - take epistles, a classic example: Romans, Ephesian, Galatians - all those epistles. Everywhere you will find a pattern. I have taught some of them verse by verse - Romans, I have taught verse by verse for seven and half years. Ephesians Itaught verse by verse. The first half, in Romans, first 11 chapters are about the doctrine of salvation. Starting from chapter 12, it is the practical side of Christianity; how to live as saved people - from 12 to 16. Ephesians 1st three chapters are about this great doctrine of salvation - how God saves us from our sins. 4,5 and 6 is about since you are saved now you have to live like this. Put away the evil thought, put away this nonsense, put away that evil kind of life. Don't to that, don't lie, don't steal - that kind of thing, if you read that.

Why? It talks about marriage, it talks about hypocrisy, it talks about all kinds of issues. If you read it, it will talk about all kinds of issues. Why? Because the gospel is not about just getting a ticket to heaven and getting your sins forgiven, getting saved and when you die you go to heaven - like some people preach it. No, the gospel is about becoming a different person, stopping lying, stopping stealing, stopping living in a certain way, stopping thinking in a certain way. "Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may prove what is good, acceptable and perfect will of God." Be transformed totally from inside. That is what the gospel is about. You become a different kind of person. That is what the gospel is all about. In other words, create a different civilization, different society. Look at the society here. It is a different culture, different society, a different civilization. Just imagine this culture, this civilization, society going out there and living it out sincerely before this world as a salt and the light of this earth, what will happen? It will spread everywhere. The fragrance of Jesus Christ and the gospel will spread. Everybody can see and smell what this gospel is all about.

You know the apostle Paul talks about it in 1 Corinthians Chapter 15. If you read it from verse 45 onwards, he talks about Adam, the original Adam, and then talks about Jesus as the last Adam. Have you read that? In other words he says Jesus is another Adam. That Adam messed it up. This Adam came to fix it. That is what he tries to say. So the first Adam failed to carry out God's mandate. Now Jesus, the last Adam is fulfilling the original mandate, which God has given to humanity. First Adam was commanded to be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue and dominate for God's glory. Now the second Adam says, "Yes, now I am going to do it. I have all authority given to me in heaven and earth. Go everywhere, preach the gospel, make disciples and teach them everything that I have taught you." Why? Because a new civilization, a culture, society is going to come from that. A new people is going to come from that. The first Adam, the original Adam had to have a helper to help him. Remember God gave him, put him on a garden, told him to guard it and keep it and gave him a helper because he can't do it. How would he be fruitful and multiply alone? He needs a wife. So God gave him a wife to be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue and dominate. You know, to the last Adam, God has given a wife - that is the church to be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue and dominate.

You know Jesus the last Adam is continuing his work. You may say, "Well, he is not here. He is up there, sitting at the right hand of the Father. How does he continue his work? You know he is continuing with his work through us here; with our help - we are the helpers. Just like a help meet for the original Adam, we are the help meet for Jesus, our bridegroom. And through us, he is continuing his work. That is how the bible story goes. That is how the bible must be viewed and thought about. So what God gave to the first Adam as a cultural mandate, he has now given slightly worded differently, but exactly the same. There it is said, "Be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue and dominate." Here is said, "God preach the gospel to every creature, make them disciples, baptize them, teach them, transform them, change them completely, make them different." That's nothing but subduing, and ruling and dominating, being fruitful, multiplying and filling. That is exactly the same thing, but words are different. Are you there? How many people say, "That's wonderful?" So you and I are in that job. The bible calls usco-laborers with Christ. We are working along with Christ. Your job - you may be a lawyer, you may be a doctor, you may be a businessman, you may be...you know, whatever you are - a driver. You may be a whatever - or may be just watching over your children and raising the children from home. You know some people say, "Well, my wife is not doing anything, by the way. She is just..." Well, you try doing that. You want to give that to some household servant? She will mess it up completely. What a great job she is doing. What a great person is required to do that job. A child is more precious than anything. Those years are very precious. The time that is spent and all the contribution made by the mother is amazing. And somehow we think of it and something very cheap. "Well, she is not doing anything. She is just at home." So ladies, get dressed up in the morning. Get ready for work. You got a big project, you got to get this child up and going in a particular direction. You can't wait till he is 6 feet tall and looks down at you like that. You got to take him when he is one and half feet tall. And take him by the ears and show him the way and give a set pattern of life, so that he not depart from it, even when he is old. The rewards are so great, so wonderful. And what a job. This will happen when a woman realizes that's a God-given job to her. It's her vocation. God has gifted her, enabled her; that she does it because God wants her to do it. God has placed her in the family as a mother to do it. When you realize that my friend, then you will see a new society, a new civilization and a new culture. What you are doing is following the cultural mandate. You are subduing, dominating. You are being fruitful, multiplying and filling, and doing exactly what God wants. And you and I, whatever - I am a preacher.

I know you are in some many different professions. And everybody when they think of doing something for God, they all want to become preachers. So we have too many preachers that ought not to be there. Unless you are called, you don't belong there. Unless you are called, you don't belong in whatever other professions. Calling is very important. So be right where you are, shine right where you are, be the salt right where you are, and be effective, right where you are because that is the way to view work as a Protestant Christian.

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