Out of Control? – by Hugh Whelchel
“In putting everything under [mankind], God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them.”
Hebrews 2:8 (ESV)
Have you ever felt out of control? Unable to fulfill your duties at work, at home, or at church perfectly?
Scripture has a reason for why you might feel this way from time to time.
In Genesis 1:28, a passage known as the cultural mandate, God gave us dominion over the earth, telling us to steward and care for it.
But then Adam sinned, introducing sin into the entire world. Romans 5:12 says, “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.”
The reign of sin and death caused by the Fall prevented man from fully carrying out the work God created him for in the garden. We see this today in our inability to do our day-to-day work perfectly.
But the author of Hebrews offers hope; Jesus came to earth, lived a sinless life, and atoned for our sins. It is through his life, death, and resurrection that all of those who are in him stand restored in the place of the first Adam with the ability to once again fulfill the cultural mandate.
Until Christ comes again and restores the earth to a sinless state, we can only imperfectly fulfill the cultural mandate through our work. But we can work with the knowledge that we are furthering Christ’s kingdom on earth and that someday, we will be able to work without the constraints of sin.
Lord, thank you for giving me purpose and focus in my life through the cultural mandate, your original job description for mankind. Sometimes I feel frustrated in my inability to do my work or obey your commands perfectly. Thank you for giving us salvation in Christ and the hope that we will someday be able to fulfill the cultural mandate completely and perfectly in your restored kingdom.
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Hugh Whelchel is Executive Director of the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) Christian research organization committed to promoting biblical and economic principles that help individuals find fulfillment in their work and contribute to a free and flourishing society.