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The Creation Mandate is affirmed throughout the Bible

Jeremiah 29: 5 – 7 is interesting in the context of the Creation or Dominion Mandate God gave to the first man and woman in Genesis.

Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit. Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters – that you may be increased there, and not diminished. And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the LORD for it, for in its peace you will have peace.

This passage seems similar in intent to what God told mankind to do in Genesis: rule your immediate surroundings well, tend the ground, and have children. God knows that these are the ordinary things of life, but he deems them important and desires that his people do them even when they are in difficult circumstances. This is also assumed in the New Testament, although not stated explicitly in a single passage.

God’s people are commanded to work hard. Titus 3:14 says “And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful.” Paul made himself an example of hard work when he stated that he and his companions “worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you” (2 Thessalonians 3:8).

Childbearing and rearing is encouraged, commanded, and assumed in various passages (see Titus 2:4, 1 Timothy 3: 4, 1 Timothy 5:10 & 14, Colossians 4:21, Ephesians 6:1 – 2). One qualification a widow being supported by the church is “if she has brought up children” (1 Timothy 5:10). An elder is to be “one who rules his own house well, having his children under submission with all reverence” (1 Timothy 3:4). Parenting is obviously valued as a good and important work.

Jesus’ death and resurrection did not nullify the Creation Mandate. Even though we know that the most important realities are eternal ones, the "earthy" Creation Mandate is not abandoned. Rather, it is basic to living daily life as a Christian. We are to work hard and to rule our immediate surroundings with skill and dedication. We are to bear children and bring them up to know Christ. Our daily, ordinary work now also has eternal significance in that it speaks of the God we serve and points people to him.

But we urge you brethren that you increase more and more; that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing. 1 Thessalonians 4:10b – 12.

Dave Drew –   – (April 8, 2008 at 4:51 PM)  

I have a particular passion about Christians "doing things well". Of course, that's not to say that Christians must be the best "or not bother". I would be the last to assert that I am doing the best job ever in my contribution to my field of research. I just think that if we appreciate "Creation" and we respect that God has given us the privilege of stewardship, we should aim to be more than merely mediocre. We should at least try to do OUR best. I think it is actually commendable for Christians not to shy away from "matter" but, as God did, to declare it good, and to do good things with it. It is decidedly ascetic to consider material things out of bounds or of no concern and interst. I always enjoy, for example, a well engineered car: it stands out to me as an example of excellence in a sea of not-so-well-engineered motor vehicles. I have a sense that it is consistent with a Christian view of taking dominion to aim to build the best cars we are able to build (energy efficient, safe, attractive to look at, etc), and equally, to aim to garden excellently, and to man a reception desk to the best of our ability... The list is endless.

Sherrin  – (April 8, 2008 at 7:28 PM)  

Hello my honey,

It is fun to read your thoughts, especially since you are far away right now . . . can't wait to see you tomorrow!

I love the way you express your thoughts . . . and I agree, of course!

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