Resurrection Vocation (Blog # 3)
Vocation Re-defined in the Risen Christ
Our Savior was called by God to redeem us from our sins and give us new life. This was his Vocation. Jesus gave himself body and soul to completing his Mission, to fulfilling his Calling, to accomplishing his Vocation. By raising Jesus from the dead, God was confirming the Savior’s success. In his Resurrection God was vindicating Christ against Satan and all his enemies and declaring him King in the Kingdom of God (Acts 2:36).
When God called me to be a preacher of the gospel, he was giving me a RESURRECTION VOCATION. He was giving me a “supporting role” under the Risen Christ in the Kingdom of God. This preaching of the gospel is a vocation that has key prominence in the Kingdom of God. Preachers lead the way in building the Kingdom and should be humbly aware of the wonder that sinners like we all are can receive such a calling from God.
Scripture convinces me, furthermore, that all vocations that God gives to mankind play a role in advancing the Kingdom. The vocations that God gives to all of us fit into God’s great plan. We are fond of saying, “God has a plan.” Texts like Romans 8:28 and Isaiah 53 give grand expression to this fact. And the entire Bible is a glorious demonstration of how God is fulfilling his plan and promising to complete it. Every part of history reflects his great plan and every vocation of every man is given by God in order to accomplish his plan. This is a wonderful truth that comforts and strengthens us in our various callings.
I want to examine this truth from two perspectives. First, from the point of view of the original creation. Second from the point of view the New Creation in Christ.
IN THE ORIGINAL CREATION, God created us in his own image. To be created in the image of God means that we have a two-fold calling built right into our nature. We are called to (1) Communion with God and to (2) Dominion over creation. Communion with God is clearly implied in Genesis 1:28 and later passages and Dominion over creation is specifically outlined in this text.
Communion with God is meant to be the single-minded focus of every human heart. It is a high vocation. We are meant to walk in perfect fellowship with him, love him with our heart, soul, mind and strength (Deut. 6:5, Matt. 22:37). We are to find our chief delight in constant communion with him. This is a heart vocation.
Dominion over his creation is exemplified in Adam’s care of the Garden of Eden. It might be characterized as “edenizing the world” for God. It can be divided into many parts because the world is a vast complexity, requiring that our dominion take many different forms to fit the needs of the world. This is why there are so many different “vocations” in our world.
This was God’s original creation and it was most beautiful. The Fall of Adam and Eve into sin, however, dreadfully disrupted God’s beautiful creation. Believing Satan’s lie, our first parents lost communion with God and began to exercise dominion over his creation for their own selfish purposes. They turned from worshiping God to worshiping themselves and used their God-given dominion to exploit creation rather than beautify it.
IN THE NEW CREATION, the LOVE OF GOD burst into the lives of Adam and Eve and the human race. In Genesis 3:15 God gave his first announcement of the coming of a Savior to redeem them from their sin. In veiled but unmistakable terms God promised to destroy Satan and to redeem his people. This was a wonderful new beginning for us. From the deep darkness of the FALL INTO SIN, God begins to lift us into the light of his eternal Son (John 1:6-9). The day of Redemption dawned in the birth and ministry of Jesus, son of God and son of man.
I am calling the call to the ministry a RESURRECTION VOCATION. It was only at the Resurrection of Jesus that the apostles began to see why Jesus had to die for them. Only from the perspective of the Resurrection were they able to understand his death as an atonement for their sins. It is the RESURRECTION that so powerfully illuminates the cross that we are joyfully compelled to bow before the Risen Christ as Lord and Savior. AND…AND we can now see that EVERY VOCATION that God gives us ought to be called a RESURRECTION VOCATION. After all, every vocation is part of God’s great plan, every vocation plays a role in bringing about the final triumph of Christ. That final triumph includes the RESURRECTION of all God’s children. We are not just edenizing the world, we are preparing it for ultimate glory, the new heavens and the new earth.
“Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me.” Revelation 22:12