Biblical Theology of works
What is theology of works? Biblical theology of works is a perspective or concept that reveals the relationship between work and faith. There are many biblical conjunctions, theories, doctrines, concepts and misconceptions about the theology of works; developed by many theologians and ministers about this key subject matter. Some of these theories or doctrines have confused many people while some are still not clear in understanding. It is possible that the viewpoints of doctrines might be right but to the level of understanding of the recipient is low to comprehend it. So in bid to contribute, this article is not an authority but tries to clear some air in the already existing protocols of knowledge. This article tends to answer some question on the importance of work and the balance in the fulfillment of our God given mandate.
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What is the importance of theology of works? The concept and importance of theology of works is to bring balance in our Christian walk or journey. A theology of works is important to help us see work from God’s perspective and to realize that one’s work is significant to God. Biblical theology of works centers on many things but can be summarized in the following head points: creation, the fall of man, redemption, new creation and professionalism. These concepts will be presented in full details.
Theology of works about the account of creation
When you talk about work in the Old Testament view, you should know the statement of Jesus in the gospel saying- that He will do that which He sees the father doing, so God is worker. The story of creation from the book of the beginning shows that God is a worker. He planted the garden which is a representation of His presence in Heaven and cultivated or planted man in it. (Creation is a work already). He then gave man the responsibility to work and keep the earth showing that He cannot give Adam what is not involved. God is involved in the agriculture of the earth as men are the plant. The interpretations in the book of Matthew 13: 37-45, about the tares and wheat gives us a clear view.
God is the creator of heavens and earth; He rested from all His works on the seventh day. The theology of works on this accounts revealed that God is a worker and the responsibility of work was handed to man to continue implementing that which God commanded to be established on Earth. So man being given the responsibility of work by God has two fold which includes to “To work and keep it”. So, our work can be our calling or purpose in life.
The fall of man
The fall of man was facilitated by the inability of man to take full responsibility of the work committed to him by God. The account of the fall resulted in a great impact on the work of man. Sin and hardship took over the order of the day and man found it difficult to take up the will of implementing God agenda on earth. The theology of works around this augment is that fall did not result to work but rather work has been ordained by God before the fall.
As a result of the fall, the work of man was cured not man. In Gen 8: 22 and 9: 1 reveals that the cause laid on the ground was lifted. So, meaning that the work of man was lifted and blessed. Some people have contended that work is as a result of the Fall and part of the curse that was laid by God to the ground. Biblically speaking, this argument is wrong because prior to the fall, work had started by man. If there was no work, there would not have been any place for the devil to tempt the woman. The garden was already being kept according to the Lord’s command.
Theology of works: Redemption
The ultimate redemption or salvation of man has nothing to do with the work of man. This theology of works presents the role of God and man in salvation. There is work for man after first salvation experience. Salvation was obtained for us through grace and mercies Of God which is devoid of man’s work because he is helpless. God saved us from the death brought about by the fall of man. Man cannot save himself neither can his work render redemption. The fall of man did not destroy the value God placed on works.
The bible began saying some proving facts about salvation of man and the roles and need to play in order to sustain his faith in God. Firstly know this that man worth nothing outside Christ and that we are able to do anything is because Christ remains the vine that holds and supports us as branches.
A Christian is saved from death of sin, being delivered from sin and will be delivered at the last day. There are three level of salvation every Christian has; first is salvation from the death brought by the fall of man which born again experience settled by believing and confessing Christ Jesus as Lord. Second is the salvation from our daily activities or work. This happens as we began to work in part of spiritual progress. So man is continually being saved from many operations of darkness and lust for sin until the rapture.
Thirdly is the salvation at the sound of trumpet which occurs at the last day. You persistence to remain in God as you are being delivered from sinful lust has a big role to play in the last salvation. Man has a work responsibility to remain consecrated in holiness till the lord comes.
The following scriptural references give a support to the work of man to sustaining his salvation experience in God because one can lose his salvation. (Galatians 3:18 & 22, 5:1, Romans 6:12-23, 1 Corinthians 6: 2, 7: 10, etc)
Work as way of fulfilling the command of occupying the systems of the world is an expression to return glory to God. There have been many misconceptions that the ministers of God should not work or do any professional activity. Our mandate is dominion to occupy every system of the world and to witness Christ thereof; making disciples of all nations, thereby fulfilling the purposes of God on Earth. The theory says that ministers should focus on the preaching the word of God or dwell on the calling of God. They are of opinion that it is not right for Minister to own a business.
Notice: there is no part time work in the calling of God, every ministry is in ministry is full time base. Balance is required in this area; some people seek for secular job or business because of the level of responsibility God has given them. You can attest that, there people who have global ministry and they are giants in businesses. Many ministers have engaged in defrauding the church finance because they lack career to practice. Apostle Paul was tent maker, despite his burden to reach the word with Christ.
Every minister is meant to have something doing or flow of income. Some ministers do not see a connection between what they do and what they believe God wants to be done in the globe. A theology of works is imperative to see work from God’s viewpoints and to show that one’s work is significant to God. The ministry demands labor or work in career establishment. You may not practice your profession but God demands that you are not idle. There are a lot of things having personal financial stability would solved.
New creation in Christ, new heaven and Earth
The theology of works on new creation has a wide view of perspective to the Christian. Many people are over emphasizing the concept of the grace of God. Grace message is much need in our generation but the appearance of grace through Jesus Christ gives us much work in perspective. Remember Titus 2:15 that records that grace that appeared teaches us to say no to ungodly living? Grace brings and reveals responsibility.
Everything that one does, is on a platform of grace, grace is like a fuel that sponsors all activities on Earth. Grace appeared that you should work so that the help of God can be revealed. Apostle Paul declared that let no one be idle, not doing anything. God has provided everything that pertains to your life and godliness and it requires work to reveal that which God has established.
The new creation of new Heaven and Earth created by God, bible declares that nations will be allotted to the righteous based on their works done before His coming. The book of Isaiah 65:17-23 reveals that there will be no futile labor meaning in the new earth and heaven, there will be work for believers. Isaiah 65:22c says that ‘and my elect shall long enjoy the works of their hands’.
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