Here are my notes for a talk I gave this morning at Logos School. I didn’t end up looking at my notes so it came together a bit differently than this, but this was the gist of the message.
The first thing we need to get down is the fact that God is the most creative, brilliant, exciting, adventurous, fulfilling Being ever. We know this because He invented this universe. To say that God is the Creator of the Universe is to say this. This gives the idea of work, of a career, of jobs, of a calling – this is only meaningful if there is meaning in the universe. And there is only meaning if God made it.
The Treasure Map
I’ve said this before, but I’m going to keep saying it since it’s true: The world is a scavenger hunt, a treasure hunt. “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but it is the glory of kings to search out that thing” (Pr. 25:2). When God created Adam in the beginning, it’s striking that the first thing He points out is the food (Gen. 1:29). In fact, God gives Adam and Eve three jobs in the beginning: bearing His image (1:27), ruling the world (1:28), and eating (1:29). This is not accidental. God made people hungry: hungry for food, hungry for pleasure, hungry for glory. This hunger is the God-given engine that drives us out into the world. In addition to the food in the garden (2:8-9), God pointed out the river that went out of Eden (2:10). That river divides into four heads: the first is Pishon and it runs down to the land of Havilah where there is gold (2:11). And the gold of that land is good; there is also bdellium and onyx stone there (2:12). The second river is called Gihon, and it runs around Ethiopia (2:13). The third is called Hiddekel: it goes east toward Assyria; the fourth is the Euphrates (2:14). This is a map of the world, and there is treasure to be found.
Why Justification Matters
After the Fall, guilt and shame entered the world. Instead of exploring, Adam and Eve are hiding. Sin also brought divisions between men and women, brokenness in families, and now there would be pain in childbirth, thorns in the earth, and ultimately death. Instead of going out to explore the world under the blessing of God, Adam and Eve left the garden in disappointment. They would still need to eat, explore, discover, invent, rule, but now it was under the shadow of doubt and fear, shame and death. It would be full of envy, murder, and confusion. Like God’s original creative word, God’s judicial sentence effects what it announces. In the New Testament, Paul says that something earth shattering has happened in Jesus. He says that in the gospel of Jesus, the justice of God has been revealed from faith to faith (Rom. 1:16-17). He says this has happened through the death of Jesus who was crucified for our sins and raised for our justification (Rom. 4:25). Paul points to Abraham as the primary example of how this works: Abe believed God’s promises when there wasn’t much of anything to go on: old, childless, homeless, barren wife, etc. But Paul points out that it was the faith of Abraham that God pleased God, and God imputed/reckoned Abraham “righteous.” Abe was a sinner like you and me, but this new judicial ruling changed the nature of Abraham’s sojourn. Now Abraham was on a mission, an adventure under the blessing of God. What Abraham only glimpsed, Paul says, we have right in front of us in Jesus. Being justified means we have “peace with God” and “rejoice in the hope of the glory of God” (Rom. 5:1-2). This means we are friends with God now, and we are on His team, part of His mission to bring His glory to this world.
Eye Has Not Seen
Pagan evolutionists say believe in yourself and you can do anything if you just put your mind to it. But this doesn’t make any sense if the world just fell down the stairs and might makes right. But if God invented this place, and we have met Him, we know Him, we are His sons and daughters, then we have every reason to dream big. The death and resurrection of Jesus is the center of the story, but the theme is surprise-it’s-better-than-you-expected (1 Cor. 2:9). So the mission is to know Jesus and make Him known in all the world. But this includes medicine, technology, mathematics, literature, politics, art, music, architecture, astronomy, zoology, and cooking. God made you hungry. You’re hungry for food, hungry for pleasure, hungry for glory. This hunger is ultimately for God Himself, but He meets us here in this place through people, through words, through bread and wine, through art, through literature, through creation.
But God has given you particular tastes, particular desires, particular pleasures. What are they? Guided by His word, they are a good roadmap for finding out what He has called you to. Remember that God is in the business of changing our plans to better fit His, and remember to listen to trusted counselors. But start by tasting and seeing that God is good. Taste a bunch of fruit before you settle down in one particular patch. Which, by the way, is what a good liberal arts education is for.
Finally, remember that since death no longer has a stranglehold on this world, we are free to fail, free to lose, free to die and begin again. In Christ, we are invincible, and this is only level one. And we have eternity with our Father, inventing, discovering, exploring, hunting for the treasures hidden for us to find.