Social Order

Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in human society by opposing racism, sexism, greed, selfishness, and all forms of sexual immorality.

Social Order

Social Order

All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society. Means and methods used for the improvement of society and the establishment of righteousness among men can be truly and permanently helpful only when they are rooted in the regeneration of the individual by the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ. In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose racism, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography. We should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick. We should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. Every Christian should seek to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love. In order to promote these ends Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any good cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth.

Exodus 20:3-17; Leviticus 6:2-5; Deuteronomy 10:12; 27:17; Psalm 101:5; Micah 6:8; Zechariah 8:16; Matthew 5:13-16,43-48; 22:36-40; 25:35; Mark 1:29-34; 2:3ff.; 10:21; Luke 4:18-21; 10:27-37; 20:25; John 15:12; 17:15; Romans 12–14; 1 Corinthians 5:9-10; 6:1-7; 7:20-24; 10:23-11:1; Galatians 3:26-28; Ephesians 6:5-9; Colossians 3:12-17; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; Philemon; James 1:27; 2:8.

“Justice” is a felt need in our world today and a controversial topic. But what is justice, exactly, and who gets to define it? In this video, we’ll explore the biblical theme of Justice and discover how it’s deeply rooted in the story-line of the Bible that leads to Jesus.

Justice, The Bible Project

Dominion refers to the rulership over creation God granted to humankind in virtue of their being made in his image.

According to the Scriptures, humankind was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26–27) and this image separates us from the rest of the creatures. One purpose for creating man and woman in his image was that “they may rule” (Genesis 1:26, 28) over all that he had made. Scholars disagree about what it means to be made in God’s image, but some see dominion as the defining characteristic. This functional view holds that the image consists of something humans do—namely, rule over God’s creation. This contrasts with a substantive view that understands the image as consisting in uniquely human attributes (for example, a moral sense), and a relational view that perceives the image as the human capacity for interpersonal relationships.

The functional view of the divine image enjoys a great deal of popularity today. One advantage of this view is that it relies on explicit statements in Genesis in order to identify the content of the image (Genesis 1:26–28). It also echoes the ancient Near Eastern belief that human kings acted as representatives of the gods of their nations and functioned as the gods’ vice-regents. Genesis 1:26–28 may thus indicate that humanity is a royal figure and God’s appointed vice-regent. Just as God is the ruler of all creation, humans are to exercise dominion over the creation as his representatives.

It is striking that God has entrusted humanity with dominion over his creation. And contrary to the practice of the ancient Near East, every person, regardless of status, is given this task, since all are equally made in God’s image. Hence, every one of us has a responsibility to take care of God’s creation, which is our duty as image-bearers. Indeed, this strong emphasis on dominion over creation has led to the development of the concept of the cultural mandate in Genesis 1:28.

Humanity is given the task of taking care of God’s creation and to draw out, work with, and benefit from its inherent potentialities as God’s representatives on earth. Analogous to the way God creates, humanity is called not only to “fill the earth” but also to “subdue it” (1:28), which suggests a certain resistance and need for taming. Nonetheless, this does not give humans permission to exploit and destroy the creation for selfish gain. Rather, we are to exercise dominion over the creation as God would take care of his creation—with love and concern for its welfare.

Regardless of the specific view one adopts of the meaning of the image of God, Scripture is clear that humans are to exercise dominion over the creation as God’s vice-regents. Consequently, as image bearers, we are to represent God and reflect his glory, power and authority over creation. In so doing, we reflect the image of God.

Naomi Noguchi Reese, “Humanity’s Dominion over the Earth,” in Lexham Survey of Theology, ed. Mark Ward et al. (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2018).

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