Your Work Offers a Glimpse of Heaven – by Hugh Whelchel
When you’re at church, how often do you hear that your work as a lawyer is glorifying to God because it offers a glimpse of heaven? Probably never.
Unfortunately, too many Christians today do not fully understand the theology of work and vocation because they have truncated view of the gospel. We’ll call this narrative the two-chapter gospel because it contains two parts: Fall and Redemption. But the Bible’s gospel is four-part:
- Creation: the way things were.
- Fall: the way things are.
- Redemption: the way things could be.
- Restoration: the way things will be.
Without the context of the first chapter of Creation and the last chapter of Restoration, it’s easy to overlook the true value of everything we do while on earth, especially when it comes to our jobs. We lose sight about the way work was before the Fall as well as the role our work will play in God’s final Restoration.
In the two-chapter gospel, the first chapter, the Fall, presents our problem: separation from God because of our sin. The second chapter, Redemption, presents the solution: Jesus Christ has come into the world to bring salvation and reunite us with God through his work on the cross.
While sin and salvation are undeniable realities, it’s not the whole story. In this abridged version, Christianity becomes all about us and what we do while we wait for Christ’s return is not important. But the good news doesn’t end at redemption; that’s only where it begins.
The two-chapter gospel accentuates our wounds. The four-chapter gospel elevates our worth as image-bearers of God. The two-chapter story focuses on our deficiency. The four-chapter story reminds us of our dignity.
Including Creation and the final Restoration, the four-chapter gospel teaches that salvation is not an end in itself; it is a means to fulfill God’s ultimate plan for man on this earth in this age.
It is through the fuller biblical narrative of the four-chapter gospel that we see both the individual and corporate nature of God’s redemptive work. It enables us to understand our identity as God’s people as we see our role in his story and our call to participate in his redemptive mission.
As a lawyer, you are creating order out of chaos, solving problems, correcting wrongs, and reducing suffering in the lives of your clients. You are a deliverer of justice, acting as a physical reflection of God’s absolute truth.
That’s how your work offers a glimpse of heaven every day.
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Hugh Whelchel is Executive Director of the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics and author of How Then Should We Work? Rediscovering the Biblical Doctrine of Work. Hugh has a Master of Arts in Religion and brings over thirty years of diverse business experience to his leadership at IFWE.
The Institute for Faith, Work & Economics™ (IFWE) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) Christian research organization committed to promoting biblical and economic principles that help individuals find fulfillment in their work and contribute to a free and flourishing society.