We proclaim Jesus as Lord over all creation and culture,
striving to integrate faith, life and vocation in serving him.
This is the ninth in a series of articles about InterVarsity’s twelve Core Commitments.
“We proclaim Jesus as Lord over all creation and culture.” What an audacious statement! We boldly declare Jesus’ authority over everything— nature, ideas, arts, the university, government,etc. We do so on campus, at camps, in publications, at Urbana® and through mission endeavors..
On what basis do we make such a claim? In his letter to the Colossians, Paul asserts that “in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (2:9). Everything— both visible and invisible — is intended to bring glory to Him, the master of creation. All things were created “through Him,” “in Him” and “for Him” (1:15-18).
As such, no human activity falls outside
His domain. To argue otherwise would be
to denigrate His Lordship. To punch the
point, Paul portrays Jesus as a triumphant
Roman general exercising authority over
everyone and everything (2:15).
Recently, I reread Robert Boyd Munger’s classic booklet, My Heart Christ’s Home (IVP). With over ten million copies in print, it has had great impact in aiding readers to better understand what Christ’s Lordship really means.
Munger points out that submission to
Jesus involves not a single decision, but a
series of daily choices that give Him
control over various “rooms” in our lives
— the study (mind), dining room (ambition),
living room (relationships), recreation
room (entertainment), bedroom (sexuality)
and even the hall closet (secrets).
How are we to respond to Jesus’
Lordship? Our commitment to whole life
stewardship calls for us to “strive to integrate
faith, life and vocation in serving
Him.” As such, we are to seek to make
His will primary and to serve Him with
our whole lives.
As InterVarsity® staff, our purpose is
not simply to call students to one act of
faith, but more broadly, to help them
become like Jesus. We want them to
mature in their understanding of discipleship,
to actively submit to Him and to
take the idea of vocation seriously. We
want them to become agents of change,
well equipped to tackle difficult tasks
when they graduate — in business,
media, the church, the sciences, higher
The initial choice to submit to the Lordship of Jesus is often made in college. Paraphrasing a statement made by former Baylor professor Richard Chewning, the really crucial decision comes, not when a student decides to be a foreign missionary rather than an architect, but when she decides that she will live her whole life in holy obedience; whether that leads to architecture or evangelistic work in Africa is then wholly secondary. The major decision has already been made.
Martin Luther wrote frequently about
the concept of vocation. To him, vocation
was not defined as a particular job function,
but rather as our desire to live integrated
lives under the Lordship of Christ::
“A cobbler, a smith, a farmer— each has
the work of his trade, and yet they are all alike consecrated priests and bishops. . .
We should accustom ourselves to think
of our work as sacred, not on account of
the position, but on account of the faith
on which the obedience and work flow.”
As InterVarsity staff, we have a wonderful
calling. Seeking to live integrated
lives under the Lordship of Christ, we disciple
students who, as alumni, will reflect
His character to a needy world. May the
Lord, in His grace, enable us to submit to
Him and serve our students well.