Economics and the Christian

Genesis gives us the foundations of Christian thought. It tells us of the Creator-creature distinction. It tells us of the dominion covenant. It tells us of the Fall of man and the curse of the ground. We learn that we are stewards of God’s property, fully responsible to Him for the proper administration of His goods. At the same time, we learn that we are also legitimate owners, in time and on earth, during the period of our stewardship. God entrusts His property to individuals and organisations, and they are called to increase the value of this property.

Wealth is therefore not an innate evil, but a means of opportunity for godly service, as we learn in the case of Abraham. Wealth is preserved and expanded by means of character and lawful stewardship (Abraham, Jacob, Joseph), and it is lost by those with poor character and no respect for God’s law (Lot, Laban, Esau).[1]

The Christian person is obligated to think and act according to the scriptures, and this includes how we think about economics. God’s Word instructs us much about God’s attitudes to economics (though the term isn’t used in the Bible), and it is imperative that we are not casual about this. The above quote from North indicates to us that right from the beginning, God has placed expectations on His people. Sometimes those expectations were fulfilled, but many times they were not.

So, how are we to think about economics?

Firstly, we must understand God’s sovereign ownership of all things. “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it” (Ps.24:1). We live in a Creation made by God, of His design and purpose. The concept of Darwinian evolution must be totally rejected by the Christian person as being utterly unscriptural, and unsupported by the evidence around us.

Secondly, God sent Jesus Christ to be the redeemer of the world, to take away the sin of the world and utterly transform people’s lives, so that they can live and behave as responsible individuals, growing in maturity and the knowledge of God.

Thirdly, God appoints His people to act as responsible stewards of His assets. “Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God” (I Cor.4:1).

Fourth, God requires accountability of His servants, according to His Word. “Who then is the faithful and sensible steward, whom his master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their rations at the proper time? … From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more” (Luke 12:42, 48).

Jesus Christ specifically taught us of the day of accountability. In the parable of the talents, He taught that “…after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them” (Mat.25:19).

Fifth, there are rewards for God’s people, who have used God’s time, money and possessions faithfully (see Mat.25:14-30). Jesus Christ has been “…appointed heir of all things…” (Heb.1:2), because of His perfect obedience to His Father, even unto death. God’s personal oversight of this matter is so great, that the scripture promises us that “He chooses our inheritance for us, the glory of Jacob whom He loves” (Ps.47:4).

This briefly, is the meaning of Christian economics. God has made and redeemed us to be  responsible individuals, enjoying the world He has placed us in, while we act diligently with the time and resources He has provided us.

Are you ready to be used of God, caring responsibly for His resources? There is a whole world out there. God wants us to care for it as responsible stewards, and He’ll reward us accordingly.

“For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the scripture we might have hope” (Ro.15:4).

[1] North, G., “The Dominion Covenant,” 1987, p.241.