By Drew Zuverink
"Jesus Christ gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good."
Ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the garden of Eden, the world has been under a curse. Their rebellion brought evil into a world that previously knew nothing but goodness.
After that fateful day the world has been filled with conflict, violence, murder, and war. People get hurt, physically and emotionally. Families are broken through divorce, abuse, and unfaithfulness. Diseases claim the lives of our loved ones far too early. Natural disasters wipe out entire villages. People in positions of power exploit the vulnerable. Stress, anxiety, and depression hold far too many hostage. Suicide happens every day. And worst of all, people are separated from their creator.
By no means is that an exhaustive list, but the bottom line is that there is a lot of hurt in our world because of the curse. All of us know this because, to various degrees, we have all experienced it. All of us.
The Bible not only tells the story of how the world came to be like this, but it also tells the story of a God who is actively fighting against these painful things. God especially wants to mend the broken relationships between himself and human beings, and so he sends Jesus to save us from our sins.
However, according to Titus, Jesus did not come just to make a way for us to experience healing in the next life, he came to redeem us from wickedness in this life also. Not only that, but he came to purify people who will become eager to join him in his work of reversing the effects of the curse!
God does not stand idly by while the curse runs rampant, damaging the world and everything in it. He's fighting to reverse the curse so that things can go back to the way they were before sin entered into the world. We are his main strategy of accomplishing this. Jesus redeemed us, and heals us inwardly through the Holy Spirit, not just so we can go to heaven, but so that we can become his army of soldiers, fighting against the effects of the curse.
Your calling as a Christian is to use whatever gifts, abilities, and opportunities you have to reverse the curse. It's really quite exciting! The Christian life is anything but boring. Instead, it's an adventure, a mission, a calling to free this world from the curse. Surely, this is more noble than any career or family pursuit we might go after. What higher calling could we receive? What could we do with our lives that would possibly be more impactful?
This starts primarily with the good news of Jesus Christ because the greatest harm from the fall is the severed relationship between God and his people. This is especially true since our next life is going to last forever. So making sure as many people are reconciled to God before then is of primary importance. But reversing the curse is not limited to evangelism.
My wife is a nurse who works with children who have cancer. Working to free children from cancer, and to save families from experiencing the devastation of losing a child or a sibling, is a beautiful example of someone using their skills to fight against the curse. Other examples are: scientists working to discover medical cures, therapists working to mend marriages, lawyers and politicians fighting for justice, police officers protecting the innocent, pastors shepherding people towards spiritual health, parents discipling their children, couples adopting orphans, mentors providing wisdom and direction, and church volunteers helping to keep Christ's body healthy.
There are countless examples of how someone might use their unique abilities to fight against the curse, the list above is just there to help you think about how God might like to use your skills. So will you join the Church in it's mission to fight for what's good? After all, it's a big part of why Jesus redeemed you.