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The dominion mandate is found right at the beginning of the Bible, in the first chapter:

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:  and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So, God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it:  and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:26-28)

These instructions were given to Adam and Eve, our original parents. They were to be God’s overseers charged with the care of the earth. Later, after they forsook their responsibility and were no longer able to fulfill it, the mandate was given to Christ, the second Adam, and to His Bride, the new Eve, all true Christians:

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:  and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.   Amen.”  (Matthew 28:18-20)

We looked at this passage earlier with respect to the Two Tasks, baptizing and making disciples. Here we wish to focus on it as a call to dominion. We see Christ, first acknowledging His possession of all power and authority on earth and then giving His instructions to His bride.

It is a repeat of the original mandate given to Adam but with a difference: because of sin, a new element has been added. There are commandments, a law to be taught and obeyed. This wasn’t needed before sin was introduced but is necessary now. The nations need to be taught to obey the rules of life, the rules they relinquished when Adam sinned. They became like children that need to learn to stop harming themselves by doing wrong and foolish things. They rejected God and His law that gives life and have been hurting themselves ever since (for thousands of years).

This is the new Dominion Mandate that Christ has given to His Bride, the born-again people. As our text tells us, this is a teaching task; it must come from a loving heart, one that is concerned with the plight of unbelieving neighbors and wants to provide as much help as possible to a lost and needy generation. The tools to be employed are reasoning and persuasion and not force or trickery. The unbelieving world must come willingly, knowledgably, and whole-heartedly into the kingdom of God. There are no other means of entry.

We, as God’s ambassadors, must remember our place. We cannot save anyone; it is God who builds His kingdom. He employs His total control of all things to bring about the conversion of each new member at the exact point in time and in the precise way He predetermined in eternity past. Their names were written in His book before He made the world (Matthew 25:34; Ephesians 1:4; Revelation 13:8, 17:8). As His obedient people, we must remember that it is God that saves, and we are merely one of the means He uses to that end. That said, we must also realize that our actions, the work we do, is significant. When we keep these two facts in mind, we can focus on doing God’s work His way without anxiety as to what the result will be. We may desire a particular outcome but are not cast down when it fails to appear. Our concern should be: did I do and say the right things? Did I act in accordance with His command word?

The citizens of the kingdom bear the responsibility of building the kingdom of God, the kingdom Christ announced when He came (Matthew 4:17, 23). They see the Great Commission as their commission, the central aspect of the work they do for Christ. They understand that God has given them this task and that He expects them to take it seriously. It is the focus of their life’s work, their primary purpose in life (Matthew 6:33).

As they grow in the knowledge of God’s purposes and begin to see the awesome responsibility God has placed on them, His people adjust their priorities accordingly. What may have seemed important to them before, dwindles in significance and pales before God’s requirements in their lives. As their numbers increase, their influence grows out of all proportion to their relative fraction of the population.

Each individual acts as the Spirit leads; one may feel a particular concern for the public schools and spend much effort to shed light on their godless teaching. Another may feel the need to speak and act to expose the horror of abortion or the immorality of the media. Most, will focus on their immediate environment, touching those within and passers-by with love and godly concern.

There are many ways of service open to each believer and the Spirit leads each one to the work He chose for that individual. Some will have a greater scope of influence, some less. All, however, work to overcome their natural trepidation and to develop a propensity to vigorously defend the faith and oppose godlessness wherever it appears.

It is this internal desire and acquired ability to promote and defend the faith at every opportunity that is the strength within each child of God. In the aggregate, it becomes an irresistible force that will, without any question whatever, conquer the world for Christ. Don’t hold back, be a part of it. One day you will rejoice and be glad you did!

The end result of all this is dominion; not dominion by some elite individuals but dominion by God through His law-word. It is a dominion that has its source and is exercised from within the individual; one in which God is recognized as the sovereign and His law is obeyed from the heart. It is a dominion in which each individual participates to the extent he is able and as he chooses. It is a dominion that affords the greatest freedom possible for all.