Today’s Devotional: Our Material and Spiritual Responsibilities

According to Wonder of Creation we have two kinds of responsibilities on this earth: material-creational and spiritual-relational. The first set is based on the opening chapters of Genesis and mainly cover our responsibility to exercise dominion. The second are rooted in our relationship with Christ, we are to worship our Creator and Savior and invite others to do the same.

The author of this devotional argues that neither set of responsibilities is more important than the other. In fact, they are so intertwined that they cannot be Biblically separated:

Inherent in these fundamental responsibilities, of course, would be using our God-given creativity to live and work wisely, to obtain life-essential food and water from the earth in a sustainable manner, to shelter and clothe ourselves, to marry, to bear, protect, and provide for children, and to honor and be grateful to the Creator who made it all possible. Note that these material-creational responsibilities were given to all people, not just to Christians. They are the fundamental tasks of being human.

Christians hold in addition to these duties the belief that we also have spiritual-relational responsibilities. Among them are worshiping and loving our Creator who is also our Savior (Jesus), being light and salt in a dark and decaying culture, doing good and not evil, being merciful, loving our neighbor as we love ourselves, and sharing the good news (the Gospel) with fallen, sinful man. These are all done, however, in the context of our fundamental material-creational responsibilitiesbecause if such basic human duties are neglected, the earth is abused and people suffer and die.

My conviction is that when Christians say it is more important to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ than to care for the creation (the environment) that Jesus Christ made, holds together, died in part to redeem, and will one day restore, reunite, and reconcile fully to God (Colossians 1:15-20), we are making a meaningless distinction. They are equally important aspects of a Christians day-to-day existence.

Further, we must realize that if we dont first attend to our material-creational responsibilities we will not survive to attend to our spiritual-relational ones. Thats why we should care about the ecological damage created by the Gulf oil spill. Christians who call caring for the creation nature worship (as several did in commenting on the CT article) are wrong and are biblically confused.

Read the rest of the post at

Would you agree that the care of creation cannot be separated from our Christian responsibilities?

5 Responses to “Today’s Devotional: Our Material and Spiritual Responsibilities”

  • getzsaved says:

    I do not think that we should purposely neglect or destroy the earth as it is God’s creation. But if we become so concerned about the earth that it causes us to neglect or detracts from our relationship with the Lord then we have begun to fall into idolatry. Not only that, I think we must remember what the Bible says in the book of Revelations chapter 21 & 22 concerning the new heaven & the new earth. I also would disagree with the statement “Further, we must realize that if we don’t first attend to our material-creational responsibilities we will not survive to attend to our spiritual-relational ones.” If our “spiritual-relational reponsibilities” is based upon anything other than the grace and mercy of God we have not yet received the true message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:8 & 9 If I do not survive another day it will not take away from what God has already done John 3:16

  • To Getzsaved:

    A longer and more in-depth presentation of this viewpoint can be obtained at this URL:

    I would be interested in getting your views on this longer article.

    Dean Ohlman
    Host: Wonder of Creation\
    RBC Ministries

    • getzsaved says:

      Dean let me first apologize for the delay in responding. I did read the more in-depth presentation at the URL you provided. I found the article very thought provoking. I appreciate the opening quote by Joseph Sittler, because how we live is more important than what we say, in my opinion.

      I am by no means an educated man in the area of Christian Theology, though I do try to dig a little bit deeper than the average reader to obtain the truth and believe that the Spirit of Truth is my guide, so my insights are only those given to me from the Holy Spirit and I do not intend to prove my views are correct or to sway others to my way of thinking.

      The subject can lead to a very lenghty discussion so I will try to only touch on some of my views as you requested.

      In my opinion we too often forget that the world is not on loan to us nor does it belong to us(Psalms 24:1)God does not need us to take care of the world for Him (Acts 17:25,Revelations 4:11)and without Him we are nothing (Acts 17:28) and can do nothing (John 15:5)regardless of what we or others think or do God deserves all the credit (1 Corinthians 3:7) and nothing should ever come before Him (Exodus 20:3) When we decide to follow Christ we will be known by our fruit (Matthew 7:12-29)

      In conclusion I can only say that my views are that we cannot think that there is anything that we can do that will make us worthy of God’s grace and mercy (Ephesians 2:8 & 9) and no “material-creational or spiritual-relational responsibilities” will add to what God has already done (John 3:16).

  • Wow, this is quite thought provoking.The environment must be cared for. Having said this, I must agree with getsave that we cannot allow this to distract us from spreading the good news. Which despite this agrument/article is by far more important than saving the environment.

    • David says:

      I agree that we cannot allow ourselves to be negligent in taking care of the earth, though it is only one thing that God has given to us, and by far not the most important. It is written, “And the nations were angry and Your anger came, and the time came, of the dead to be judged, and to give the wages to Your servants, to the prophets and to the holy ones and to the ones who fear Your name, to the little and to the great, and to destroy the ones who destroy the earth.” It is last in the list, but not to be ignored. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…” I do not believe that a Christian who loves God and who loves His flock will not treat the rest of God’s creation with respect. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass by with a roar, moreover the elements that are burned will be dissolved, and the earth and the works in it will be burned up. Therefore, all these being dissolved, what kind must you be in holy conduct and godliness…?” “Inasmuch as every flesh is as grass and every glory of man is as a flower of grass; the grass withered and its flower fell off, but the word of the Lord remains into eternity, moreover this is the word announced as the gospel for you.”