Written by Lara Tovmassian, Photo by Jonathan Ma
This year, those who attended the RE:NEW Faith Seminar were blessed by a message from Alex Liu, a seminary student at Talbot Theological Seminary.
Alex’s message was titled “Theology of Work: A Practical Exploration of the Theology of Work.” He addressed the question of what God thinks about work by discussing who we are in Christ and how that affects how and why we work. He revealed that often times, our hard work is brought about by a desire for acceptance; therefore, it is crucial for us to be attentive to our motives in working hard.
Alex shared several scriptures to support his theology of work. He explained that work is inherently a good thing, as evidenced by the fact that God Himself is a worker. He referred to various passages in Genesis as well at the New Testament that revealed God as a worker: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1) and “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). Furthermore, if God is a worker and He created man in His image, then it stands to reason that we too are created for work. Work existed before the fall and it has since been distorted by sin, but it is inherently a good and pure thing.
In Alex’s own words, “Sin made work hard.” In Genesis 3, we see that the consequences of Adam and Eve’s sin being applied to their work: “By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken” (Genesis 3:19). But even though God punished Adam and Eve by making work hard, He in no way removed the dignity or purpose of work in this punishment. At the end of his message, Alex reminded us that if a person’s identity is truly in Christ, he can be who he is without being afraid of the consequences.
After this convicting message, the students were dismissed to enjoy some complimentary snacks and boba milk tea. We provided 100 cups of boba milk tea as well as a hearty, eight-pound supply of snack mix. Overall, we had about 100 people in attendance, with at least 20 returning attendees and the rest being first-timers and volunteers, all of whom represented more than 16 churches and campus groups. We are extremely grateful for the generous donations received that night, from both churches and individuals, which totaled over $400 and was enough to cover the cost of the entire event. Praise the Lord!
This year’s RE:NEW Faith Seminar was surely a success. We look forward to continuing to host this seminar for many years to come.