Sunday, September 3, 2017

The Christian Work Ethic

Labor Day = estab. federal holiday - 1894 to pay tribute to the American worker/laborer after much abuse.  Led to labor unions, labor recognition such as Labor Day - the "working man's holiday".

On one hand, this is not a religious holiday, however it is easy to find Biblical themes here!!

Therefore:  The Christian Work Ethic
     Definition:  A.  a moral view of work - rights and wrongs
                      B.  Based on Scripture - Biblical view
                      C.  Applicable to the Christian life (walk)

Some Basics:  Scripture teaches:
          1)  God is a Working God - Gen. 2:2-3 - giving human attributes to a Holy God, Psm. 19:1 - when Jesus sent to be incarnate, was sent to working class people.
He's still at work!!! - John 5:16-17, Col. 1:16-17

         2)  He created us in His (working) image  to be working beings
   Before the fall:  Gen. 2:15 - Adam and Eve to work in the garden.  After the fall - Gen. 3:17-19
WORK was NOT the curse.  The curse put toil into WORK!!!
Example:  compare "created to walk" and now after fall - walk is uphill!!!

         3)  These teachings are clearly portrayed in the Old Testament.  Ex. 20:9, Prov. 12:11, 14:23, 18:9
hard work, quality work were expected and applauded - The work ethic of the Jewish people was in total contrast to the people groups around them.  Contrast Prov. 10:5

        4)  These teachings were embraced by the New Testament Christians. - example:  2 Thess. 3:6-15    If able to work, and work is available, then need to work.   It is a moral issue.

Why should Christians work hard?  work well?  work properly directed?  productive?  purpose driven?

Some  reasons to Work well ...

#1.  to provide for family (your responsibility - 1 Tim. 5:8 - hands as well as heart and head

#2.  to provide beyond the family  Acts 20:33-35  Eph. 4:28

#3.  For personal satisfaction and fulfillment.  Eccles. 2:10, 2:24, 3:13 - "a gift from God"

#4.  Work well to honor God (through obedience!!)  The Puritans viewed "work" as a form of worship.
John 17:4, Col. 3:23-24

#5.  To expand His Kingdom  
        A.  by supporting Kingdom Work - tithes and offerings
        B.  by earning respect and C. by setting an example - 1 Thess. 4:11-12, Acts 20:35 - win respect to win souls.


#1.  a Biblical View will not remove the toil from your work!!  We live in a fallen world.  (but will make it easier to maintain the effort)

#2.  Labor alone does not commend you to God. 
Work IS NOT the Bridge.  Eph. 2:8-9
On one hand, your work/efforts matter!!!
However, they are ultimately meaningless without Christ!!!

BUT, also know, #3.  labor done in Christ makes a difference.

Closing Scripture:  1 Cor. 15:56-58

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