Monday, September 6, 2010

A Christian Work Ethic

Labor Day was established in 1894 by Grover Cleveland,
therefore, look at scripture and 'work'.

The title "Christian Work Ethic" is, by definition, more than a belief or philosophy of work.
It is: #1. a moral view of work
#2. based on Scripture
#3. applicable to Christian life. - lived out, practical. Christians should have a moral view of work.

Scripture reveals to us:
#1. God is a working God.
Gen. 2:2-3 Ps. 19:1 "work" is woven into the fabric of the universe. Col. 1:16-17
It was necessary for creation and is necessary to maintain.

#2. Man is created in His (working) image.
Before the fall - Gen. 2:15
After the fall - Gen. 3:17-19 (a)
NOTE: work is not and never was a curse. Gen. 5:28-29

#3. These truths are reflected in Hebrew theology.
The Law: Ex. 20:9-10 (a) - (focus vs. 9) - "how" in many specific laws
Wisdom Literature: Prov. 12:11, 14 Prov. 14:23 Prov. 18:9 Prov. 21:25 Prov. 31:13, 17
The Talmud: "he who does not teach his son a craft is, as it were, bringing him up to robbery"
Eccles. 2:10, 2:24, 5:19

#4. God revealed Himself through a working Son.
Pre-ministry: Mark 6:3 (a) - "isn't this the carpenter?"
Ministry: John 5:17 John 5:36 John 17:4 John 19:30

So naturally,
#5. These truths were embraced by the New Testament and Christian Community.
Acts 20:34-35 Eph. 4:28 1 Thess. 4:1-12 2 Thess. 3:6-12

So... upon these (and other) texts, truths, we build a "Christian Work Ethic."

Additional observations and applications.

#1. Work is more than manual labor. (teaching, computers, etc.)

#2. Work is more than a paid job (career)
Christian vocation: Work is whatever tasks, duties, obligations, responsibilities are rightfully yours. Christian Calling:
So, if married, parent, neighbor, student? Your work is whatever tasks, duties, obligations, responsibilities are rightfully yours in that particular area.

#3. Work doesn't end with retirement.

$4. You are not asked to excel at your calling ... you are asked to work at your calling.
When you work at your calling, God works in/on/through you!!! Col. 1:29

Therefore, you can say:
#5. Your efforts will be (blessed and) beneficial.
Qualifying statements: A. Not all hard work will be blessed, or beneficial. Example: the porn business.
B. No guarantee you will see the benefits and results - in this life.

However, can also say:
#6. The knowledge of and practice of these truths will not remove the labor from your work.
This is a fallen world!! Work will continue to be.... difficult, frustrating, wearing, etc.
BUT: it's easier if you know A. What's right
B. it will Make a Difference

Diligent effort (work) is our calling and is God's will.
Therefore it is pleasing to Him.
#7. You are not commended to God by your hard work.
Rom. 3:23-24 Eph. 2:8-9

Remember: 1 Cor. 15:58 Col. 3:23-24

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