Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Christian Work Ethic

Labor Day originated in 1882 with a NYC parade of workers with the purpose of recognizing the American workman and his (her) contribution to our society and nation. In 1894, President Grover Cleveland made Labor Day a national holiday.

On one hand, Labor Day is not a religious holiday, but it is easy to find Biblical themes here.
1: the Christian Work Ethic - this week's message
2. the Christian Pay Ethic - upcoming
3. the Christian Rest Ethic - upcoming

Definition: the Christian Work Ethic is more than a belief or a philosophy of work.
It is: 1. a moral view of work - what is right/wrong concerning work.
2. It is based on Scripture (Revelation)
3. Applicable to Christian life - practice.
God has revealed to us His will for our life, and work is a big part of it.

Some Basics .... Scripture teaches.....
#1. God is a working God. Gen. 2:2-3 Ps. 19:1
He's woven "work" into the fabric of creation. Col. 1:16-17 John 5:16-17 - the working goes on and on.

#2. He created us in His (working) image.
Before the fall, Adam had a task - Gen. 2:15 After the fall: Gen. 3:17-19 (a)
Note: work is not the curse. The curse put 'toil' into work!

#3. These truths are clearly presented in Old Testament scriptures.
Ex. 20:9 Prov. 12:11, 14:23, 18:9
Hard work was expected and applauded. Prov. 31:13,17

#4. These truths were embraced by New Testament Christians.
Example: 2 Thess. 3:6-15 - keep away from brother who is idle...

Why work well? hard? outcome? purpose?
(some reasons.... Listed this week, will explore them next week.)

Work well......
#1. To honor God. (example: obedience. Puritans considered work a form of worship)

#2. To provide for family - Work is the means. Family is your responsibility.

#3. To provide for community. (with a broad application!!)
example: when production exceeds consumption have a very good economy.

#4. To set an example - an outstanding worker ...... stands out.

#5. For personal satisfaction and fulfillment - "job well done"

#6. To earn respect (as ambassador for Christ, platform for gospel)

#7. To expand the Kingdom. "make an eternal difference"

1. A Biblical understanding will not remove the toil from your work!! - we live in a fallen world!
But, it helps knowing the reason, purpose, positive outcome (resurrection)

2. Labor alone does not commend you to God. It honors him but doesn't insure salvation. Eph. 2:8-9

3. Labor alone will not accomplish positive, eternal results. On one hand, your effort is important. But, it is meaningless without God. Prov. 12:14 Ps. 127:1, 90:17
As a Christian, our work will not have a positive, eternal results without mingling with God.

4. Labor done in Christ does MAD (make a difference). 1 Cor. 15:58
Unfortunately, can't always see the difference, but we have the promise of God that that isn't true!

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