Tuesday, September 8, 2020

The Christian Work Ethic

Labor Day = federal holiday - established in 1894 by Grover Cleveland to honor the American worker, laborer (common worker)

On one hand, not a religious holiday
However, Biblical themes abound here!

Christian work ethic ... term is relatively new - only been around about 15 years.  However, the concept is as old as Adam.

By Definition = A)  A Moral View of work - (right/wrong)   Note:  very few Christians give much thought to the rights and wrongs of work.

                        B)  Based on Scripture - (revelation of God's will) - this is not just philosophy

So ... Some Biblical basics:

#1.  God is a working God. - Gen. 2:2-3, Psm. 19:1, John 5:16-17 - "the work of my Father"

#2.  He created man in His (working) image. - before the fall:  Ge. 2:15  After the fall - Gen. 3:17-19

Work is not part of the curse/  rather .. the curse put toil into work.
Comparison:  created to walk.  and NOW - uphill!!

#3.  This is the Old Testament View (given to the prophets by God)
Ex. 20:9, Prov. 10:4-5 (wealth comes from work.  Not always.  Depends on the times, the economy, etc. but as a rule), Prov. 10:26, 12:11 (get rich quick schemes), Prov. 18:9, 20:4, 22:29
Summary passage - Prov. 24:30-34

#4.  This is reflected in the teachings of Christ - (who came from the working class)
Example:  parable of the talents - Matt. 25:24-26

#5.  This was practiced and taugh by the Apostles - (early Christian doctrine) - 2 Thess. 3:6-13

Notes:  (#1)  work is not always sweat and callouses) 
examples:  computer work, teacher, student, stay at home mom

           (#2)  - (elements of the Christian Work Ethic)
honesty, integrity, dependability, giving your employer "work" has many related moral issues!!!! an honset day's work, giving your employee a fir day's wage, quality workmanship, productivity, self-discipline, personal responsibility, family and community obligations
Issues of wealth:  building wealth, sharing wealth, laying up wealth ... on earth,  IN HEAVEN!!
Building the Kingdom... here, now, supporting His church,  REST from work (Sabbath)
Can easily be applied to:   how you work at ... marriage, child raising, family ...
Example:  Prov. 31 woman, "wife of noble character" - model of Biblical Work Ethic

       (#3)  This is more than a philosophy of work - it is a moral issue (issue of right and wrong)
A Christian should develop their WORK habits according to God's directives.

(Some) reasons to work well...
#1.  To provide for your family - 1 Tim. 5:8  (talking about people who are capable)

#2.  To provide beyond your family  - Eph. 4:28
example:  "poor tithe" - every 3rd. and 6th. year

#3  for Personal satisfaction/fulfillment - (self-respect)
Eccles. 2:10, 2:24, 3:13

#4.  To honor God - John 17:4, Col. 3:23-24

#5. to expand His Kingdom  (eternal results!!)
     by supporting Kingdom work, by setting an example - acts 20:34-35 (Paul)
     by earning respect  - 1 Thess. 4:11-12


1)  In a fallen world, work will still be toil.  Even Christian work, ministry.
Examples:  Day Camp, AWANA - 2 Tim. 4:7

2)  Your work performance can NOT gain you salvation.  Eph. 2:8-10
Should be the results of salvation, not the means of salvation!

3.)  hard work alone does not merit eternal rewards.  1 Cor. 3:12-15 -
tested for .... what you did,  how you did it,  why you did it.

4)  (clearly) Your work matters  (it Makes a Difference)

5)  Your work "in the LORD" makes an eternal difference.  1 Cor. 15:58 - Paychecks matter, Eternity matters MORE!!!

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