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Thursday, 1 May 2014

A True work ethic: Bible Study

Salvation : Ephesians 2:8-10

We are saved to do good works;  prepared by Christ beforehand in order that we may walk in His ways.

We could look at this wonderful statement without grasping what it is that Paul is teaching. As evangelicals we have over-reacted to the social gospel and are in danger of throwing out the baby with the bath water. We are saved firstly by God's good grace and for His pleasure but we are equally saved with purpose. Man was created to work in the world and has through sin marred the whole of nature. God has purposed that His new creation (the Church) will be in the world working as god's helpers in accomplishing the New Creation. Therefore there is a work for Jesus none but you can do. 

We have been saved and so:

  • We have become part of the body of Christ which is the church.

  • That makes us to be all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28)

Therefore our private life is all an integral part of the Church:

  • So when we sleep we are still the church
  • When we play we are still the church
  • When we eat we are still the church
  • When we are in our families we are still the church
  • When we work!! we are still the church
That it seems to me makes your work place part of the church’s mission!!

Work is ordained by God

Before the fall – Genesis 1:27-2

Therefore God intended man to work. Work is not a punishment

Exodus 20:9 
God's command to man:  6 days you shall labour!!

Psalm 104:23 
 Man goes out to his work and labours until evening.

Therefore God has  put it into the heart of man to work! Work is a creation order therefore o not to work is against God's command and as such is sin!

God’s purpose for ordaining Work

  •  That we be self supporting :
See: Genesis 3:19; Psalm 128:2: 1 Thess 4: 9-12: Psalm 127:1+2

We have to make a living to support ourselves and those dependent upon us. But a precautionary note in psalm 127:1-2. There is a higher purpose for our work. God is building His church and we are to be part of that also. Work is therefore twofold. We are to work to earn money by which to live and we are to be about building the church by our Christian witness. The two must go hand-in-hand.

  • Self-fulfillment

This is a somewhat surprising aspect to work. God us to have job satisfaction 

  • Proverbs 14:23 In all toil there is profit
  • Eccl 3:22 Nothing better than a man to rejoice in his work
  • Eccl 5:19 Wealth and possessions given by God and the power to enjoy them! To accept his lot and rejoice in his toil – this is the gift of God.

There is nothing better than for a person to find enjoyment in his work! It also pleases God.

Notice in all of this there is mention of entertainment. We have become a nation of work haters & entertainment lovers.


  • How does God see our current attitude to work?

  • Our financial circumstances – our wealth (or lack of it!) is a gift of God – Are you happy with your lot?? Do you count it as your gift to you and to the Church?


Ephesians 4:28 – the converted man is a changed man so much so that a converted thief  is transformed from being a man who selfishly takes others belongings to delighting in doing an honest days work and also to benefit others!! 


 Consider the woman who fears the Lord recorded in proverbs 31:10-31 esp. vs. 15

Bringing glory to God:

  • Colossians 3:17: Do everything for the glory of Christ.
  • 1 Corinthians 10:31: Do everything for the glory of God.
  • Ephesians 6:5-8: Obey work authority as you do Christ.
  • Colossians 3:22-24: Work with all of your heart as for Christ.

In what ways does our work ethic witness for the gospel?

Warning against those who will not work!

  • 1 Thess 10-12: Our work is God’s calling for us in order that His church glorifies His name both corporately and individually. 

Final Thought:

  • We are all in full time service of the Lord: How does that thought change your attitude to your daily labours?

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