Sunday, February 13, 2005

A Theology of Work


Common Attitudes about Work:
Working for the Weekend
Take This Job and Shove It


1) We were created by God to work.
a) God works.
i) Creation – Genesis 1
ii) Providence

b) Our nature as workers is rooted in the image of God in us, Genesis 1:26-31, Genesis 2:15.
i) Work, in and of itself, is good.
ii) It is contrary to human nature to not work.
iii) The Image of God: How do we reflect the image of God through our work?

(1) Creativity
(2) Dominion – Care
(3) Faithfulness
(4) Excellence
(a) Skilled Craftsman – Tabernacle


1) How does sin affect our work?
2) Genesis 3:17-19

a) Stress
i) Work is more difficult and painful now because of sin. It is less fulfilling and more fraught with stress because it has been co-opted by the Fall.
b) Motivation
i) The Creation Order motivations were love of our Creator and our fellow creatures.
ii) Now, in the fall, more often than not, we are motivated by self-love: we work for money, the pleasures money can provide, and the personal kingdoms we can build.
(1) Cain – Genesis 4:17
(2) Tower of Babel – Genesis 11:1-9
c) Attitude
i) Our self-centeredness gets expressed through our bad attitudes.


1) In what ways can we redeem our work?

a) Worship – Your workplace can be a sanctuary.
i) God can be your audience. You can work for him, like him.

b) Fellowship - Your workplace can be a laboratory of love.
i) How are you going to get along with all sorts of different people? Your job gives you a chance to love your neighbors and your enemies, alike.

c) Discipleship – Your workplace can be a transformation center.
i) Jesus himself worked. Your job gives you an opportunity to develop and grow in Christlikeness.
ii) The Bible, in particular, draws parallels between how Jesus was mistreated and our workplaces.

d) Ministry – Your workplace can be a resource center.
i) Your job affords you with an opportunity to gain the resources to serve God better – learning skills that can be employed in the church, giving you money to offer to God.

e) Evangelism – Your workplace can be a mission-field.

i) Where else are you going to meet so many people with whom you can give both verbal and behavioral witness to the reality of Jesus Christ in your life?


1) Work will be a part of the kingdom.
a) In fact, life then might look a whole lot like life now – only minus sin and the curse.

2) How can we foreshadow the kingdom through our work?

a) Justice – Fairness – Equity
i) The values of the kingdom need to pervade our values now.
(1) Enron, Worldcom
(2) Pollution

b) Passion
i) What do you love to do? Joy.

c) Glory
i) Credit, honor, and glory is directed God-ward.


Work is not “secular” and church “sacred.” We serve and obey God when we work for him – no matter where we are or what we are doing.
- Dr. Carter: Sometimes it is more godly to wash the dishes than to pray.

No comments: