6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.(Part 2)

Dakota Community Church

Ephesians 55, Grace at Work 25

June 9, 2013

Doctrine of Vocation

We are given six behaviors we are to discontinue - because they destroy unity.

We are given six replacement behaviors which will foster and protect unity.

Instead of lying; speak truth

...having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. (Ephesians 4:25)

Instead of outbursts of wrath; righteous anger

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. (Ephesians 4:26-27)

Instead of stealing; working and contributing

Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. (Ephesians 4:28)

A.) The Eighth Commandment - Let the thief no longer steal

Last Week:

It is wrong to TAKE the fruit of someone else’s labour without paying for it.

B.) An Honest Days Work

- but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands

An honest days work with his own hands. Let’s think about this for a minute shall we.

This idea is not popular amoung believers in our generation.

Evangelicalism is full of ear scratching bluster about you and your special purpose.

Be a David, be a Daniel, claim that mountain ‘cause you’re a Caleb

Pray Sun stand still prayers

Attack a lion in a snowy pit

Be a victor not a victim - on and on it goes, poor Jesus has such great plans if only He could get the “mighty warriors, dressed for battle” to jump on board.

Quote from "God At Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life." by Gene Edward Veith Jr.

Luther distinguishes between what he calls "the theology of glory" and "the theology of the cross." We naturally yearn for "glory," for success, victory, and living happily ever after. We thus prefer religions of glory, ones that promise us a successful life, that answer to our full rational satisfaction all of our questions, that grow and thrive, becoming ever more popular and powerful.

The problem is (to our human minds), God saved us by means of the Cross. The Christian life He gives us is the Way of the Cross. "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me" (Luke 9:23). This cannot refer just to another martyrdom, as experienced by many of His disciples; nor is it just some "thorn in the flesh" that Christians must put up with. It is something that must be borne "daily."

Whatever this entails—the pattern of repentance and forgiveness that makes up the texture of the Christian's life; the persecutions and rejections, bitter or mild, that a Christian will experience; the physical suffering and eventual death that no one can escape—it also relates, Luther thought, to vocation.

Though personal and unique for each person ("take up his cross"), the Way of the Cross means that our spiritual life does not consist solely of victories, miracles, and success stories. To be sure, God sometimes refreshes us with victories, and glories of every kind await us in the everlasting life that He has prepared for His people. Jesus died, but then He rose again and ascended into Heaven, and the next time He will come, as the creed says, "with glory." So there is glory in the Christian life, but in the meantime we must bear our crosses. And when we do, we find that we are driven to depend on Jesus more and more.

What is the doctrine of vocation?

1. The doctrine of vocation is the belief that God is active in everyday human labor, family responsibilities, and social interactions.

Which means in most cases God’s Audacious Plan for Your Life is shockingly ordinary.

1 Corinthians 7:17-24

Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. 18 Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. 19 For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. 20 Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. 21 Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) 22 For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ. 23 You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men. 24 So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.

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