Summary: A sermon examining the importance of honoring Christ in the workplace.
Recently, the Princeton Religion Research Center published a landmark survey conducted for the Wall Street Journal on moral conduct at the workplace. The researchers measured a wide range of moral and ethical behaviors at the workplace, such as calling in sick when not sick, cheating on income taxes, and taking company supplies for personal use. The results were disappointing to say the least. But most startling was the fact that there was no significant difference between the churched and the un-churched in their ethics and values on the job.
Christian workers were just as guilty when it came to calling in sick when not sick, cheating on income tax, and using company supplies for personal use. This survey suggests that many Christians are living double lives. At church they swear allegiance to values informed by Scripture.But at work, they follow the values of the world. (http://www.higherpraise.com/outlines/hpserm/Sermon538.htm (Sermon by: Keith Smith)
For many Christians, the workplace is their primary mission field. They spend more time there than anywhere else and they are around more people than anywhere else. When Christians do not honor God in the workplace their witness for Christ loses its effectiveness. On the other hand, when a Christian honors God on the job, they will encounter great opportunities to point others to Christ. So the question for us to answer is this... do your coworkers see a positive reflection of God in your work ethic? Are you a witness for Christ in how you obey your supervisor? Do you faithfully obey those who have authority over you or do you gripe, grumble complain and rebel? Are you submissive or are you insubordinate?
In every area of life we are required to submit to authority. God has commanded us to submit to human authority on many different levels.
1) Wives are to submit to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22-24)
2) Children are to submit to their parents - (Ephesians 6:1-4)
3) The church is to submit to the Elders - (1 Peter 5:1-5)
And in several scriptures we see the importance of slaves submitting to their masters. - Ephesians 6:5 Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; 6 not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.
The doctrine of submission is perhaps one of the least liked doctrines in the Bible, but it is clear that God expects His children to submit to authority. During His time on earth one of the most prevalent characteristics of Jesus was His willingness to be a servant.
Consider: Philippians 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Jesus said Himself in Mark 10:45 that "the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister (to serve), and to give his life a ransom for many".
Jesus is our example... we should model our lives after Him. When we do this, our lives will be marked by service. This service should be evident everywhere we go, including the workplace. I would like to take a closer look at Titus 2:9-10 and preach on the subject "Secular Servanthood".
The word "servant" describes one who is under submission to another. Servanthood is the state or condition of being a servant. Paul is instructing Titus concerning those things that need to be "set in order" in the church at Crete. Titus is a short epistle and of all the things that could have been mentioned, Paul chose to highlight the importance of secular servant-hood. Just as it was important then, it is important now!
Our Father expects us to be decent, respectful and submissive to the authorities in all areas of our lives. Listen to what the Bible says in - Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.
It is apparent that submitting to authority is important in the Christian life. These verses show us how to submit to authority. Notice in verse 9:
I. The Proper Manner Of Secular Servanthood v9
It is important that we address the context of these scriptures. The English Bible translations use the word "servant" in this verse. The Greek word here is "doulos" which refers to a literal "slave". For the sake of time we will not debate the horrible institution of slavery. It happened for thousands of years throughout history all over the world. We don't like it, we can't change it but we can learn from it.