Summary: The way we work reveals the true God we believe in - either the god of mammon or the Lord God and His Son Jesus Christ. Our witness for Jesus Christ is either helped or hindered by what we do at our place of employment. This sermon is about effective wit
Some of the ideas and structure for this sermon came from
Joe Harding’s sermon - "WORKING FOR A LIVING"
November 19, 2006
New Covenant EPC
Body Life The Book of Ephesians
I. A minister dies and is waiting in line at the Pearly Gates.
A. Ahead of him is a taxi driver.
a. Saint Peter says to this guy, "Take this silken robe and golden staff and enter the Kingdom of Heaven."
b. The minister takes his turn before St Pete.
c. He says to the minister, "Take this cotton robe and wooden staff and enter the Kingdom of Heaven."
2. "Just a minute!" says the minister. "That man was a taxi driver, and he gets a silken robe and golden staff. How can this be?"
a. "Up here, we give rewards on how your work helps people spiritually," says Saint Peter.
b. "While you preached, people slept.
c. While he drove, people prayed."
B. The way we work reveals the true God we believe in - either the god of mammon or the Lord God and His Son Jesus Christ.
1. As believers in Christ, we are always being scrutinized by the unchurched.
a. They are looking at us and watching how our supposed faith makes a difference if any.
b. There is no more inspected place for Christian than at their place of work.
2. Our witness for Jesus Christ is either helped or hindered by what we do at our place of employment.
a. Many of a Christian came to know Jesus by the witness of a Christian employer or employee.
b. At the same time, some of the loudest critics of the church and Christianity have seen the hypocrisy of Christians on the job.
II. # 1 - A Christian who witnesses for Christ works with integrity
A. He seeks to do the Right Thing Verse 5 “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.” -
1. What does this text about slaves have to do with our work place today?
a. Most employment in Christ’s day was slave or indentured servitude.
(1) You worked because you were indebted to a master.
(2) And you continued to work in order to have food and shelter for your family.
b. Though we are not slaves, we are dependent on our employers as they are dependent on us.
c. We exchange our work and our labor for the money which sustains our physical well being.
2. Here is that word again, OBEY.
a. The word in the Greek for OBEY is õðáêïõù hupokouo which means literally to listen under.
b. It means to listen attentively and follow what you hear.
3. How many of us truly listen to our employer and understand their needs and what they are trying to accomplish?
a. Employers need employees who understand their business and what it to succeed. Employers need employees who can be trusted.
b. As employees are we looking only for the pay check or do we see our jobs as a calling from God?
c. Are we doing the right thing, fulfilling our job description or maybe even exceeding it?
4. “. . . with respect and fear,”
a. These words are often synonymous.
(1) To fear someone is to respect their authority and their position.
(2) Christians who bad talk their employer give a poor witness.
b. Remember that some of the first Christians were servants in the home of the Emperor of Rome.
(1) He was surely not the most likeable person.
(2) But the Christian slaves under his authority had such an impact that several within his family turned to Jesus.
B. A Christian works for the right reason. Verse 6 “Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.”
1. When we receive Christ as Lord and Savior all of our lives are to be under His lordship.
2. Our jobs are not there just to pay the bills and give us money for recreation.
a. In fact it is quite the opposite.
b. Our recreation is to give us relaxation to strengthen us mentally, physically and spiritually to go and serve Christ in the work place.
3. For a Christian, it is not just a job, it is a vocation. - a calling from God!
a. 1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (NIV)
b. Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (NIV)