A Theology of Work
Sermon Series: The Affectionate Gospel
Sermon Title: A Theology of Work
1 Thessalonians 4:4:9-12
Every Christian needs to know what God thinks about work.
Knowing Jesus changes how we live, including our perspective on work. Some changes occur seemingly without much effort; some require instruction. The Thessalonian church practiced brotherly love well (v. 9), but they needed teaching regarding work. As such, every Christian needs this same instruction.
Point 1: What is a Theology of Work?
A good theology of work includes the following fundamental principles:
Jesus redeemed work by re-creating us for good works that glorify God as we serve the Lord Christ (1 Cor. 5:17, 1 Cor. 10:3, Col. 3:17, Col. 3:23-24, and Eph. 2:10, 1). If we have a proper theology of work, it matters little what kind of work we do. A right biblical perspective, not our personal fulfillment, gives purpose to our work.
Point 2: What was Happening in Thessalonica?
The Christians in Thessalonica struggled with their work—possibly due to a bad economy or a patronage system that promoted idleness (2 Thess. 3:6). In addition, some falsely believed that there was no need to work because of Jesus’ imminent return. Paul instructs them to live quietly, to mind their own affairs, and to work with their hands (v. 11). All work is sacred, and believers must keep busy with their own work. In Gospel economics, individuals and households must care for themselves, and the church takes responsibility for those unable to do so in order that we “may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one” (v. 12). To exemplify this principle, Paul chose to labor as a tentmaker rather than rely on church support (1 Thess. 2:9).
Do your work