Simply Working (Col 3:22–4:1)

2017.06.04 Simply Working Colossians 3 22-4 1.001

Jesus Christ is Lord of all — of Monday through Saturday as well as Sunday, of salon, the school, and the soccer field as well as the sanctuary.  If Jesus is Lord of all, then his lordship affects our work. But often the worlds of worship and work are miles apart. How does our worship change the way that we work? How can work itself be seen as worship?

First, since all work is to the Lord, we work sincerely (Col 3:22). Whether we work as a pastor or plumber, a theologian or a thespian, a teacher or a truck driver, all of our work is to the Lord. Therefore we work with”sincerity of heart,” not double-minded serving the Lord in one way on Sundays but working with compromise on Monday–Friday. Even the work of bondservants is dignified, and their work should be done “fearing the Lord.” While on the surface these verses seem to support slavery, they actually subvert them as they address slaves as full members of the community, but their work is dignified as to the Lord.

Also, since all work is to the Lord, we work heartily for his reward (Col 3:23–24). Sometimes good work is not properly compensated. However we can be confident that the Lord will reward, since we are “knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward” (Col 3:24).  These are revolutionary words for slaves who could not have an inheritance in that day, but when we work heartily, the Lord will always reward.  As a result we work for the Lord and not for men.

Finally, since all work is to the Lord, we work justly and fairly (3:25–4:1). Our wrongdoing will be repaid (3:25), so whether we are slaves or masters, we should act justly and fairly (4:1). Ethics matter. We work for the Lord, not for men.

So what? Jesus Christ is Lord of every square inch of all creation. Therefore every type of work can still be a vocation, a place of calling from God.

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One Response to Simply Working (Col 3:22–4:1)

  1. Great exegesis, Mitch! Also enjoyed our conversation at lunch today at Council. Thanks for taking the time. .. Tim

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