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Work Heartily for the Lord

Colossians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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[1] Title
Pray
Since creation, God has given us work to do.
What
Do you consider your work an act of worship or service to God?
Do you think if you did it would remove some of the drudgery and boredom?
“Woo-hoo it’s Friday, oh no it’s Monday…Can’t wait for hump day.”
Since creation, God has given us work to do. We are made for work.
Colossians 3:17 ESV
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
When we do that Christ brings fullness to all our domestic, Christian family relationships. [Husband-Wife, Parent-Child] ‘In the Lord.’
These are our duties and our calling to obedience within the household. It’s part of the formula to be Christ-followers in everything we do and everywhere we go.
Interestingly and for our modern context maybe disturbingly, Paul includes slaves and masters.
Another piece of the household that may not connect with you directly today. Slaves.
So, we’re going to talk about that, but ultimately this is about work. How we work for our employers by working for the Lord. How we lead our employees by leading for the Lord.
Afraid of work? No.
Lazy worker vs hard worker: Lazy, uh, what did I do? Hard work feels good. Hard work feels like a day of accomplishment. A day of adding value to your company. A day of earning the living you’ve provided for your family. A day of satisfaction.
[2-6] Scripture
Colossians 3:22–4:1 ESV
Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality. Masters, treat your bondservants justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.
[7] Title
He’s not Paul’s teaching here was accompanied by a lot of tension, for several reasons.
Paul’s teaching here was accompanied by a lot of tension, for several reasons.
He’s not condemning or condoning slavery, but explaining that Christ transcends all divisions between people.
Preaching the Word: Colossians and Philemon—The Supremacy of Christ The Christian Family (III) ( Colossians 3:22-4:1 )

Ancient historians estimate that there were some 60,000,000 slaves in the Roman Empire, or about one-half the population.

Again, Christ breaks down barriers and unites people regardless of things like race, gender, social status, economic status, etc.
The primary tension here was due to the amazing extent of slavery and how dehumanizing it is: Ancient historians estimate that there were some 60,000,000 slaves in the Roman Empire, or about one-half the population.
Ancient historians estimate that there were some 60,000,000 slaves in the Roman Empire, or about one-half the population.
Because of this, work was considered below the dignity of the slave-owning Roman free man.
Practically everything was done by slaves - even doctoring and teaching
Ancient tradition, dating back to Aristotle, classified slaves as things, living tools. And when a tool was broken it could be thrown out to die.
Our text said ‘bondservant’ - the difference is there were slaves in this time period who were serving a master for a specific lengthy time period either for social advancement or to pay off a debt.
It’s not necessarily slavery like we view it in modern day America.
Even so, life for a slave was generally not good, and Christianity’s preaching of the gospel with its message of equality raised the tension by teaching - ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ.’ ()
You can be assured the church receiving this letter had both slaves and masters in attendance.
This message from Paul was immediately revolutionary because it brought the fullness of the Christian life to both the slave and the master.
Imagine being a slave sitting in church with your master - viewed as a possession, a tool, but following Christ eagerly you are raised to equality and fullness in Christ. Your master becomes a brother.
It’s domestic fullness that now the Christian slave is serving Christ by as he serves his master and the master is serving Christ as he treats his slave justly and fairly - both knowing they ultimately have a master in heaven who gets firsts.
What is a bondservant vs servant vs slave?
Doing everything in the name of the Lord and giving thanks.
Today the application for us is largely professional. Employer/Employee.
The average worker divides his five or six days per week into equal periods of 8 work, 8 sleep, 8 ‘free time.’
In order for Christ to bring fullness to life, he must bring it to what we do for a living, from the boss to the grunt.

Obey your earthly masters in everything

Colossians 3:22 ESV
Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.
The point, equally applicable to all types of human work: the Christian at work must be a wholly and totally given to the task ant hand, not just merely doing the minimum required to keep from being fired, showing effort only when someone is looking.
Arlin: “Whatcha workin’ on?”

That attitude shows no reverence for the Lord who has called all his people to full, single-hearted human living. Even if they are treated like animals or worse, slaves are still to regard themselves as fully human beings.

That attitude shows no reverence for the Lord who has called all his people to full, single-hearted human living. Even if they are treated like animals or worse, slaves are still to regard themselves as fully human beings.

Work heartily as for the Lord - in whatever you do

Colossians 3:23 ESV
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
Colossians 3:23–24 ESV
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
Odd jobs: Picking up sticks at the farm for grandpa. Chad paid to drive grandpa’s new wood chipper through the woods, just to play with it.
The task may seem unimportant or trivial, but the person doing it never is, and he or she has the opportunity to turn the job into an act of worship.
Christians ought to be the best in attitude, the best in dependability, and the best in integrity. All of us who are employed must be faithful, hard workers or we are sinning.
This attitude can’t be motivated by earthly reward - it’s motivated by the heavenly reward. The inheritance.

The Master in Heaven will Reward You

Colossians 3:24 ESV
knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

Serve the Lord Christ

Colossians 3:24 ESV
knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

No Worries - Wrongdoers will be repaid with no favoritism

Colossians 3:25 ESV
For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.

Masters have a Master

Colossians 4:1 ESV
Masters, treat your bondservants justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.
All Christians, both slave and free, male and female, serve a higher master, whose will is paramount.

In whatever role, then, a Christian finds himself or herself, at home or at work, life can and must be lived ‘for the Lord’, and in harmony with one’s fellow human beings.

In whatever role, then, a Christian finds himself or herself, at home or at work, life can and must be lived ‘for the Lord’, and in harmony with each other.
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