Here is the application portion of my sermon from this past Sunday.
1. This passage makes all of our jobs holy. It breaks down the divide between secular and sacred. It means you can honor God typing in data just as much as you can honor him in prayer. In the Kingdom the man is holy because he is united to Christ. Thus his vocation becomes holy.
a. O’ Brien: Any and every task, however menial, falls within the sphere of his lordship and is done in order to please him.
b. Why is the view that there are levels of holiness so deadly for the Christian life?
i. It creates 2nd class citizens in the Kingdom. There are the less holy ones who are auto-mechanics and the more holy ones who are missionaries. It drags us back to the Old Covenant.
ii. It leaves the world to the Devil. Both the dominion mandate and the great commission go unfulfilled. Journalism, medicine, art, politics, building cars, etc. are all part of the world. We tolerate these things, but they are not really spiritual or holy. Thus we leave them to Satan. Which means the whole world is left to Satan except my devotions and Sunday worship.
iii. It creates a spirit only view of the Christian life. The Christian life becomes something primarily internal. It can be the life of the mind or the life of the heart, but what it is not is a life of the body. Thus our Christian life is not worked out in making casseroles, building houses or mowing lawns, but primarily in Bible study and prayer.
c. We should not assume that more Bible reading and prayer will make us holier. Even in our free time we should not assume this. Yes, we should read our Bibles and pray. But then we should live. We should build houses and fix cars and write briefs and cook meals and read books and make movies. This passage makes the whole world our workshop. There is no area of human endeavor where we cannot honor Christ.
d. We do not need to continually add more “spiritual disciplines” to our lives. God has called us to work, to labor, to a vocation. Our calling is to productive labor. There are biblical disciplines that should be cultivated. But too often we add extra disciplines, such as fasting or personal evangelism or numerous Bible studies, to our lives. God wants us to honor him with productive labor in our vocations.
2. Christ is honored when we are skilled in our labors and productive for your employers. We do this because it is right not because we are trying to manipulate the system. Everyone here should be striving to do their jobs better. If we are working for the Lord then we should want to do our best. Wives in your homes there should be regular evaluation of your labor. Are there things you could do better? Is your home a place of joy? Why not?
3. External obedience is not enough. We must throw ourselves into our vocations with joy and vigor. Paul, indeed the Bible, never leaves us with only external obedience. In our work, we are to honor Christ by doing our jobs with our whole being. This includes a heart that is sincere, joyful, and seeks to please God in all things.
4. There are rewards for obedience.