A Biblical Work Ethic – Pastor Stacey Shiflett

A Biblical Work Ethic

2 Thessalonians 3:6-13

Intro: Look at our text. Paul uses a word three times, and this is the only place he used it. (vss. 6, 7, 11)

DISORDERLY: deviating from the prescribed order or rule

               A. An Exit from the Disorderly – vs. 6

  • 6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

               B. An Example to the Disorderly – vs. 7-9

  • 7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;
  • 8 Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:
  • 9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.

NOTE: Acts 18 tells us that Paul was a tentmaker.

  • 1 After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth;
  • 2 And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them.
  • 3 And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.

               C. An Exhortation to the Disorderly – 10-12

  • 10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
  • 11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.
  • 12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

Some great quotes about the practice of hard work:

  • “I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it”Thomas Jefferson
  • “The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense. There is no substitute for hard work.”Thomas A. Edison
  • “There are no traffic jams on the extra mile.”Zig Ziglar
  •  “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven played music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.” – Anonymous

We live in one of the laziest generations of this nation.

People would rather get paid to stay home than to earn a living.

I. God’s Institution

               A. God is our Pattern for a Biblical Work Ethic.

Genesis 2

  • 2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
  • 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

               B. God gave man a job

  • Genesis 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

               C. God’s curse on man was hard work to survive

Genesis 3

  • 17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
  • 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
  • 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

II. God’s Incriminations

God addresses the issue of slothfulness, idleness, and the sluggard dozens of times.

  • Ecclesiastes 10:18 By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.

Proverbs 6

  • 6 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
  • 7 Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
  • 8 Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.
  • 9 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?
  • 10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
  • 11 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.
  • Proverbs 20:4 The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.

Proverbs 26

  • 13 The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.
  • 14 As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.
  • 15 The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth.
  • 16 The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.

III. God’s Intentions

               A. To Live

  • Proverbs 19:15 Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.

I Thessalonians 4

  • 10 And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more;
  • 11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
  • 12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.

               B. To Give

  • Acts 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

IV. God’s Instructions

               A. Men should have a biblical work ethic.

  • 1 Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

               B. Married women should have a biblical work ethic.

SEE Proverbs 31:10-31

               C. Widows should have a biblical work ethic.

I Timothy 5

  • 9 Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man,
  • 10 Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.
  • 11 But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry;
  • 12 Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith.
  • 13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

               D. Work to the best of your ability

  • Proverbs 10:4 He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.
  • Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
  • Romans 12:11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

               E. Work to bring glory unto the Lord

Colossians 3:22

  • 22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:
  • 23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
  • 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
  • 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

F. To carry that same work ethic over into the furtherance of the ministry.

There can be no ministry without workers.

There can be no furtherance of the kingdom of God without workers.

  • Luke 10:2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.
  • Philippians 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;