What is the Biblical Definition of WORK?

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Inquisitor

Active member
Mar 17, 2022
172
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#41
There is only one recorded instance of someone punished for breaking the sabbath. He was collecting firewood. Not manna, not food.
Jesus went on trial for Sabbath transgression.
 

Inquisitor

Active member
Mar 17, 2022
172
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#42
It seems like there's a big misconception around the topic of WORK, a lot of folks here follow the Pharisees by having equated work with keeping the Mosaic Law, but nothing could be further from the truth. What exactly is WORK? Let the bible interpret itself. The answer is the fourth commandment:

Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. (Ex. 20:8-11)

When it comes to this commandment, usually the focus is all on the Sabbath and any controversy thereof, while WORK is often neglected. Sabbath is the day of the Lord that ought to be kept holy, but before the sabbath, we work six days. This is a basic pattern of life that was set at the beginning for us to follow. God gave this commandment to the Israelites in the wilderness through Moses on Mount Sinai. Now notice that BEFORE the ten commandments were given, Israelites were already being trained to get accustomed with this pattern of life - by gathering manna from heaven in Exodus 16. I'm not gonna throw the entire chapter here, just a few key verses:

And the children of Israel said to them, “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not. And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall prepare what they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.”(Ex. 16:3-5)

In summary, "will work for food" is the name of the game. Israelites went out every day to gather this bread from heaven, and it was only sufficient for the day. Some tried to gather more and save the extra for the next day, and surprise, surprise, the extra all went spoiled overnight. (16:20) However, on the sixth day, they were ordered to gather twice as much to prepare for the Sabbath day, because there won't be any manna on Sabbath. (16:26) This time, none of it was spoiled (16:24). Some of them didn't listen, they went out on Sabbath, and they found nothing. (16:27) This had become their rhythm, and they did it for 40 long years in the wilderness. In the Lord's prayer, "daily bread" is a subtle reference of this, and everybody in the audience understood it.

So, here are a few bullet points:

- "Work" is what we do to make a living, to put food on the table, roof over the head and clothes on the back. It is NOT associated with salvation, for Jesus is the true bread of life, there's nothing we can do to impress God and earn salvation. The purpose of work is to sustain THIS LIFE, not the next life. "He who does not work, neither shall he eat." (2 Thess. 3:10)
- The fourth commandment sets up a weekly schedule. In order to have the Sabbath day set apart from the work days and dedicated to the Lord, all the secular work must be done in six days. If there's anything left undone, chances are, that piece of work will weigh on my mind, I'll be concerned about it, and I'll be distracted while I'm supposed to be worshipping God. Therefore there's a preparation day before Sabbath to wrap up all the work of the week. That puts more pressure on work instead of diminishing the importance of it.
- Notice that although God as the ultimate Provider fed the Israelites with manna, it did not appear in their tents on their table. This is a key principle - "Seek, and you shall find". The manna is out there, but I have to go out and gather it. The purpose was clearly stated, that it's a test of obedience.
- Although "Work" is referring to our secular work, it is NOT limited to our paid job in the office. Any productive activity is work honored by God. "Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus." (Colossians 3:17) There is no "secular-sacred" divide. God never put ministerial or religious work over other secular works. On the contrary, Pharisees and scribes were harshly criticized by Jesus for virtue signaling through their ministerial and religious work, while all the heavy burdens were put on the shoulders of other people, while they didn't lift a finger. (Matt. 23:3-5)
- Actually, by God's standard, unpaid work that I do voluntarily, either at home or in the community, at the cost of my own time and resources, seeking nothing in return, is more honorable than my regular job, for my job is just what I'm paid to do, unpaid work without anybody asking me to do is what really reflects my character. You can see this in Matt. 5:46-48 - "If you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect."
Romans 3:28
For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.

Two kinds of 'work' in the scripture.
 
Mar 17, 2022
74
23
8
#43
"The WORK of God, is that you believe on Jesus, whom God sent".

That's the only work that will get you into Heaven.

Have you finished that work? If so, you are born again.
If not, then you are not, tho you might be water baptized, and it could be that you spend a lot of time worrying about keeping commandments and doing penance and going to church BELIEVING that you are born again, when in fact you are religious but lost.


Dont be that one, as thousands of those died and went to Hell today, and tomorrow and yesterday.
 

Carry_Your_Name

Well-known member
Feb 24, 2022
1,136
236
63
#44
Romans 3:28
For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.

Two kinds of 'work' in the scripture.
"Works" of the Law often turns out to be weaponization or exploitation of the law, that's not work at all.
 

montana123

Active member
Oct 9, 2021
212
79
28
#45
The Bible says we are not saved by works but saved by faith which is when we first confess Christ for that is all we can do.

But when we receive the Spirit then we have to have works of love for faith to be affective in our life.

Paul said out of faith, hope, and charity that charity is the greatest.

Charity, love in action, works, is greater than faith so no charity no faith.

The Bible says faith works by love and love is the fulfilling of the law.

Paul said he could have all faith so that he could remove mountains but if he did not have charity he is nothing.

Paul said the love of money is the root of all evil which some coveted after have erred from faith which the love of money is the root of all evil because it neglects the poor and the needy and love is the fulfilling of the law.

James said without works a man does not have faith and we justified by works and not by faith alone.

But he pointed out works of love towards people by feeding and clothing them.

So Paul and James say the same thing.

John said if any person has this world's goods and sees people who have need and do not help them then the love of God does not dwell in them.

Which do not love in word, or in tongue, but in deed and in truth which is charity.

Charity, love in action, works is greater than faith so we have to have works of love to have faith active in our life.
 
Mar 17, 2022
172
31
28
#47
The Bible says we are not saved by works but saved by faith which is when we first confess Christ for that is all we can do.

But when we receive the Spirit then we have to have works of love for faith to be affective in our life.

Paul said out of faith, hope, and charity that charity is the greatest.

Charity, love in action, works, is greater than faith so no charity no faith.

The Bible says faith works by love and love is the fulfilling of the law.

Paul said he could have all faith so that he could remove mountains but if he did not have charity he is nothing.

Paul said the love of money is the root of all evil which some coveted after have erred from faith which the love of money is the root of all evil because it neglects the poor and the needy and love is the fulfilling of the law.

James said without works a man does not have faith and we justified by works and not by faith alone.

But he pointed out works of love towards people by feeding and clothing them.

So Paul and James say the same thing.

John said if any person has this world's goods and sees people who have need and do not help them then the love of God does not dwell in them.

Which do not love in word, or in tongue, but in deed and in truth which is charity.

Charity, love in action, works is greater than faith so we have to have works of love to have faith active in our life.
I don't think the Bible states that we are 'saved by faith'. Saved by grace through faith is more accurate.

The love of money is 'a' root of evil, the love of money itself, is definitely not the root of all evil.

We are created for good works, those active Christian works will perfect our faith (See James).

Once again, saved by GRACE through Faith and we do not contribute to that act of salvation.
 
Feb 24, 2022
1,136
236
63
#48
Care to explain further with an example.
Weaponization of the law means using certain statutes as a weapon to deliberately attack the target; exploitation of the law means exploiting certain loopholes to do what is essentially unlawful without breaking the law. Pharisees were guilty of both, they accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath, yet they wouldn't hesitate to pull their own ox or donkey out of a pit, and on the day right after the crucifixion they met with Pilate, asking him to set a guard at the tomb, that was on Sabbath. Clearly they didn't care that much about the sanctity of Sabbath, they were just using that to hit Jesus. Also, they thought it was OK to get divorced and remarried as many times as they wanted, since no-fault divorce was written in the Mosaic law. That enabled them to essentially commit adultery with a mistress through a quick marriage, and then dump her for a new one through a quick divorce.
 

peldom10

Well-known member
May 22, 2020
1,981
304
83
#49
It seems like there's a big misconception around the topic of WORK, a lot of folks here follow the Pharisees by having equated work with keeping the Mosaic Law, but nothing could be further from the truth. What exactly is WORK? Let the bible interpret itself. The answer is the fourth commandment:

Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. (Ex. 20:8-11)

When it comes to this commandment, usually the focus is all on the Sabbath and any controversy thereof, while WORK is often neglected. Sabbath is the day of the Lord that ought to be kept holy, but before the sabbath, we work six days. This is a basic pattern of life that was set at the beginning for us to follow. God gave this commandment to the Israelites in the wilderness through Moses on Mount Sinai. Now notice that BEFORE the ten commandments were given, Israelites were already being trained to get accustomed with this pattern of life - by gathering manna from heaven in Exodus 16. I'm not gonna throw the entire chapter here, just a few key verses:

And the children of Israel said to them, “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not. And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall prepare what they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.”(Ex. 16:3-5)

In summary, "will work for food" is the name of the game. Israelites went out every day to gather this bread frotence support work. only sufficient for the day. Some tried to gather more and save the extra for the next day, and surprise, surprise, the extra all went spoiled overnight. (16:20) However, on the sixth day, they were ordered to gather twice as much to prepare for the Sabbath day, because there won't be any manna on Sabbath. (16:26) This time, none of it was spoiled (16:24). Some of them didn't listen, they went out on Sabbath, and they found nothing. (16:27) This had become their rhythm, and they did it for 40 long years in the wilderness. In the Lord's prayer, "daily bread" is a subtle reference of this, and everybody in the audience understood it.

So, here are a few bullet points:

- "Work" is what we do to make a living, to put food on the table, roof over the head and clothes on the back. It is NOT associated with salvation, for Jesus is the true bread of life, there's nothing we can do to impress God and earn salvation. The purpose of work is to sustain THIS LIFE, not the next life. "He who does not work, neither shall he eat." (2 Thess. 3:10)
- The fourth commandment sets up a weekly schedule. In order to have the Sabbath day set apart from the work days and dedicated to the Lord, all the secular work must be done in six days. If there's anything left undone, chances are, that piece of work will weigh on my mind, I'll be concerned about it, and I'll be distracted while I'm supposed to be worshipping God. Therefore there's a preparation day before Sabbath to wrap up all the work of the week. That puts more pressure on work instead of diminishing the importance of it.
- Notice that although God as the ultimate Provider fed the Israelites with manna, it did not appear in their tents on their table. This is a key principle - "Seek, and you shall find". The manna is out there, but I have to go out and gather it. The purpose was clearly stated, that it's a test of obedience.
- Although "Work" is referring to our secular work, it is NOT limited to our paid job in the office. Any productive activity is work honored by God. "Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus." (Colossians 3:17) There is no "secular-sacred" divide. God never put ministerial or religious work over other secular works. On the contrary, Pharisees and scribes were harshly criticized by Jesus for virtue signaling through their ministerial and religious work, while all the heavy burdens were put on the shoulders of other people, while they didn't lift a finger. (Matt. 23:3-5)
- Actually, by God's standard, unpaid work that I do voluntarily, either at home or in the community, at the cost of my own time and resources, seeking nothing in return, is more honorable than my regular job, for my job is just what I'm paid to do, unpaid work without anybody asking me to do is what really reflects my character. You can see this in Matt. 5:46-48 - "If you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect."

Do you consider ...righteous deeds....as work? Scripture..."faith without works is dead".

My thought is that your summary relates to earthly work to support physical existence vs righteous deeds for spiritual acuity.
We are reminded that Christ invited followers to ......leave all....and follow Him. That certainly encompassed .....existence support..... work.
 

peldom10

Well-known member
May 22, 2020
1,981
304
83
#50
I don't think the Bible states that we are 'saved by faith'. Saved by grace through faith is more accurate.

The love of money is 'a' root of evil, the love of money itself, is definitely not the root of all evil.

We are created for good works, those active Christian works will perfect our faith (See James).

Once again, saved by GRACE through Faith and we do not contribute to that act of salvation.

Very good summary.

Through love of Christ and desire for service will be represented by righteous works/deeds.
Some says works is out...period.
Not so .
 
Feb 24, 2022
1,136
236
63
#51
Do you consider ...righteous deeds....as work? Scripture..."faith without works is dead".

My thought is that your summary relates to earthly work to support physical existence vs righteous deeds for spiritual acuity.
We are reminded that Christ invited followers to ......leave all....and follow Him. That certainly encompassed .....existence support..... work.
No one is righteous, all have fallen short of grace, our best work is like filthy rags compared to God’s shiny white robe. All the works and deeds which you consider as “righteous” are the spiritual fruit of faith, for a tree is known by its fruit. We don’t work our way to be “righteous”, we work to MULTIPLY the talents God gave us.
 

peldom10

Well-known member
May 22, 2020
1,981
304
83
#52
No one is righteous, all have fallen short of grace, our best work is like filthy rags compared to God’s shiny white robe. All the works and deeds which you consider as “righteous” are the spiritual fruit of faith, for a tree is known by its fruit. We don’t work our way to be “righteous”, we work to MULTIPLY the talents God gave us.
Disagree....righteous living is our goal. Not perfection as some would boast. If we are not more righteous.... daily..... then we are not convicted in our heart for following Christ.
Isn't righteous deeds part of the fullfillment of God's expectations for followers of our Savior? I think so.
 
Mar 17, 2022
172
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#53
"Works" of the Law often turns out to be weaponization or exploitation of the law, that's not work at all.
You understand of course, that there are many of these works of the law that needed to be performed. That is, by anyone under the law. A good example of a work of the law would be the weekly Sabbath. All meals must be prepared the day before the Sabbath, as no food preparation is permitted on the Sabbath.

Galatians 3:5
So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?

Paul is telling the Galatians that they received the Holy Spirit simply because they believed in Jesus. The law had nothing to do with the power of God that was active in their lives.
 
Feb 24, 2022
1,136
236
63
#54
Disagree....righteous living is our goal. Not perfection as some would boast. If we are not more righteous.... daily..... then we are not convicted in our heart for following Christ.
Isn't righteous deeds part of the fullfillment of God's expectations for followers of our Savior? I think so.
Prophetically speaking, God’s expectation for us is to preach the gospel to the entire world, to bear witness of Christ through our work - both secular and ministerial.
 
Mar 17, 2022
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#55
Very good summary.

Through love of Christ and desire for service will be represented by righteous works/deeds.
Some says works is out...period.
Not so .
Thanks peldom10.

I would never contradict the apostle Paul.

Ephesians 2:8-10
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Works follow faith, works are the outward expression of your faith.

Yet, we are ultimately saved by that grace of our lord Jesus Christ.

Always saved by grace first.
 
Feb 24, 2022
1,136
236
63
#57
You understand of course, that there are many of these works of the law that needed to be performed. That is, by anyone under the law. A good example of a work of the law would be the weekly Sabbath. All meals must be prepared the day before the Sabbath, as no food preparation is permitted on the Sabbath.

Galatians 3:5
So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?

Paul is telling the Galatians that they received the Holy Spirit simply because they believed in Jesus. The law had nothing to do with the power of God that was active in their lives.
I’m just telling you, that legalism leads to resentment of the law, and eventually, violation of the law. Adam was the first legalist - not only shall you not eat of the tree, don’t even touch it!
 

peldom10

Well-known member
May 22, 2020
1,981
304
83
#58
Thanks peldom10.

I would never contradict the apostle Paul.

Ephesians 2:8-10
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Works follow faith, works are the outward expression of your faith.

Yet, we are ultimately saved by that grace of our lord Jesus Christ.

Always saved by grace first.

I don't see a a conflict in that and ...scripture which says..."faith without works is dead".
They go together in intent.
The word intends to show that works alone will NOT get us eternal salvation.
But, also that faith alone will not achieve that goal either.
Faith and works go together as part of being righteous.

The point is like repentance and baptism...they go together to become sin clean.
 
Mar 17, 2022
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#59
I’m just telling you, that legalism leads to resentment of the law, and eventually, violation of the law. Adam was the first legalist - not only shall you not eat of the tree, don’t even touch it!
I am well aware that legalism generates all kinds of problems. Church history, in time, was based very much on legalism. Though the church would refer to it as doctrine. I do believe that most church organizations have have some trace of legalism.

A comprehensive summary of the N.T could very well be reduced to three or four doctrines.

1) The belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 10)
2) The gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit and personal holiness
3) Loving others as Christ has loved us
4) The return of Jesus Christ