Week 12: Colossians 3:22-4:1
Our faith in Christ transforms how we live in relationship to others. If everything we do and say is done in the name of the Lord Jesus, it will change how we live. Jesus has authority over every relationship we have and through the apostle Paul, he gives us instructions that will help our relationships accomplish the purposes God has for them. What is God doing in our relationships? He is …
· Developing a healthy, well-ordered life
· Prospering all of those in the relationship
· Providing the optimal environment to reach our God-given potential
· Reflecting well on the Lord Jesus Christ
Our work relationships occupy much of our time and are a prime opportunity to let our transformed nature show. Although the system of slavery in Paul’s day is different in many ways from our modern workplace, the instruction Paul provides is just as relevant for us today. Paul says that we can choose to let our work be an act of worship. Whatever we do – important, trivial, visible, hidden, in the home, outside the home – all of it can be done as though working for the Lord and not for men. Jesus is the ultimate boss. He sees how we work and he will do an evaluation one day. What will he say about your work? Let’s allow the inner transformation Jesus has already accomplished to show in how we approach our jobs.
Do you like the kind of work that you do? Which part is easiest to do with a good attitude?
Getting into the Text:
1. (Colossians 3:11 and Galatians 3:28) In what ways does our faith in Christ supersede the hierarchies of this world? How would this have been particularly good news for Gentiles, women, and slaves in Paul’s day? In what ways do these hierarchies still continue even after receiving a new identity in Christ? How do our stations or roles shape the way we live out our faith in Christ on a daily basis?
2. (Colossians 3:22-24 and Ephesians 6:5-7) How is work for a believer supposed to be different from work for the nonbeliever? How does this relate to worship and maintaining a high view of who Jesus is?
3. (Colossians 3:24-25 and Ephesians 6:8) How will believers be both rewarded and held accountable for the way they work? (See also 2 Corinthians 5:10.) This promise can be a comfort to those who feel unappreciated or tired of doing good. Or it could be a cause for concern. Which is it for you?
4. (Colossians 4:1 and Ephesians 6:9) How should knowing we have a Master in heaven help to keep us from abusing any power or authority we have been given? The instruction to treat slaves justly and fairly was counter-cultural in Paul’s day. In what ways might exercising authority over others in a Christ-like manner be counter-cultural in today’s workplace?
Think about the work you do on a daily basis. What would it look like to do your work as though you are working for the Lord? What are the main obstacles to living this out for you? What would help you to do it more faithfully?