Posted by: Brian Musser | April 24, 2014

Working for the Father

Work-Ship – Week Three:  The Son At Work – Day Fifteen:  Working for the Father

The first week we came to the conclusion that our definition of work must be based on God’s work.  If we are going to figure out what work is, how we are supposed to work and the proper place work should have in our lives it must be rooted in the way God works.  So we are in the middle of our three week exploration of the work of God organizing our conversation through the lens of the Trinity.

  • Week Two – The Father at Work
  • Week Three – The Son at Work
  • Week Four – The Spirit at Work

We have already seen that God works in community.  Expanding on a verse that we used yesterday we can see that Jesus Christ’s work is in responsive submission to God the Father.

John 5:19-23 (NIV)
Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.

And

John 6:38 (NIV) For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.

And continuing that thought specifically with Christ’s work on the cross, we see Christ’s redemptive work was in submission to the Father’s will.

Isaiah 53:7-12 (NIV)

7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

Matthew 26:39 (NIV) Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

and

Matthew 26:42 (NIV) He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”

There are several specific points I want to explore with these passages.

1.  Just as Christ’s work was in submission to the Father often our work is in submission to someone else.

Isaiah 53 portrays Jesus as the suffering servant.  Who was Jesus serving as he was suffering?  First and foremost he was serving God the Father but on a different plane as he was dying for our sins, he was also serving all of humanity.  Jesus served.  Jesus submitted his will to the will of others.  Jesus worked for others.  Through his work he put the benefit of others ahead of his own.  Many of us covet the idea of working for ourselves.  We want to be our own bosses.  We want to run things.  Some of us want to do this for very good reasons.  We think that if we were in charge we would be better able to glorify God through our work.  Have you ever thought that serving your boss through responsive submission like Christ may bring more glory to God than anything you could do on your own?  Have you thought that serving customers in a Christ-like way may be the best example of Christ they ever see?

2.  Jesus’ work served sinners in need of redemption. 

Jesus’ work in redemption was in response to the will of the Father but it was also direct service to sinners, some of whom will never be receptive to his grace.  Often we are okay with serving bosses if the boss is a fellow believer.  Or we are okay with serving companies that are owned by Christians.  Or we are comfortable with serving customers when the Gospel is also presented.  But just as Jesus healed all ten lepers in Luke 17:11- 19, it is perfectly fine to serve those who may never trust in Jesus.   Jesus served sinners by dying for us when we were enemies of God.  We can serve others like Christ no matter their current state.  Does your serving attitude change if you know that the person you’re serving is a Christian or not?

3.  All of our work should be in submission to the Father.

Ultimately all of Jesus work was in submission to the will of the Father.  Everything he does is connected to the Father.  Our work should be the same.  We should serve God with all that we do.  Our work should be in service to the Lord.  Do you do your work in service to God?

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