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Man Pants: Men Who Work

Role Four: Christian Men Who Work

Session Seven
Discussed at Men to Men, April 8

The Lord bids each one of us in all life’s actions to look to his calling….Therefore, lest through our stupidity and rashness everything be turned topsy-turvy, he has appointed duties for every man in his particular way of life. And that no one may thoughtlessly transgress his limits, he has named these various kinds of living ‘callings.’ Therefore each individual has his own kind of living assigned to him by the Lord as a sort of sentry post so that he may not heedlessly wander about throughout life. (John Calvin, Institutes III.x.6

The Protestant Work Ethic

Good works will characterize the elect, yet the works do not themselves save anyone. This transcends kind civility and extends to the workplace.

Q: How do you suppose the Protestant work ethic would be different from the Catholic work ethic? How would this apply in the workplace?

The Hypocrisy of Calvinistic Dualists

He is no true Calvinist who affirms God’s sovereignty in all matters but vocation.

Calvin focused on our living in the divine presence. He understood that God’s sovereignty was all-encompassing. Divine election is practically reduced to a footnote; His sovereignty touches everything.

Q: Regarding “vocation,” who is doing the calling? What difference does this make?
Q: How does the Christian man consciously live – and work – in the “divine presence?”

The Indispensability of the Christian Worker

The Christian who obeys the New Testament instruction will be indispensable in the workplace.

Read the following:

  • 1 Corinthians 10:31
  • Ephesians 6:5-8
  • Philippians 2:14
  • Philippians 4:11
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22
  • 1 Peter 2:18

Q: Would a worker who lives by these principles have more or less freedom to speak about Christ at work?
Q: Would a worker who lives by these principles be valuable to his employer?

Recommended Resources

 The following recommendations are not the only good resources on the subject but are those that the elders found to be helpful in their own thinking about working as Christians.

For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.
As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. (2 Thessalonians 3:10–13, ESV)

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. (Colossians 3:23–24, ESV)


  • 2 Thessalonians 3:10-13
  • “The Gospel Makes You a Revolutionary: Work” by Bob Glenn sermon audio series (Parts one, two, three, and four)
  • Business by the Book by Larry Burkett (Amazon)
  • Business for the Glory of God by Wayne Grudem (Amazon)


  • Human Responsibility Under God: The Dominion Mandate by Kenneth MacLeod (Amazon)
  • God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life by Gene Veith (Amazon)
  • Lectures on Calvinism by Abraham Kuyper (Amazon; PDF download; audio)


  • Total Truth by Nancy Pearcy (Amazon)
  • “Enjoying the Process” sermon audio (Parts one and two)
  • “What Is Man” sermon audio and notes (Parts one and two)
  • Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin, Book III: “The Way in Which We Receive the Grace of Christ: What Benefits Come to Us from It, and What Effects Follow.” (Amazon; online)
  • “A Theology of Work” video questions and answers with Doug Wilson (series)