The Christian Citizen Part 4: His Duty in Business & Employment

I Thessalonians 4:11,12: Ephesians 6:5-9
       Study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; that ye may walk honestly toward them that are without and that ye may have lack of nothing.
       Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. And ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.

JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): Men were created to employ themselves in some work, and not to lie down in inactivity and idleness.

JOHN WESLEY (1703-1791): It was a rule among the Jews―and why is it not among the Christians?―to bring up all their children to some trade, were they ever so rich or noble.

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): Rabbi Judah says, “He that teaches not his son a trade is as if he taught him to be a thief.”―Though Paul was bred a scholar, yet he was master of a handicraft trade. He was a tent-maker [and] though he was entitled to a maintenance from the churches he had planted, and from the people to whom he preached, yet he worked at his calling to get bread.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): Some persons have the foolish notion that the only way in which they can live for God is by becoming ministers, missionaries, or Bible women. Alas! how many would be shut out from any opportunity of magnifying the Most High if this were the case…God is most surely glorified in that cobbler’s stall, where the godly worker, as he plies the awl, sings of the Saviour’s love―the name of Jesus is glorified by the poor unlearned carter as he drives his horse, and blesses his God, or speaks to his fellow labourer by the roadside, as much as by the popular divine who, throughout the country, like Boanerges, is thundering out the Gospel. God is glorified by our serving Him in our proper vocations.

MATTHEW HENRY: An honest trade, by which a man may get his bread, is not to be looked upon by any with contempt.

C. H. SPURGEON: There are some who are in positions of life which they ought to give up: positions which are sinful, and cannot be held by persons who are honest, truthful, and chaste…If they are engaged in a trade which, in the very essence of it, is bad, let them get away from it.

JOHN GILL (1697-1771): “Let him that stole, steal no more; but rather let him labour, working with his hands, the thing which is good,” Ephesians 4:28―Labouring with diligence and industry, at any manufacture, trade, or business, which is honest, lawful, and of good report.

THOMAS FULLER (1608-1661): Honesty is a fine jewel, but much out of fashion.

C. H. SPURGEON: A false declaration, a fraudulent statement, a cooked account, a slander, a lie—all these may suit the assembly of the ungodly, but are detested among true saints: how could they have fellowship with the God of truth, if they did not hate every false way?

JOHN WESLEY: Godliness and honesty must go together―Honesty! a comprehensive word taking in the whole duty we owe to our neighbour.

ADAM CLARKE (1760-1832): Because honesty and plain-dealing are so rare in the world, none but the truly religious man will practice them farther than the fear of the law obliges him…It is possible for an unfaithful servant to wrong and defraud his master in a great variety of ways without being detected; but let all such remember [that] God sees him, and will punish him for his breach of honesty and trust, Colossians 3:25.

C. H. SPURGEON: Take care you do not dishonour your profession while in it. Think little of yourselves, but do not think too little of your callings.

JOHN CALVIN: He who disregards his calling will never keep the straight path in the duties of his work.

MATTHEW HENRY: Christianity does not discharge us from the work and duty of our particular callings, but teaches us to be diligent therein.

C. H. MACKINTOSH (1820-1896): If I am at the head of business, the claims of that business must be duly met. If I am a hired servant, I must attend to my work. To fail in any of these, would be to dishonour the Lord, instead of serving Him.

GEORGE MÜLLER (1805-1898): It has often been mentioned to me, in various places, that brethren in business do not sufficiently attend to the keeping of promises, and I cannot therefore but entreat all who love our Lord Jesus, and who are engaged in a trade or business, to seek for His sake not to make any promises, except they have every reason to believe they shall be able to fulfill them, and therefore carefully to weigh all the circumstances, before making any engagement, lest they should fail in its accomplishment.

C. H. SPURGEON: Be punctual. Some men won’t be in time in eternity. As for myself, I never mean to be the late Mr. Spurgeon as long as I live.

GEORGE MÜLLER: It is even in these little ordinary affairs of life that we may either bring much honour or dishonour to the Lord; and these are the things which every unbeliever can take notice of. Why should it be so often said, and sometimes with a measure of ground, or even much ground: “Believers are bad servants, bad tradesmen, bad masters”? Surely it ought not to be true that we, who have power with God to obtain by prayer and faith all needful grace, wisdom, and skill, should be bad servants, bad tradesmen, bad masters.

JOHN TRAPP (1601-1699): In serving men we serve the Lord Christ, going about our earthly businesses with heavenly minds, with not only an habitual, but an actual intention, as much as may be, of glorifying God in all.

MATTHEW HENRY: This will be to act as becomes the gospel, and will gain a good report from those that are strangers, yea, enemies to it…Observe, we are really doing our duty to God when we are faithful in our duty to men―a steady regard to the Lord Jesus Christ will make men faithful and sincere in every station of life.

C. H. MACKINTOSH: We may see the same thing in angelic ministry. It matters not to an angel whether he be sent to destroy an army or to protect the person of some heir of salvation; it is the Master who entirely fills his vision. As some one has remarked, “if two angels were sent from heaven, one to rule an empire, and the other to sweep the streets, they would not dispute about their respective work.” This is most true, and so should it be with us.

JOHN GILL: There is no condition so mean but a man may live conscientiously in it, and glorify God in it; the meanest servant may do so.

C. H. SPURGEON: Every lawful trade may be sanctified by the Gospel to the noblest ends―the meanest work for Jesus is a grander thing than the dignity of an emperor…God never sent a man into the world to be idle.


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