Article 104-2 – Work & Rest

Biblical Principles for Living

104-2.1 Human work and rest find their origin in the work and rest, or sabbath, of God.1 The original cycle of God’s work and rest at creation sets the pattern for human work and rest.2 Work and rest are therefore an essential part of God’s design for the human race.3 Humanity’s fall into sin brought a curse upon work and rest, resulting in pain, difficulty, and futility.4

104-2.2 Redemption lays the groundwork for the restoration of human work and rest to their place in the original creation.5 Christians are therefore to engage in work with honesty,6 diligence,7 and excellence,8 seeing their labor as an aspect of worship,9 service,10 and witness.11 Laziness is condemned in Scripture,12 as is poor and dishonest work13 and unjust treatment of workers.14

104-2.3 Christians should do their work both as a service to the Lord15 and as a calling from God,16 undertake it with dependence on Him,17 and enjoy its fruit as His blessing on their labors.18 Christians who supervise the work of others are responsible to treat them justly and pay them fairly, without threat or intimidation, realizing that they will answer to God for any injustice to those under them.19 Work is given both to supply the worker’s needs, and to allow the worker to provide for the needs of others.20

104-2.4 Christians should also observe the principle of rest in reverence for God,21 Who mercifully provides a weekly rest for weary workers. The law of Moses also required rest during the three annual feasts, and during the sabbatical and jubilee years.22 These establish a precedent for occasional opportunities of extended rest as the Lord provides.23 The principle of rest is violated when people fail to take proper physical and emotional rest.

104-2.5 Human work and rest will be consummated at the return of Jesus Christ, when He rewards Christians for their labor and invites them into His rest.24 In heaven, where the Christian will be completely free from sin’s curse, meaningful work for the Lord and glorious rest in His presence will continue forever.25

1 Gen.1:31; 2:1-3
2 Exo.20:8-11
3 Gen.1:28, 2:15
4 Gen.3:17-19; Ecc.2:17
5 Rom.8:18-25; 1Cor.15:57-58
6 Pro.11:1
7 Pro.12:24
8 Pro.22:29
9 Col.3:17,22
10 Col.3:23-24
11 1The.4:11,12; Tit.2:9,10
12 Pro.6:6-11; 2The.3:10-12
13 Pro.18:9; Amos 8:4-6
14 James 5:1-6
15 Eph.6:5-7
16 1Cor.7:17
17 Psa.127:1,2
18 Ecc.2:24; 5:18,19
19 Eph.6:9; Col.4:1
20 Pro.16:26; Eph.4:28
21 Deut.5:12-15
22 Lev.23,25
23 Mark 6:31
24 Matt.25:19-21; Heb.4:9-11
25 Rev.22:3

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