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  • Biblical work

    "And God made (worked) the firmament, and divided the waters whcih were under the firmament from the waters which were over the firmament; and it was so" - Genesis 1:7

    "Thus, the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work (workmanship) which he had made (worked). And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work (workmanship) which God created and made (worked)." - Genesis 2:1-3

    Modern evangelical Christians tend to treat the word 'work' as a dirty word. Many are taken aback when the 's' is added to the end of 'work.' It is interesting that we have negative feelings about a word in a noun form, and yet as a verb, we don't. Everyone has good feelings about the word "gift", and yet the verb "give" has some negative connotations because it implies personal sacrifice. So, how does one arrive at the things we call "works" if the actions of "work" are not undertaken? How can the actions or "work" be good-and the noun describing it he bad?

    Ephesians 2:8 says: "(we are saved)....not of works, lest anyone should boast." And then in the next verse it says "...we are His workmanship, created in Messiah Yeshua for good works...."

    then James in 2:20 says "....faith without works is dead."

    Clearly we need to understand teh relationship between the verb "to work" and the noun "works" - perhaps we can clarify the intent of these verses.

    Noting Genesis 2:1-3, the noun "work" can sometimes be confused with the noun "to work." English does this well. It really tells much about oour perceptions of work, what 'work' is. We use the word as a verb and as a noun almost interchangeably, sometimes in ways we cannot readily distinguish. When we say we are 'going to go to work', do we mean we are going to go to a place to do work, or are we going to a place called work? Here is a snapshot of the western mindset - the confusion between symbolism and substance, between thinking and doing..

    The primary Hebrew word used for the verb "to work" is "asah". "Asah" is one of the most frequently used verbs in the Hebrew Scriptures. It is often rendered "do" or "made" in English. It is a word that carries some of the same cut and dried approach when we say "just do it!"

    The first occurance of "asah" is in Genesis 1:7. It gives us an idea of how we approach the word 'work', and our responsibilit to doing it.

    Genesis 1:6 "Then God said, 'Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
    Genesis 1:7 "And God made (worked) the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so."

    God's creative acts are found in verb form in verse 1-6, so why use this "to work" verb here in verse 7? Why didn't God simply continue to use the previous verbs used to describe His creative actions? Surely there is significance to each of the verbs used to descible what God did in the act of creation. For instance, in verse 4, God 'divided' the light from the darkenss. In verse 7, God divided the firmament (expanse). Like verse four, this is a creative act that is worthy of study in itself, but we learn that the action of "dividing" in verse 7 is preceded by the "making" of the object that would be used in the act of dividing later on - specifically that God "made (asah)" the firmament. The focus is on the word "asah (work)". The object that God worked (asah) apparently had a purpose - that is ti serve as a division or separator between "the wates above" and "the waters below." The creative act of "making" is the word "asah." Notice in verse 6 he "said" for this "to be" - and then follows it up in verse 7 with doing it.

    The principles laid out in Ezekiel 22:26 seem to apply here - the principals of "tamei (unclean) and t'hor (clean) and chol (profane) and K'dosh (Holy). In this verse, God identified ways for determining, and hence, choosing between things. He gave two particular realms to see distinction:

    tamei vs. t'hor (unclean vs. clean)
    chol vs. K'dosh (profane (or common) vs. holy (or sanctified)

    The primary purpose for giving a way to discern in these areas was to teach how to divide or separate. In the realm of 'tamei' vs. t'hor. we can see specific instructions for God's people to make daily choices in quote common things, for example what to eat, wear, etc. Although the word "tamei" is not specifically used in relation to the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and evil, the realm is the same - what Adam and Eve were to NOT EAT as opposed to what they COULD EAT. God gave a choice to them in this - and a way to divide (choose) between what would give whokeness (tree of life) and what would bring fragmentation and brokeness (tree of knowledge of good and evil).

    God uses these principles to teach us to exercise our 'chooser' and learn to divide and separate between what He desires for us and what we desire for ourselves.

    So, right back to Genesis 1:7 - and the use of the word "asah". God made (asah) something to serve a purpose of separating two things He was dividing. so the word "asah" also serves that purpose for us. When we 'work' (or do) we are making something that serves as a divider - a separator between things.

    In the Sepuagint, "asah" is translated "poieo." Poieo is first used in the NT in Matthew 1:24:

    "The Joseph being raised from sleep did (poieo) as the angel of the LORD had bidden him, and took unto him his wife."

    We see the Joseph had a choice - obey or disobey. His choice constituted a 'division' or separation between the two. He was able to discern the correct path and take it.

    In many verses in the Bible (I can list many if asked), our passive practices continue to be challenged. We are challenged to do, not simply think.

    "But when the kindness and the love of God our Savioour toward man appeared, not by the works of righteoousness which we have done (poieo), but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Messiah Yeshua our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life." - Titus 3:4-7

    What we are uncovering in these action words is not a method for achieving righteousness - but rather the responsibility of those who have been declared righteous by grace. Righteous works are what the righteous do, because the obey the Righteous One - God. We continue to se that the 'works' we work (asah, poieo) are given to us -- as a responsibility and as a gift -

    "For we are His workmanship, created in Messiah Yeshua for good works, whcih God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." - Eph 2:10
    Those who seek God with all their heart will find Him and be given sight. Those who seek their own agenda will remain blind.

  • #2
    Originally posted by keck553 View Post
    "And God made (worked) the firmament, and divided the waters whcih were under the firmament from the waters which were over the firmament; and it was so" - Genesis 1:7

    "Thus, the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work (workmanship) which he had made (worked). And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work (workmanship) which God created and made (worked)." - Genesis 2:1-3

    Modern evangelical Christians tend to treat the word 'work' as a dirty word. Many are taken aback when the 's' is added to the end of 'work.' It is interesting that we have negative feelings about a word in a noun form, and yet as a verb, we don't. Everyone has good feelings about the word "gift", and yet the verb "give" has some negative connotations because it implies personal sacrifice. So, how does one arrive at the things we call "works" if the actions of "work" are not undertaken? How can the actions or "work" be good-and the noun describing it he bad?

    Ephesians 2:8 says: "(we are saved)....not of works, lest anyone should boast." And then in the next verse it says "...we are His workmanship, created in Messiah Yeshua for good works...."

    then James in 2:20 says "....faith without works is dead."

    Clearly we need to understand teh relationship between the verb "to work" and the noun "works" - perhaps we can clarify the intent of these verses.

    Noting Genesis 2:1-3, the noun "work" can sometimes be confused with the noun "to work." English does this well. It really tells much about oour perceptions of work, what 'work' is. We use the word as a verb and as a noun almost interchangeably, sometimes in ways we cannot readily distinguish. When we say we are 'going to go to work', do we mean we are going to go to a place to do work, or are we going to a place called work? Here is a snapshot of the western mindset - the confusion between symbolism and substance, between thinking and doing..

    The primary Hebrew word used for the verb "to work" is "asah". "Asah" is one of the most frequently used verbs in the Hebrew Scriptures. It is often rendered "do" or "made" in English. It is a word that carries some of the same cut and dried approach when we say "just do it!"

    The first occurance of "asah" is in Genesis 1:7. It gives us an idea of how we approach the word 'work', and our responsibilit to doing it.

    Genesis 1:6 "Then God said, 'Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
    Genesis 1:7 "And God made (worked) the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so."

    God's creative acts are found in verb form in verse 1-6, so why use this "to work" verb here in verse 7? Why didn't God simply continue to use the previous verbs used to describe His creative actions? Surely there is significance to each of the verbs used to descible what God did in the act of creation. For instance, in verse 4, God 'divided' the light from the darkenss. In verse 7, God divided the firmament (expanse). Like verse four, this is a creative act that is worthy of study in itself, but we learn that the action of "dividing" in verse 7 is preceded by the "making" of the object that would be used in the act of dividing later on - specifically that God "made (asah)" the firmament. The focus is on the word "asah (work)". The object that God worked (asah) apparently had a purpose - that is ti serve as a division or separator between "the wates above" and "the waters below." The creative act of "making" is the word "asah." Notice in verse 6 he "said" for this "to be" - and then follows it up in verse 7 with doing it.

    The principles laid out in Ezekiel 22:26 seem to apply here - the principals of "tamei (unclean) and t'hor (clean) and chol (profane) and K'dosh (Holy). In this verse, God identified ways for determining, and hence, choosing between things. He gave two particular realms to see distinction:

    tamei vs. t'hor (unclean vs. clean)
    chol vs. K'dosh (profane (or common) vs. holy (or sanctified)

    The primary purpose for giving a way to discern in these areas was to teach how to divide or separate. In the realm of 'tamei' vs. t'hor. we can see specific instructions for God's people to make daily choices in quote common things, for example what to eat, wear, etc. Although the word "tamei" is not specifically used in relation to the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and evil, the realm is the same - what Adam and Eve were to NOT EAT as opposed to what they COULD EAT. God gave a choice to them in this - and a way to divide (choose) between what would give whokeness (tree of life) and what would bring fragmentation and brokeness (tree of knowledge of good and evil).

    God uses these principles to teach us to exercise our 'chooser' and learn to divide and separate between what He desires for us and what we desire for ourselves.

    So, right back to Genesis 1:7 - and the use of the word "asah". God made (asah) something to serve a purpose of separating two things He was dividing. so the word "asah" also serves that purpose for us. When we 'work' (or do) we are making something that serves as a divider - a separator between things.

    In the Sepuagint, "asah" is translated "poieo." Poieo is first used in the NT in Matthew 1:24:

    "The Joseph being raised from sleep did (poieo) as the angel of the LORD had bidden him, and took unto him his wife."

    We see the Joseph had a choice - obey or disobey. His choice constituted a 'division' or separation between the two. He was able to discern the correct path and take it.

    In many verses in the Bible (I can list many if asked), our passive practices continue to be challenged. We are challenged to do, not simply think.

    "But when the kindness and the love of God our Savioour toward man appeared, not by the works of righteoousness which we have done (poieo), but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Messiah Yeshua our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life." - Titus 3:4-7

    What we are uncovering in these action words is not a method for achieving righteousness - but rather the responsibility of those who have been declared righteous by grace. Righteous works are what the righteous do, because the obey the Righteous One - God. We continue to se that the 'works' we work (asah, poieo) are given to us -- as a responsibility and as a gift -

    "For we are His workmanship, created in Messiah Yeshua for good works, whcih God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." - Eph 2:10
    What therefore are the works of righteousness according to the word?

    Firstfruits

    Comment


    • #3
      What God says is. Everything else is common.
      Those who seek God with all their heart will find Him and be given sight. Those who seek their own agenda will remain blind.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by keck553 View Post
        What God says is. Everything else is common.
        Is that righteousness according to the gospel of Christ?

        Firstfruits

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Firstfruits View Post
          Is that righteousness according to the gospel of Christ?

          Firstfruits
          Is the God of the Gospel some new-aged God that replaced the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?
          Those who seek God with all their heart will find Him and be given sight. Those who seek their own agenda will remain blind.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by keck553 View Post
            Is the God of the Gospel some new-aged God that replaced the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?
            Rom 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

            This is what God promised Abraham.

            Firstfruits

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm all confused again. Not with the Scripture, but with your question.
              Those who seek God with all their heart will find Him and be given sight. Those who seek their own agenda will remain blind.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by keck553 View Post
                I'm all confused again. Not with the Scripture, but with your question.
                What are the works of righteousness by which we should live?

                What is the righteousness of the Gospel of Christ?

                Firstfruits

                Comment


                • #9
                  The only righteous works are those defined by God. Anything else is common, no matter how good we think our intentions are.
                  Those who seek God with all their heart will find Him and be given sight. Those who seek their own agenda will remain blind.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by keck553 View Post
                    The only righteous works are those defined by God. Anything else is common, no matter how good we think our intentions are.
                    Are all works of righteousness valid in the sight of God?

                    Firstfruits

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      depends on the heart condition and motivation.
                      Those who seek God with all their heart will find Him and be given sight. Those who seek their own agenda will remain blind.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by keck553 View Post
                        depends on the heart condition and motivation.
                        How would you apply what you have said with regards to the following?

                        Phil 1:11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

                        Phil 3:6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

                        Phil 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

                        Firstfruits

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Righteousness comes from God through Yeshua, not ourselves. All you have to do is allow the inner righteousness God gave you to have control over your corrupt, visible flesh. This is how we conform to His image and renew (reprogram if you like) our minds.
                          Those who seek God with all their heart will find Him and be given sight. Those who seek their own agenda will remain blind.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by keck553 View Post
                            Righteousness comes from God through Yeshua, not ourselves. All you have to do is allow the inner righteousness God gave you to have control over your corrupt, visible flesh. This is how we conform to His image and renew (reprogram if you like) our minds.
                            If according to the following doing the things contained in the law are no longer valid for righteousness which as you say can only be attained by faith in Christ, then what are the works of righteousness we should follow after?

                            Rom 10:3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
                            Rom 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

                            Firstfruits

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by keck553 View Post
                              Righteousness comes from God through Yeshua, not ourselves. All you have to do is allow the inner righteousness God gave you to have control over your corrupt, visible flesh. This is how we conform to His image and renew (reprogram if you like) our minds.
                              If you could - please show how we have any righteousness of our own now. I've never seen that in scripture.
                              Seek ye FIRST the kingdom.
                              Not second or third, but first.
                              Only when all else pales to God, when He receives all glory,
                              when He is the source of all hope,
                              when His love is received and freely given,
                              holding not to the world but to the promise to come,
                              will all other things be added unto to you.

                              Comment

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