Saturday, November 21, 2009


Mat 20:1-16
1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2 Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 and said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. 5 Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’ 7 They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.’
8 “So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’ 9 And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius. 10 But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius. 11 And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner, 12 saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’ 13 But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.”
I love this parable.

With it as an introduction let's consider this situation. Your work contract reads exactly as follows;
"You shall be paid (at the agreed rate) for attending your place of employment. Additional rewards shall be paid to you based on performance (in your place of employment) at the completion of this phase of your career pending exacting evaluation. Instances of good performance will be rewarded, but instances of poor performance will detract from the overall reward paid out."
I should note that this article stems from my considering things from Fred Lybrand's Back To Faith. This book is a technical, challenging and even exciting read. I highly suggest you read it.

Please consider these 8 questions;
  1. Will you be paid if you show up?
  2. Will you be paid if you don't show up?
  3. Will you be paid if you show up but do not work?
  4. Will you be paid based on how much work you do?
  5. Will you be paid if you show up but are unwilling to work?
  6. Will you be paid if you are willing to work but never actually show up?
  7. Will you be paid for good work you do from home?
  8. Will you be paid if you for good work you do in your place of employment?
Now I don't want anyone to think that I THINK that Salvation is a payment we receive... I struggled with wording the work contract properly.. and that's as close as I could get. A bit of grace?

Scripture tells us that Christians are "created in Christ Jesus for good works." Eph 2:10 but that we are saved by Grace through Faith, not based on works. Eph 2:8-9 and that our salvation is available to the ungodly one who does not work Rom 4:5:-8

Interestingly enough Rom 4:1-5 speaks to my discussion above;

1 What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. 5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness

We are created in Christ Jesus TO work, but our salvation has nothing to do with work. We are saved by "showing up" not by being willing to work.

Your willingness to work doesn't save you. That's "Willingness" just like the people in John 6:28 had. They were willing to work, but Jesus said that instead of being willing to work they had to attend the place of employment - they had to believe. John 6:29

Willingness to work is not faith. Willingness to trust is not faith. Only actually trusting is faith.

When you trust the Christ of the Gospel 1 Cor 15:1-11 then you will be saved and in doing so you'll be "attending your place of employment." Salvation is free, just show up.

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