Literally, according to Reformed theologian R.C. Sproul, this Latin phrase“refers to something that takes place in the presence of, or before the face of, God. To live coram Deo is to live one’s entire life in the presence of God, under the authority of God, to the glory of God.” (Source: Ligonier Ministries) That’s why, as far as the Bible is concerned, our work is our worship to God. “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” (Colossians 3:23, ESV).
Actually, “full-time ministry” does not only refer to pastors but also to all believers. All of us are full-time in serving God. Whether we manage a business or lead a church, we are working for Him. According to Sproul, “This means that if a person fulfills his or her vocation as a steelmaker, attorney, or homemaker coram Deo, then that person is acting every bit as religiously as a soul-winning evangelist who fulfills his vocation. It means that David was as religious when he obeyed God’s call to be a shepherd as he was when he was anointed with the special grace of kingship. It means that Jesus was every bit as religious when He worked in His father’s carpenter shop as He was in the Garden of Gethsemane.” (Ibid)
|“[Coram Deo] means that Jesus was every bit as religious when He worked in His father’s carpenter shop as He was in the Garden of Gethsemane.” Image credit|
Of course, we work to earn a living. We work to meet the needs of our family. But even providing for their needs is proof of our faith in God. “People who don’t take care of their relatives, and especially their own families, have given up their faith. They are worse than someone who doesn’t have faith in the Lord.” (1 Timothy 5:8, CEV) Our office is a mission field and we as corporate employees are missionaries there.
|Our office is a mission field and we as corporate employees are missionaries there. Image credit|
That’s why we should be concerned with the quality and quantity of our work. “And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work.” (Colossians 3:22-25, The Message)
|“Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance.” Image credit|
Brethren, let us live “in the presence of, under the authority of, and to the glory of God.”