And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,
Many Christians struggle with the idea that vocational or full-time ministry is holy and the secular jobs that they do are not holy or are less holy. In the New Testament, under the New Covenant we do not see this differentiation. We are encouraged to do everything we do as unto the Lord. Everything we do is an act of worship to a loving father.
So where did this idea of holy and secular come from? Why is it so accepted in some Christian churches? It all began in the religions that were practiced before Jesus. These religions all had a similar idea that we needed someone to approach God for us, to act as a mediator on our behalf. It was expected that these mediators or go-betweens would be in some sense holy, separated and purified from this “unholy” world. We see this concept in pagan religions and also in Judaism with the Levitical priesthood and the temple cast that adhered to strict rituals for holiness. (This was valid as before Jesus paid the price for sin, we had no direct access to God.)
The new believers in Jesus, brought their cultures and previous ideas of doing things into the early church. Some were able to shed past ideas and move into the freedom provided by Jesus and some were less able to do so. These ideas have persisted to the present and are reinforced by leaders who don’t understand that we are no longer under the covenant God made with Moses and the Israelites. We are under a new and better covenant with better promises.
But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
As we said above, the New testament draws no distinction between serving God in a holy or secular way. We have one high priest, Jesus who mediates between God and men. We are all peers, fellow workers in the Great Commission to spread the Gospel to all men.
Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
1 Timothy 2:5
For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,
For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.
We are all called to different tasks so that the body of Christ can grow and be strong (1 Corinthians 12:12, 14, 17-27). A small number of Christians are called to serve in the church. The majority of us are called to go into the world, the market place and share Jesus there, as we work among the lost.