2040 ERGATES (16): a workman, worker. Always a human in relation to his duties; either spiritual or physical work. For example, Lk.10.2: "And he said to them, 'The harvest indeed is great, but the workers (ergates) few. So then plead with the Master of the harvest that he would send out workers (ergates) into his harvest.'"
2038 ERGAZOMAI (39): to work. Ergazomai may refer to doing either spiritual or physical work (The noun form, ergon, refers only to spiritual work.). In Jn.6.27 ergazomai refers to both kinds of work: "Work (ergazomai) not [for] the food [that is] perishing (apollumi), but [for] the food remaining unto eternal life."
Ergazomai is used in context with its noun form ergon in Mk.14.6, Jn.3.21, 6.27-30, 9.3-4, Act.13.41 and 1Co.16.10. In these passages both noun and verb forms should be translated "work" rather than "labor" or some other synonym. For example, Act.13.41 (Hab.1.5): "Look, you+ despisers; marvel and vanish, for I work (ergazomai) a work (ergon) during your+ days, a work (ergon) which you+ will not trust [even] if someone describes it to you+." Similarly in Jn.3.21: "But the one who is doing the truth comes to the light, so that his works (ergon) may become apparent, that they are worked (ergazomai) in God."
Ergazomai occurs in context with "to toil or labor" (2872 kopiao) in 1Co.4.12 and Eph.4.28. This usage of ergazomai means work done or the specific means employed, while kopiao refers to general laboring or toiling, as in 1Co.4.11-12: "Until the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and are naked and are beaten, and are homeless and toil (kopiao), working (ergazomai) with [our] own hands; being reviled we bless, being persecuted we endure...". Ergazomai is similarly used with "labor" (2873 kopos) in Mt.26.10, Mk.14.6, 1Th.2.9, 2Th.3.8. For example, 2Th.3.8: "...nor did we eat free bread from anyone, but working (ergazomai) night and day with toil (kopos) and struggle, to not burden any one of you+." Also, Mt.26.10: "And knowing [this] Jesus said to them: 'Why do you belabor (kopos) the woman? for she worked (ergazomai) a good work (ergon) on me'"
Ergazomai is also akin to "operate" (1754 energeo), "to work out" (2716 katergazomai), "be a busybody" (4020 periergazomai) and "work together" (4903 sunergeo).
TO DO PHYSICAL WORK:
TO DO SPIRITUAL WORK:
TO DO SPIRITUALLY EVIL WORK:
2041 ERGON (169): work. In the FCM (NT) ergon always represents free-will work (activity) by a spirit being or by a human in obedience to or rebellion against God's spiritual principles, even in the application of Jesus' parable of Mk.13.34: "[It is] as a person away from home, leaving his house and giving his slaves authority, each to his [own] work (ergon). And he commanded the doorman that he should watch." Note that each slave has the responsibility of working (ergon) his own assignment on his own initiative. The doorman's only assignment was to watch.
In the English language, works, deeds and actions can often be considered synonymous. But in view of the consistent application of ergon to spiritual works, it is advisable to translate ergon as "works" in the FCM so that the reader will be more apt to grasp its spiritual connotation. Most translations inconsistently translate ergon as "works", "deeds" (NASB) or "what they had done" (NIV) in controversial passages such as Rev.20.12-15. "Deeds" may sound pretty, but it implies that ergon means something other than "works."
Ergon occurs with "labor" (2872 kopiao) or (2873 kopos) in: Mt.26.10, Mk.14.6, 1Co.15.58, 1Th.1.3, 5.12, Rev.2.2, 14.13. For example 1Co.15.58: "So then, my precious brothers, become firm, unmovable, always abounding in the work (ergon) of the Master, knowing that your+ labor (kopos) in the Master is not wasted." Ergon is the spiritually motivated act, kopos is the effort.
A person's work (ergon) may be described as: "perfect," Jas.1.4; "of law" (Rom.3.20,27,28,9.32, Gal.2.16, 3.2,5,10); "of trust," 1Th.1.3; "of ungodliness" Jud.15; "reproved" (Jn.3.20); unfruitful (Eph.5.11); "dead" (Heb.6.1 and 9.14) and "of darkness" (Rom.3.13).
SPIRITUAL WORKS BY BEINGS ACTING ON THEIR OWN INITIATIVE:
Freedom of action in working is evident and can be seen in every FCM usage of ergon, in the actions of spiritual beings as well as those of humans. No FCM passage forces a human to work. However there are motivating incentives: in the physical realm, "he that will not work (2038 ergazomai), neither let him eat" (2Th.3.1); in the spiritual realm, "And this is the condemnation: 'The light has come into the [human] world and humans loved darkness rather than the light, for their works (ergon) were evil'" (Jn.3.19).
THE WORKS OF GOD: Heb.4.4: "For thus has he declared somewhere concerning the seventh [day]: 'And God rested the seventh [day] from all of his works (ergon).'"
THE WORKS OF GOD DONE THROUGH JESUS: Jn.10.37-38: "If I do not do my Father's works (ergon), do not trust me; but if I do [his works], even if you+ do not trust me, trust the works (ergon), so that you+ may know and understand that the Father [is] in me and I in the Father."
THE WORKS OF JESUS: (Some of these show Jesus doing his Father's desires.) Lk.24.19: "...What things? And they said to him, 'The things about Jesus the Nazarene, a man who was a spokesman, powerful in work (ergon) and message before God and all the people.'"
Jn.5.36: "But I have testimony greater [than that] of John; for the works (ergon) which the Father has given me that I may finish them, the works which I do testify [them]selves concerning me, that the Father has sent me."
THE WORKS OF GOD OR JESUS DONE THROUGH A HUMAN: 1Co.16.10: "Now if Timothy comes, see that he comes to you+ without fear, for he works (ergazomai) the work (ergon) of [the] Master, as I [do] also."
GOOD WORK OF HUMANS ("good work" is in the text, or contextually implied): TEXT: Mt.5.16: "So, let your+ light shine before men, so that they may see your+ good works and magnify your+ Father in the heavens."
CONTEXT: Jn.6.28-29: "...'What may we do that we may work (ergazomai) the works (ergon) of God?' Jesus answered them and said, 'This is the work (ergon) of God, that you+ trust in [him] whom he sent.'"
HUMAN WORKS THAT MAY BE EITHER GOOD OR EVIL:
SPECIFIC WORKS: Rom.3.20: "...because no flesh will be justified before him by works of law; for through law [is] full knowledge of wrongdoing."
WORKS IN GENERAL: 2Pe.3.10: "But the day of [the] Master will come as a thief, in which [day] the heavens will pass away with a rushing sound, and [the] burning elements will be dissolved, and [the] earth and the works (ergon) in it will be burned up."
EVIL, WRONGFUL WORKS OF HUMANS: Gal.5.19-21: "Now the works (ergon) of the flesh are apparent, which are these: sexual immorality, filthiness, lewdness, idol service, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfishness, dissentions, factions, envyings, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these..."
THE DEVIL'S EVIL WORKS: 1Jn.3.8: "He that is [continually] doing sin is of the Devil, for the Devil is [continually] sinning from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for for this, so that he might unbind the works (ergon) of the Devil."
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