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1 Thessalonians 1:3 states (NIV):

 We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labour prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

I've checked it in several translations and most of them use these words. Only the Amplified version gave me a clue:

 Recalling unceasingly before our God and Father your work energized by faith and service motivated by love and unwavering hope in [the return of] our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).

This implies to me one of two options. Either:

  1. work is secular; service is Christian / church work or
  2. work is your day job, service is providing help to those in need.

What is the difference here between these two very similar words, work and labour?

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1 Answer 1

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We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

In the Greek 'work' (εργου) signifies external 'acts' done by people, which can be good or evil. In contrast to this 'labour' (κοπου) does not focus on the 'thing' itself but in the 'effort' behind it. In this context love is the striving motive spent in the production of a 'work'

It seems therefore that Paul is bringing in the 'faith, love and hope' aspect of Christian living in connection with deeds, effort and endurance. Faith is invisible but what we believe becomes evident to others by what we do and say. Love is motivating so it propels us to face the task and strive to achieve our hearts desire. Hope gives us strength to endure resistance when faith is tested because we know our effort will not go to waste as the future will be glorious and much better than today. Hope makes us courageous and optimistic.

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