Slaves & Masters
Ephesians 6:5-9, "Slaves, obey your earthly
masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart,
just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their
favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ,
doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly,
as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know
that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does,
whether he is slave or free.
And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten
them, since you know that he who is both their Master and
yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him."
In verse 5 Paul is saying, 'Slaves, obey your physical masters--esteem
other's higher than yourselves.' But Paul is also showing
us and them that they have a higher freedom. Christianity
doesn't instigate revolution.
Psalm 75:4-7, "To the arrogant I say, 'Boast no more,' and
to the wicked, 'Do not lift your horns against heaven; do
not speak with outstretched neck.' No one from the east or
the west or from the desert can exalt a man. But it is God
who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another." To buck
authority is to buck God himself.
1 Peter 2:13-25, "Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to
every authority instituted among men: whether to the king,
as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by
him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who
do right. For it is God's will that by doing good you should
silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. Live as free men,
but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as
servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the
brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.
Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect,
not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to
those who are harsh. For it is commendable if a man bears
up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious
of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating
for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing
good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To
this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving
you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
"He committed no sin, And no deceit
was found in his mouth. [Isa. 53:9]"
When they hurled their insults at him, he
did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead,
he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself
bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die
to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have
been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now
you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls."
Romans 13:1-6, "Everyone must submit himself to the governing
authorities, for there is no authority except that which God
has established. The authorities that exist have been established
by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority
is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who
do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no
terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong.
Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority?
Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God's
servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for
he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant,
an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore,
it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because
of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This
is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants,
who give their full time to governing."
Romans 12:1, "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of
God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy
and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship."
How do we do this? By surrendering fully to God, so the Holy
Spirit enters us (more fully), and when we sacrifice our own
wills to the will of the Spirit then Romans 12:1 can be fulfilled
in us. Romans 12:9-21, "Love must be sincere. Hate what is
evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in
brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never
be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving
the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful
in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice
with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in
harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing
to associate with people of low position. Do no be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is
right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far
as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not
take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath,
for it is written: 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay,' [Deut.
32:35.] says the Lord. On the contrary: 'If your enemy is
hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to
drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.'
[Prov. 25:21-22.] Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome
evil with good."
The following Scripture shows us the plane we want to be living
on if you want to see the good life. This is the secret to
Paul's inner peace, in spite of the hellish outside circumstances
he lived in.
Galatians 2:20. "I have been crucified
with Christ and I no longer live, But Christ lives in me.
The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son
of God, Who loved me and gave himself for me."
The next section of Ephesians 6 is about
putting on the whole armor of God. In effect, putting on this
armor is accomplished by putting on Christ, which Paul so
apply just described in Galatians 2:20. So before I get into
the specifics of explaining this armor, I have inserted something
to show you how we put that armor on, for the armor is Jesus
Christ and Him in us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.