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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Slaves and Masters: Ephesians 6:5-9

Ephesians 6:5-9

“Slaves and Masters”

5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters
with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart,

Question: What made them masters? What made them slaves?

In order to become a slave…what happened? You owed! Who? The Master. You owe…you then must obey. It’s a contract. Slaves obey…thus fulfill your contract by doing your job. Why with reverence? The reverence is for your overseer. He has a job to do and you are working for him. Why with fear? In this scenario, it is about respect for his right to judge your work. Why with sincerity of heart? Sincerity of heart is simply concentrating on doing the job.

just as you would obey Christ.
6 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.
7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men,
8 because you know that the Lord will reward
everyone for whatever good he does,
whether he is slave or free.

Would you obey Christ? Why? Is it because it is the right thing to do? Why obey the masters? Again, it is the right thing to do, for it is a contact that you have placed yourself in. The contracted job needs to be done whether the master is watching you or not. Your True Master is God who is in heaven and sees all. He knows how you became a slave…he knows what you are capable of. Isn’t He the One who gives you the strength to accomplish the task?

9And 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.


Isn’t this true for both slave and master? There is no need to threaten…the purpose is to get the job done. Be reasonable in getting the job done. The masters role is to use the contracted help in order to get the job done. He is not the creator of the slave. He owns the contract…not the slave. Remember in the times of slavery talked about in the Old Testament, these contracts have a time limit. Slavery then in the times of Christ and before, and slavery that we know about today (for example, making people “cattle” in which they are owned) are two entirely different things. One is a time limited contract, and the other is permanent ownership.

Can you see how this verse has a “layered meaning”. First, for this world and how it can be viewed…and second, how this verse is also talking about the condition of the body after the time line or “this life” is over?


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