Aug 16, 2020. Ephesians 6:5-9

Please click here for link to the audio and click here for the video (on YouTube) to either listen to or view this message. Please click here for the bulletin and Missions Update.

SUBMISSION TO SUPERIORS. Ephesians 6:5-9. 8/16/20. #32.

Ephesians 6:5-9 [New King James Version]

5 Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; 6 not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. 9 And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.

  • Contextual interpretation
    • There are many things allowed in the Bible that are accommodations to a fallen world
      • Deuteronomy 24 divorce and remarriage were allowed but are not in harmony with God’s will (Malachi 2:14)
      • Genesis 2:25 polygamy is not the will of God
      • John 8:36 God never intended that men should be enslaved, but allowed for it (Exodus 21)
    • Due to sin, God allowed certain acts not in his perfect will
      • It took centuries to overcome slavery in England (1833) and America (1865)
      • Murphy vs. Ramsey, et al (1885) declared that Utah couldn’t enter union until it outlawed polygamy
      • Slavery and polygamy still persist in many parts of the world today
    • The modern context of this passage is the employer/employee relationship
      • Your employer has a certain amount of control and authority over you
      • The employer will be judged by God as to how he treated his employees
  • Servant of the Lord
    • For the third time, Paul states that service must be “as unto the Lord (for wives, for children, and for servants)
      • Whatever we do we need to do it as for Lord
      • Integrity is to be maintained if we volunteer to do something or are compelled to do it
    • Joseph is a prime example of one who did his best as a son, slave, prisoner, or governor (Daniel, Nehemiah…)
    • Paul lists several reasons for a servant obeying a master:
      • Fear and Trembling: adverse consequences for those who rebel
      • Sincerity – displaying a genuine testimony of how a believer behaves in any circumstance
      • As unto the Lord – serving one’s earthly master as one would serve the Lord
      • Not as a men-pleaser = not only when being watched (integrity is doing right always)
      • As servants of the Lord = under bondage to Christ (the Lord has you in that situation)
      • Doing good as either free or slave is rewarded by the Lord
    • I Corinthians 7:17-24 Paul argues that this life is so short and that no temporal status will ever be remembered (Isaiah 65:17), it makes no difference in eternity at all (just do well!)
  • Masters beware!
    • Paul then warns those who have authority, that God will require an account from them (Matthew 18:23-35)
      • Luke 12:48 the one who holds the most authority, has the most responsibility and is held accountable to a higher standard ŵ greater judgment for abuse
      • Hebrews 9:27 all things will be brought to account
    • Romans 12:16-21 abuse on earth is recompensed in heaven
    • Paul particularly mentions threatening (rule by fear and arbitrary whims will receive equal judgment)
      • Matthew 7:2 whatever judgment we dispense on others will be the standard for your judgment
      • Judgment delayed is not judgment dismissed
    • Psalms 75:7 do well in whatever position you are called to

Key verse: I Corinthians 7:17-24

17 But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. And so I ordain in all the churches. 18 Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters. 20 Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called. 21 Were you called while a slave? Do not be concerned about it; but if you can be made free, rather use it. 22 For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. 24 Brethren, let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called.