Jun 13, 2021. Colossians 3:22-4:1

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HEAVEN’S SCORECARD.  Colossians 3:22-4:1.  6/13/2021. #12.

Colossians 3:22-4:1 [New King James Version]

22 Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. 23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.

4:1 Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

  1. God’s rules for a fallen world
    1. God allowed certain social conditions that in a perfect world would not exist at all
    1. The fall of man immediately produced difficult situations which necessitated choices between different evils (moral conflict)
      1.  Does Rahab lie or reveal where the spies are hid?
      1.  Does Samuel tell Saul about anointing David to replace him as king or keep the matter secret?
    1. After the fall, God allowed many things that would not be tolerated in an unfallen world:  polygamy, war, slavery, divorce, deception, tyranny, disease, famine, pestilence, extreme weather conditions, earthquakes, wild beasts…
    1. God allowed polygamy, for many women would starve as poor widows or be executed as captives of war 
    1. God allowed slavery for same reason he allowed polygamy
    1. God developed rules to control abuse of wives, slaves, the poor, workers, customers, and subjects (Leviticus, Deuteronomy)
  2. The ever watchful eye of God
    1. God expects us to obey him no matter what position we are holding in this world (servant, master, bond, free…)
      1.  Even if conditions are unjust, we are to be diligent & faithful in that role (II Kings 5 Naaman’s slave girl)
      1.  Joseph served well as a slave & as a prisoner
    1. Daniel served well as a captive of Babylon
    1. Must take our lot in life as Providential for a purpose
      1.  God places his people in places to be used by him:  Joseph, Esther, Ruth, Nehemiah, Daniel…
      1.  I Corinthians 7:17-24 none of the positions in this life will transfer into eternity
        1.  Being rich, poor, a ruler, a peasant = 0
        1.  James 4:13-16 life is short & endurable
        1.  Isaiah 65:17 positions held on earth will not even be remembered (Romans 8:18)
    1. The Lord gave rules for servants:
      1.  Be obedient to masters (this would be true of any authority above us: gov., leaders, bosses)
      1.  Avoid fleshly responses (disdain, resistance, cheating, stealing, revenge, hatred…)
      1.  Do not be eye servants
        1.  Those who work only when being watched
        1.  Men pleasers = manipulators & fraudulent
      1.  Sincere (“without wax”) – genuine, trustworthy…
    1. Serve in fear of the Lord: will give an account of service
      1.  Whatever position we are in, we represent Lord
      1.  Holiness transcends all contexts & positions
  3. The balance sheet
    1. Whatever we do (whether by choice, obligation, or force) we are to do it heartily (“from the soul”) with entire being as if you are doing it for the Lord (Ephesians 5:22-24)
    1. We spend far too much time complaining about our circumstances & too little time using it for the Lord
      1.  God rewards faithfulness in serving where you are
      1.  God will repay good for good & evil for evil
    1. No one is justified for responding negatively to situations
    1. Those who rule over others are judged by the Master
      1.  Authority is for benefit & not abuse
      1.  A leader has the power over others to do right or wrong by those under them & will be judged by it
    1. We can’t dismiss divine providence in our positions in life, health, circumstances, events, & roles (all to be used for God)

Key verse: 1 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.