Living Under Authority

Paul knew that he would win more friends by being a servant. Acts 27 and 28 tells how Paul was under arrest; traveling under Roman guard when the veteran missionary was shipwrecked on the island of Malta. It was a very cold day and “Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks....&q … More

Slavery

Paul is this Ephesian passage is telling servants to be obedient because they are really serving Christ and because doing a good job is the will of God (vv. 5-7). Slaves played a significant part in this society. There were probably over 6 million slaves in the Roman Empire in that day and slavery was an accepted institution. Because many slaves and owners had become Christians, the early church had to deal straightforwardly with the questions of master/slave relationships. The Lord is the true master in heaven and He will be the rewarder (v. 8). Slaves were to obey their master not just when they were being watched but all the time with inner motivation from the heart. They were to be obedient  not only to the good and gentle masters but also those that were harsh (I Peter 2:18). And the Masters were to be an example to the servants and treat them justly and fairly (Col. 4:1). Therefore, both servants and masters that are seeking to please the Lord should be motivated by Christ to do their best to please Him.

Slave owners were to treat their slaves with this same respect and not to threaten them (v. 9). They have the same Master in heaven, and He doesn’t have any favorites. Jesus said the way to be a ruler is first to be a servant (Matt. 25:21). Some examples of great men that were servants before God made them rulers in the Bible were: Joseph, Moses, Joshua and Nehemiah. Jesus said,"And whosoever  will be chief among you, let him be your servant” (Matt. 20:27). Therefore, we see that after a man becomes a leader, it is important that he leads by serving.

Application

I need to be leaning to serve others rather than looking for how others can serve me? Lord help me to look for people that I can help to be saved or to grow in the Lord.

Ephesians 6:5-9 (English Standard Version)


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