Submission to Masters

Slavery existed in South America even before North America, but with these significant differences: In North America slaves lived at a bare subsistence level; the enslaved were mere chattels, bought and sold as such. In South America a slave was treated as a person, not an ob … More


Peter writes about the Christian household slaves and his obligation to his master. At that time slavery was a way of life in the Roman empire and historical records say that there were over sixty million slaves. Some of the newly converted slaves thought that being a Christian guaranteed them personal and political freedom, and this created problems for them and the churches (I Cor. 7:18-20).

Slavery in the Roman Empire not only involved those who did menial tasks but included doctors, teachers, musicians, secretaries, etc. In fact, all works were done by slaves. The Roman attitude was that there was no point in being a person of position and doing one’s own work. In Roman laws a slave was not a person but a thing and he had no legal rights.

Even though we do not have Christian slaves in America today, what Peter wrote may be applied to employees. We must be submissive to those who are over us whether they are kind or unkind to us. According to these verses, when a Christian employee is wronged by an unbelieving boss he needs to “take it patiently” even though he is not in the wrong. We must always remember that our relationship to God is far more important than our relationship to men. Anyone can argue and fight back but it takes a real Christian to submit and let the Lord fight his battles (Romans 12:16-21).


Which of the following best describes my reaction toward those who I feel mistreat or mis-use me?    

  1. Pray for them
  2. Tell them off
  3. Fight back
  4. Practice what Peter has just said

I Peter 2:18-20 (English Standard Version)

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