Thursday, December 03, 2020

2020.12.03 Hopewell @Home ▫ Ephesians 6:5–9

Read Ephesians 6:5–9

Questions from the Scripture text: Whom does Ephesians 6:5 address? What are they to do to which masters? In what manner? With what heart? As unto Whom? What two things would hinder this kind of obedience (Ephesians 6:6)? What view of oneself helps this kind of obedience—what are we unto Christ? Whose will are we to do? From what? With what kind of will should we serve (Ephesians 6:7)? As unto Whom as opposed to whom? Who will repay good done in this manner (Ephesians 6:8)? To whom? Whom does Ephesians 6:9 address? To whom do the same principles apply? What must they not do? What do they have in heaven? Of what is there none with Him? 

We’re all slaves. Not necessarily in the way that Ephesians 6:5 means (although, those who sell most of their waking hours each week to a master probably feel more like than they’re willing to admit). But, believers are all slaves in the way that Ephesians 6:6 and Ephesians 6:9 mean. We’re bondslaves of Christ who have a Master in heaven.

So, whereas the apostle doesn’t command slavery to end (not all slavery in Rome was of the man-stealing kind that is condemned in 1 Timothy 1:9–11 and other places), he does bring all—slaves and masters—down to the same places.

It is incredibly freeing, if you are a slave, to know that your true Master is in heaven. The Lord Jesus will never abuse you, never disregard you, and always do you more good than you could ever earn. He’s worthy of doing any kind of service, 

which frees us to do our daily work as the highest of callings (“with fear and trembling,” Ephesians 6:5), 

out of love unto Jesus (“in sincerity of heart, as to Christ”), 

and with joyous diligence (“doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service”).

And it is incredibly humbling to the one who has no earthly master to know that he is under a heavenly Master (Ephesians 6:9). Threatening is easy to do if we feel like we are on top. But, the apostle warns those who are tempted to threaten that they are not unaccountable. There is no partiality with Him. Earthly masters are under just as much obligation to lead and govern cheerfully, diligently, kindly as earthly servants are to be obedient to them in that way.

Since the apostle began describing the Spirit-filled life (Ephesians 5:18), he has been taking us through the places where the light displays itself against the darkness, and the spiritual battle (cf. Ephesians 6:10 ff) is fought. Corporate worship. Marriage. Growing up as children. Parenting those children.

The workplace (whatever that workplace is, or whatever our role in it is) is another place where the battle is waged. And it is waged by cheerfulness, diligence, sincerity of heart, love to Jesus in menial/unrewarded jobs, and doing all of these things just as much so when Jesus is the only One looking.

Fight the spiritual war!

What is your least enjoyable task? Whom do you mistreat? How does being Jesus’s bondslave change both?

Suggested songs: ARP128 “How Blessed Are All Who Fear the Lord” or TPH534 “Fill Thou My Life, O Lord My God”

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