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Vocation (6 of 6)
Ephesians 6, Philemon
SERIES CONTEXT: Rome believed that the household was the smallest unit of government - therefore, if the Home was properly governed, the Empire would follow. It was common for teachers and philosophers to record these household codes in the 1st century. So you can expect these believers in Ephesus to wonder - now that we are worshipping a different God, we have embraced the gospel, will our house codes change?
As we have seen Paul has already addressed Husband and Wives, Parents and Children. NOW - he is going to address slave and Master.
KEEP IN MIND: Slavery in the First Century is so different from slavery in Pre-Civil War America that it really shouldn't be called the same thing.
• It was NOT race based
• It was NOT life-long (most were free by 30)
• It was voluntary by large part - rather than have to worry about getting a job, keeping a job, people would sell themselves into slavery for security.
• While a slave remained the master's property the slave could also own property, he could make investments, save to purchase his own freedom, even own his own slaves.
• It was world wide - practically every culture, for all of history had slaves.
So as it existed, slavery wasn't something the Apostles sensed the need to abolish. When slavery morphed into what it became in the 1700's - 1800's it was the Church who rose up and said, "this isn't right".
With that said, "The best equivalent to first century slave and masters are 21 century Employer and Employees". It pertains to your occupation.
Now - doesn't it seem strange that in a section that seems to be dealing with the family Paul addresses occupations? We get parents, husbands, wives, children - but employers? As a matter of fact in our culture specifically within Christianity we are taught to divorce OCCUPATION from IDENTITY.
We are taught to consider deeply WHO WE ARE apart from WHAT WE DO.
I would sub ...
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