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Bringing Joy to the Toil (7 of 9)
Slaves,1 obey your earthly masters2
with fear and trembling,
with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, 6
not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers,
but as servants1 of Christ,
doing the will of God from the heart, 7
rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, 8
knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. 9
Masters, do the same to them,
and stop your threatening,
knowing that he who is both their Master1 and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.
Ephesians 6:5-9 Bringing Joy to the Toil
Two Preliminary Issues to Consider first:
1. Does Paul condone slavery? No, Paul was helping the church stand strong within the bounds of their existing society. Paul is encouraging the Ephesians with radical counter-cultural ideas, just like we've talked about with husbands and wives and children and parents. Yes, slavery existed in the New Testament, Paul never says he agrees with it, he just teaches the church how to live in it. Eventually, Christianity would lead the way to abolish slavery. So, don't get hung up on whether or not the Bible condones slavery, it doesn't. The gospel brings dignity and equality to the New Testament culture and to ours today as well.
2. Is Work ''good''? ''I thought work was just a necessary evil.''
Let's look at Genesis 1:26-31; 2:15
ESV Genesis 1:26 Then God said, ''Let us make man1 in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.'' 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, ''Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and ...
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