by Jeff Lynn

This content is part of a series.

Honoring God At Work (10 of 16)
Series: Living In A Stable Economy
Jeff Lynn
1 Peter 2:18-25


The passage of Scripture at which we are looking this morning is one that we may tend to pass over because we think it has no application or relevance to us.

The Apostle Peter is addressing how servants are to submit to their masters.

When we think of servants or slaves, we think of one who is enslaved to another and has no rights, etc.
We may think of Alex Haley's book, ''Roots'' and envision harsh treatment of slaves.

But the word Peter uses here for servants is not the word used elsewhere in Scripture for servant or slave.
That word is doulos and means one who is in permanent servitude to another, his will altogether consumed in the will of the other. (Zodhiates).

The apostle Paul would often refer to himself as a slave or bond-servant of Christ and would use that word, doulos.

But that's not the word Peter uses here.

He uses a word that means ''household servant'' which is different from slavery.
In fact, the root of the word for household servant is the same root of the word ''economy'' which means ''household management.''

In Roman life, one could volunteer to put themselves under the authority of a citizen in hopes of becoming a Roman citizen themselves someday.
It was more along the idea of being an ''apprentice.''
If you were a servant to a doctor, then you could become a doctor.
It wasn't a lifelong enslavement to the owner.

Scott Bartchy, a Harvard Divinity graduate and now a professor of history at UCLA writes,

''Central features that distinguish 1st century slavery from that later practiced in the New World are the following: racial factors played no role; education was greatly encouraged (some slaves were better educated than their owners); many slaves carried out sensitive and highly responsible social functions; slaves could own property; their religious and cultural traditions were the same as those of ...

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