TEXT: Eph. 6:59
Big Idea: “Whether you are in authority or under authority God uses it for His glory and our training in righteousness.”
Context: In our Western minds, we hear “slavery”, and the main picture we have is that ugly part of our country’s history when African Americans were put in chains and bought and sold as property. This is evil and wicked. Here in our text, the Greek word for slave here also means “a servant”. This includes a person who is the property of another, but it can also mean one who works for another. So we can apply this instruction to the relationship of boss and worker on the job.
1. Because Christ is the ultimate Master, we do our work as unto Him. (Eph. 6:5-8)
Paul is saying to slaves that the sovereign Lord of all is using your masters (or those in authority over you) as a means of His grace for you in order to grow and mature you in obedience to Christ. On our jobs, we have an awesome opportunity everyday.
We don’t just go to work at a secular job and then do spiritual stuff on Sunday. Your job is a gift from God. Tragically most Christians think the only reason they go to work is to get a paycheck. But the main purposes for our job is to glorify God, to work as a form of worshiping God, for our sanctification, and an opportunity to spread the gospel.
2. Because Christ is the ultimate Master, leaders should reflect Him. (Eph. 6:9)
How shocking Paul’s instructions must have been to the first century readers! “Treat your slaves the same way”, meaning that a Christian master or a Christian boss must treat those under them with the same respect and Christlike kindness. Paul’s is saying those in authority must show mutual respect to those under authority, and lead with a Christlike example.
And the motive is this: “...knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him” (v. 9b). The cross is the ultimate equalizer. Whether we are an employer or an employee, we are all under Christ’s authority. And how we respond to one another should reflect that.