A note from our pastor:
”Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;”Ephesians 6:5
Good Morning Dearly Beloved,
Our study verse this week continues the general subject of disciples submitting themselves as servants to Christ, but moves into a different area. Previously the Apostle has been discussing the interactions between family members. Now he shifts and discusses the relationship between servants and masters.
Before the lessons being taught can be explored, it is necessary to address a larger over-arching issue. Many bible readers are uncomfortable with these verses because they are left wondering if the bible endorses slavery. The clear answer to this question is absolutely not.
In Matthew 6:24, Christ is recorded as saying, in paraphrase, that you cannot serve two masters because you will hate the one and love the other. This is commonly, and rightfully, applied to living a life focused on material success instead of discipleship. However, it is applicable to the subject of slavery as well. For most slaves, if the bible endorsed slavery there is no way they could not have a bitterness in their heart. They could not serve their master and serve God.
So why this teaching from the Apostle? The straightforward answer is the disciple, or community of believers, cannot always change the society in which they live. Often times the disciple must strive to live in a Godly fashion despite the sinful society. In Matthew 22, Christ taught his disciples to render unto Caesar what belongs unto him. In other words, do what is necessary to live but stay devoted to God.
This instruction is similar to what Christ taught regarding a faulty government. The instruction from the Apostle to the slave or servant is to humbly serve your master, but do it in actual service to God. This instruction towards obedience is not an endorsement of slavery or even an instruction to not fight against unjust institutions, but rather, an instruction to remember in all things to serve Christ.
Our Prayers are with you daily,