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Me, a Slave?. Ephesians 6:5-9. By David Turner www.BibleStudies-online.com. No one is Free. To Whom/What Do You Serve?. We are Slaves to lawlessness or slaves to righteousness. Romans 6:19

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Me a slave

Me, a Slave?

Ephesians 6:5-9

By David Turner

www.BibleStudies-online.com



To Whom/WhatDo You Serve?


We are slaves to lawlessness or slaves to righteousness
We are Slaves to lawlessness or slaves to righteousness

  • Romans 6:19

  • 19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.


Slaves to various passions and pleasures
Slaves to various passions and pleasures

  • Titus 3:3

  • 3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.


Slaves to whatever overcomes us
Slaves to whatever overcomes us

  • 2 Peter 2:19

  • They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.


Slaves to false gods
Slaves to False gods

  • Galatians 4:8

  • 8Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods.


Slaves to the elementary principles of the world
Slaves to the elementary principles of the world

  • Galatians 4:3, 9

  • 3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. …9But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?


Slaves to money
Slaves to Money

  • Matthew 6:24

  • 24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.


Slave to the law
Slave to the Law

  • Romans 7:1

  • 7Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives?


Slaves to sin
Slaves to Sin

  • John 8:34

  • 34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.


No longer slaves to sin
No longer Slaves to Sin

  • Romans 6:6

  • 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.


In christ
In Christ,

  • You are no longer to be slaves to:

    • Impurity and lawlessness

    • Passions and pleasures

    • The gods of this world

    • The elementary principles of the world

    • To the Law

    • To Sin


But in christ
But, In Christ

  • We:

    • Serve Christ

    • Serve Righteousness

    • Serve one another


Not free yet free free yet not free
Not free, yet free Free, yet not free

  • 1 Corinthians 7:22

  • 22 For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ.


But there is still earthly masters
But there is still earthly masters.

  • There are still bosses, employers, officers, teachers, people in authority over others.

  • How should Christians under authority respond to those over them?

  • How should Christians in authority act towards those under them?


Ephesians 6 5 9 esv
Ephesians 6:5–9 (ESV)

5Bondservants, obey your earthly masters 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 bondservants 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 bondservant or is free. 9 Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.


Christian servants
Christian servants

  • 5 Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ,

  • Bondservants (δοῦλος) - slave


Christian servants1
Christian servants

  • 5 Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ,

earthly masters – “fleshly lords (κύριος)” – Paul intentionally uses the same name for lords as he does for the Lord.


Christian servants2
Christian servants

  • 5 Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ,

  • Fear and trembling - not slavish terror, but an anxious eagerness to do your duty, and a fear of displeasing


Christian servants3
Christian servants

  • 5 Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ,

  • With a sincere heart – Literally “simple heart”. Means “purity of heart”, “wholehearted” or “without ulterior motives”


Christian servants4
Christian servants

  • 5 Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ,

As you would Christ – “you obey your earthly lord in the same manner that you’d obey Christ”.


Christian servants5
Christian servants

  • 6 not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,

  • Not by the way of eye-service – “not with the intent to attract attention or be noticed”, “not only when you’re being watched”.

  • Not as people-pleasers – “men pleasers” “don’t do your work with the intent of simply making people happy”


Christian servants6
Christian servants

  • 6 not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,

  • Obey as a slave of Christ, doing the will of God – “When you serve your earthly lord in this manner, you are ultimately serving your heavenly Lord and doing His will.”

  • From the heart – literally “from the psyche (ψυχή)” inner person (heart, soul). Opposite of external performance.


Christian servants7
Christian servants

  • 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 bondservant or is free.

  • Good will – “eagerness, zeal” Serve your earthly lord with the same zeal that you would the Lord.


Christian servants8
Christian servants

  • 7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, 8knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free.

  • Your good deeds will be rewarded. Whether your earthly lord acknowledges them isn’t significant. The Lord in heaven is watching and will see that you receive a reward (inheritance).


Christian servants9
Christian servants

  • 7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, 8knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free.

  • The criteria for rewards and inheritance is the same for all, whether you are a slave or free. God shows no partiality. Social status is immaterial with God.



What about christian lords
What about Christian lords?

  • Paul’s statements to the Christian Slaves were revolutionary. But his following statements to the lords is even more so.

  • “According to a proverbial statement known to Seneca, ‘all slaves are enemies’, while many masters were tyrants and abusive. In order to deal with their slaves, owners were known to threaten beatings, sexual harassment, or selling male slaves away from the households with the result that they would be parted forever from their loved ones.”


Christian earthly lords
Christian Earthly lords

  • 9 Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.

  • Do the same – Does not mean that they are to serve the slaves, but “show the same regard to God’s will, and to your servants’ well-being, in your relation to them, as they ought to have in their relation to you.”


Christian earthly lords1
Christian Earthly lords

  • 9 Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.

  • Christian lords, Stop threatening your servants:

    • Because you both serve the same Lord in heaven.

    • The standards/criteria set of doing good by the heavenly Lord is the same for the slave, the free and the earthly lords. You will be held accountable.




Christian slaves and masters are brothers
Christian Slaves and Masters are brothers

Philemon 10–16

10 I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I became in my imprisonment. 11 (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) 12 I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart. 13 I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, 14 but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord. 15 For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, 16 no longer as a bondservant but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.


If both are christians
If both are Christians?

  • 1 Timothy 6:1–2

  • Let all who are under a yoke as bondservants regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. 2 Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved.


If the master isn t a christian
If the Master isn’t a Christian?

  • Titus 2:9–10

  • 9 Bondservants are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.


If the master isn t a christian1
If the Master isn’t a Christian?

  • 1 Peter 2:18–21

  • 18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. 19 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.


First century slaves
First Century Slaves

  • The masters had their faces dead set against these Christian slaves. We can understand that attitude when we remember that these slaves lived lives of singular purity, meekness, honesty, willingness to serve, and obedience in the households of their heathen masters. This was a powerful testimony for the gospel, and brought them under conviction of sin. All this irritated them, and they reacted in a most unpleasant way toward their slaves, whom they would punish without provocation. Yet they did not want to sell these Christian slaves and buy pagan ones, for the Christian slaves served them better. So they just had to make the best of the situation.

  • Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest's word studies from the Greek New Testament : For the English reader (1 Pe 2:18). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.


Serving two masters
Serving two masters

  • Matthew 6:24

  • 24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.


Slaves encouraged to be free
Slaves encouraged to be free

  • 1 Corinthians 7:21

  • 21 Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.)


Christ became a servant
Christ Became a Servant

  • Philippians 2:5–8

  • 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.


Christ became a servant to others
Christ Became a Servant to Others

  • In washing the apostles feet, he not only performed as a servant, but requested that his followers do the same.


His disciples were servants
His Disciples Were servants

  • Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,

  • 2 Peter 1:1  Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, …

  • James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,

  • Jude 1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James,


We are servants
We are servants

  • 1 Peter 2:16

  • Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.


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