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Ephesians 6:5: Obey Your Earthly Masters

Ephesians 6:5
[5] Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ. (ESV)

One of the realities that we are learning as we work through the book of Ephesians is that God is very concerned with every aspect of how we live our lives. If we are believing the right things about God, then it will be evidenced by how we live our lives. Our behavior does not make us right with God, but if we are right with God it will affect our behavior.

In chapters 5 and 6 we looked at how a right relationship affects our relationships with our spouses and with our children. In our text today, we find that God cares about our work. This is challenging for us today because we tend to separate our job as being something that God doesn’t have anything to do with. However, our jobs are very important to God.

I am not just talking about those jobs that are full paid ministry positions like a pastor or missionary. I believe that God wants to be honored and glorified in your workplace. Now, I just need to clarify things a bit. I am aware that these verses are speaking about slaves. We are not approving of or trying to promote slavery.

Dr. John MacArthur writes:

“Paul’s admonition applies equally well to all employees. The term “obey” refers to continuous, uninterrupted submission to one’s earthly master or employer, the only exception being in regard to a command that involves clear disobedience of God’s word as illustrated in Acts 4:19–20.”
- MacArthur Study Bible notes

For the sake of our modern-day understanding, I want you to hear “employee” when you see the word “bond-servant” or “slave.” Chances are, you are either an employee or your will be one.  Consistent with our Savior's desire for our lives is a heart that is submissive and obedient to authority. 

Are you going to work today?  Consider how God is calling you to have a good attitude at the place of employment that he has provided for you!


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