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Ephesians 6:6-8: Bondservants of Christ

Ephesians 6:6-8
[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.

In the first century, many people were servants in people’s homes. As the Gospel spread across the Roman Empire many of these servants became Christians. Paul addresses the attitude that the servants should have toward their master. It is important to note that Paul was not promoting slavery, but he was recognizing that in the current status of servants and masters, there was a way that a Christian servant should act.

We have a great privilege of freedom in this country. For many people, over centuries of time, being a servant has been a common way to provide for their families. In fact, there were even some who came to this country, who promised to work for a family in this country for an agreed upon number of years in exchange for a trip across the Atlantic Ocean. They were called indentured servants.

We are not servants. But, we are workers. We don’t have a master, but we do have a boss. What kind of employee should a Christian be? I think there are two principles in this passage that will help us to be better workers.  Obedience and sincerity are essential principles that Paul addresses here.

Obey is technically a four letter word. But obeying is not a bad thing. It is a behavior that ought to be normal for a Christian. We are told to obey those in authority over us, and to do so with a sincerity. Paul even says, “as you would Christ.” Can you imagine that? Obeying our boss as if we would obey Christ. Paul’s reference to “fear and trembling” means to show respect. Your co-workers may be bad-mouthing the boss, and constantly complaining about how unfair it is that the employees have certain tasks to do. But, that is not what you are to do. If Jesus was your boss you would not be bad-mouthing him at the water cooler. Neither should you badmouth your boss.

In verse 6 Paul talks about the principle of sincerity. He uses the phrase, "Not by the way of eye-service.” What does that mean? That means being that employee who is only doing what the boss wants when the boss is looking. Integrity is all about what you are doing when no one is looking! A Christian employee is sincere. They are doing their job when the boss is looking and when he isn’t. Paul says that we are not to be people pleasers. That would be phony. You are to be working as to the Lord. Be a good employee.

Can you picture your boss as Jesus?  Not easy, is it?  But, if you will obey your boss like you were working for Jesus I imagine you will have a better time at work.  Oh, and Jesus will reward you whether your earthly boss does or not!  Give it a try.


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