Scripture Reading: Ephesians 6:5-9, esv
The word in Greek is doulos and depending on its context can be rightly translated slave, servant, bondservant.
It is estimated that there were some 60 million slaves in the empire at the time and that as many as 1/3rd of the populations of Rome, Corinth and Ephesus were slaves.
Let’s take a moment to consider what “slavery” was like in Ephesus during that timeframe…
· most not slaves for life, many were released by the age of 30,
· they could own private property,
· have their own slaves,
· live separately from their Masters,
· had the option to purchase freedom.
These points of context point to why there is a direct correlation between that context and ours. Unless you own your own business or are independently wealthy, you are a purchased servant of some employer working toward buying your freedom, called… RETIREMENT.
God’s Plan for Servants-Employees
5 “postures” that employees are to take in relationship to their employers.
1. Behavior – VS5: OBEY = a submissive action on the outside, as well as submissive attitude of the heart, on the inside.
1 Peter 2:18-20 - Obedience, NOT just when it’s convenient and to your liking, but when things are inconvenient, even harsh.
2. Attitude – VS5: Fear & Trembling: The idea is that of Honor and RESPECT… an anxiousness to please the one who is over them.
3. COMMITMENT – VS5: Sincerity of Heart: A Christ-Following employee’s commitment to their employer is not to be superficial (on the surface) or hypocritical, (play acting) but of sincere heart.
DEEP – REAL – SERIOUS – GENUINE
4. Motive – VS5: As Unto Christ - Why would I do that? Because at the end of the day your real employer is not your earthly master, but your Heavenly Father. I am working for Him
Truth Point: The manner in which you do your job and relate to your employer is directly TIED to your reflection of Jesus Christ.
You are either a poor reflection or a bright reflection.
Truth Point: there is NO separation between my FAITH on Sunday and my WORK on Monday. My WORSHIP on Sunday and my WORK on Monday is to the same Person… CHRIST!
Your boss may be an incompetent grouch and your work environment totally unfulfilling. But, as long as you are under that boss and in that environment, you work there for Jesus and your conduct reflects well or poorly on Him.
TRUTH POINT: The glory of God is to be the underlying motive for all that we do; at work, in our marriage, our parenting, our neighboring… whatever we do. 1 Corinthians 10:31
5. Diligence: VS6: Has to do with maintaining the same level and quality of work without regard to the boss’s presence or absence.
Christ-Following Employee’s understand that they are never out of sight of their true Master and so they do their work to please Him, not just a human supervisor. Ephesians 6:7-8
Christian Employees: how do you know if you are living in the fullness of The Holy Spirit? In part, by how you live out your Divine Assignment as an employee. Your behavior, attitude, commitment, motive and diligence both to your employer and toward your work.
God’s Plan for Employers
There are not as many words used to instruct employers as employees, but there’s no need because everything given to the employee is applied to the employer… VS9: Masters, do the same to them….
Truth Point: Christ-Following Employers regard their employees as more dear and precious than profits and/or power, just as Christ does those who serve Him.
Employers - Bosses: your Master in Heaven expects you to give the same loyalty, honor, respect and care for your employees as He expects the employee to give to you.
Paul goes on to give an additional instruction that applies exclusively to employers …stop your threatening…. The term carries the idea of “loosening up” or “releasing”… like a horse jockey might loosen his grip or even release his grip of the reigns.
The point is… use your authority and power as little as possible. Don’t throw your weight around, don’t “lord” it over those who are under you.
Truth Point: An employer is to use authority “as to the Lord,” just as workers are to submit to authority “as to the Lord.”
“Master” as well as the “Servant” have a role to fulfill and they fulfill it submitting to the authority of their joint Master – Christ Jesus with whom there is no partiality.
I’ve been talking about Christian Employers and Employees, but I’ve not spoken about how one becomes a Christian – A Christ-follower.
TRUTH POINT: No one is born a follower of Jesus, but the call goes out to all people to turn from sin and self and embrace Jesus as Savior and Lord.
What did Jesus do to provide salvation for fallen humanity? – He gave His body and His blood in sacrifice for our sin?
· At Creation God revealed that sin required death.
· Because of Adam’s sin, and our own, if we die physically without a Savior, we remain under the curse of Spiritual death which is irreversible.
· Jesus became our Savior. At the Cross, sin was laid upon Him and through His Sacrifice, sin’s debt was paid. Through His resurrection death’s curse was broken.
· Because of Jesus, sinners can have their sin-debt forgiven, and receive eternal life, both spiritual and physical. Romans 10:9,10,13
Jesus body, (symbolized by the bread) and His blood, (symbolized by the juice) speak to us of God’s Love and Jesus’ sacrifice that brings salvation to a fallen world.
· If you have called on Jesus, trusting in His death for sin and resurrection for eternal life, you are invited to participate in this celebration of His love and forgiveness.
· If you have not called on Him, you are invited and encouraged to confess your sin, trust in Jesus as your Savior and become part of God’s family, a citizen of His kingdom.
As the trays are passed, take time to examine your heart. Is there anything between you can God that needs to be laid at His feet in confession and repentance? If so, do business with God now. If not, spend time reflecting on His grace that has made you clean and accepted before Him.
If you have questions about the gospel, what it means to follow Jesus, please see Pastor Mike, Connie is wife or one of the church leaders who will be at the front of the Worship Center, following the service.
 Kent Hughes – Ephesians. Pg 205
 John MacArthur – Ephesians – Logos addition
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