“You are gonna have to serve somebody.” We are all slaves to something or someone. Who or what is your master? Do you really know yourself? Are you still trying to find yourself?
The gospel changes everything. Knowing and embracing your identity in Christ makes most of your decisions in Christ. Who are we according to the Bible in general? We are made in the image and likeness of God to know and delight in Him. In the Fall, we have lost our satisfying focus on God and now look no higher than ourselves. We study our empty selves for answers that are not there.
Who are we, as Christians, according to Ephesians? Blood-bought children of God. Saved from ourselves and returned to our created purpose.
Paul is not condoning slavery as much as containing it and showing the Christian his responsibility within that existing institution. Even slaves are to obey their masters as part of the obedience that they owe to Christ. They are to serve with reverence and respect, sincerely because they are serving Christ. This is what we owe to our employers as well.
Why did Paul glory in slavery to Christ? (Romans 1:1; Philippians 1:1; Titus 1:1) Paul knew the master. He was willing to serve the one who died for him. He would call master the one who served him with salvation. Paul had found his way home. He had returned to the delightful service of God!
God does notice your good deeds and he will reward. v 8 Heartfelt service for God given to others is not always noticed and appreciated. But God sees. And God will reward. We are ultimately serving God, and not man.
God also speaks to Masters who are also slaves. Have the same mind. You are accountable to Christ even as the boss. You are to serve Christ as you lead others in this life. God is unimpressed with social standing or economic power. But he delights in a servant heart and a contrite spirit. So, do not threaten your servants.
5 Principles for the Christian at work.
Respect and submit to those who have authority over you.
Have a good attitude at work.
Work hard at all times; not to give a good impression when being watched by the boss.
You are working for Jesus, in any legitimate calling.
Your good work will be noticed and rewarded.
So, how do I get into Christ? Repent and believe the good news. You are a slave to sin by nature, become a slave to Christ. - The one who slaved for you on the cross, who keep the law that you could not keep, who closed the gates of hell that you could not close, who opened the gates of heaven that you could not open.
So who are you? I am a child of God, and a slave to Christ.