Ephesians 6:5-9, "Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect
and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey
Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is
on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from
your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord,
not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for
whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.
And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten
them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours
is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him."
In verse 5 Paul is saying, 'Slaves, obey your physical masters--esteem
other's higher than yourselves.' But Paul is also showing us and
them that they have a higher freedom. Christianity doesn't instigate
Psalm 75:4-7, "To the arrogant I say, 'Boast no more,' and to
the wicked, 'Do not lift your horns against heaven; do not speak
with outstretched neck.' No one from the east or the west or from
the desert can exalt a man. But it is God who judges: He brings
one down, he exalts another." To buck authority is to buck God
1 Peter 2:13-25,
"Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted
among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to
governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and
to commend those who do right. For it is God's will that by doing
good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. Live
as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil;
live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone: Love
the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.
Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not
only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those
who are harsh. For it is commendable if a man bears up under the
pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. But how
is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong
and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure
it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because
Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should
follow in his steps.
"He committed no sin, And no deceit was found in his
mouth. [Isa. 53:9]"
When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate;
when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself
to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body
on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness;
by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going
astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer
of your souls."
Romans 13:1-6, "Everyone must submit himself to the governing
authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has
established. The authorities that exist have been established
by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling
against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring
judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who
do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from
fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will
commend you. For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you
do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing.
He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on
the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities,
not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.
This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's
servants, who give their full time to governing."
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer
your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this
is your spiritual act of worship." How do we do this? By surrendering
fully to God, so the Holy Spirit enters us (more fully), and when
we sacrifice our own wills to the will of the Spirit then Romans
12:1 can be fulfilled in us. Romans 12:9-21, "Love must be sincere.
Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another
in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be
lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice
with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony
with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate
with people of low position. Do no be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right
in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends
on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends,
but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: 'It is mine
to avenge; I will repay,' [Deut. 32:35.] says the Lord. On the
contrary: 'If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty,
give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning
coals on his head.' [Prov. 25:21-22.] Do not be overcome by evil,
but overcome evil with good."
The following Scripture shows us the plane we want to be living
on if you want to see the good life. This is the secret to Paul's
inner peace, in spite of the hellish outside circumstances he
Galatians 2:20. "I have been crucified with Christ and
I no longer live, But Christ lives in me. The life I live
in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved
me and gave himself for me."
The next section of Ephesians 6 is about putting on the whole
armor of God. In effect, putting on this armor is accomplished
by putting on Christ, which Paul so apply just described in Galatians
2:20. So before I get into the specifics of explaining this armor,
I have inserted something to show you how we put that armor on,
for the armor is Jesus Christ and Him in us through the indwelling
of the Holy Spirit.