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Bondservants and Masters: The New Life at Home, Part Two

Rev. Michael Calvert, Ph.D., February 10, 2019
Part of the Colossians series.

This coming Lord’s Day we are going to take another look Colossians 3:22-4:1 and consider once more what the Apostle Paul has to say to “bondservants” and “masters.” And we remember that the “bondservants,” or slaves, were regarded as part of the typical Roman household of the first century.

In this passage, Paul is addressing the relationship between the “bondservants” and “masters” in the same way that he has previously spoken of the relationship between the husband and the wife, and the parents and the children.

Last Sunday we got familiar with the terrible reality first-century of slavery. We considered how slaves were regarded as non-persons with no rights, but how the Apostle Paul boldly set forth a most revolutionary and radical view of the relationship between slaves and slave owners—one totally changed by the reconciling power of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ!

This week our focus will be upon the specific things the Apostle says concerning the way that the Christian servants were to carry out their duties. It is at this point that the direct connection and relevance to us appears, even though the institution of slavery no longer exists for us.

As far as a hint as to what this relevance to us is, let me ask you to notice how often Paul speaks of our Lord in verses 22-25, and how he connects the work of the servant to the Savior:

v. 22—“fearing the Lord”

v. 23—“for the Lord”

v. 24—“from the Lord”

v. 24—“serving the Lord”

You might have already guessed that this inspired Word to servants is also a Word that speaks to anyone who works for or serves others. It addresses our jobs, careers, and our vocations. And it provides for us a divinely inspired a blue-print for the way that we are to carry out our duties in the world, but as citizens of heaven.

Colossians 3:22-4:1

22Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: 23And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. 25But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons. 4:1 Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven. (KJV)