Peter Barnes | Ephesians 6:5-9
MASTERS AND SLAVES
– William Wilberforce: ‘Moderating the insolence of power, she [i.e. Christianity] renders the inequalities of the social state less galling to the lower orders.’
1. The work of Christian slaves.
(a) They are to respect and obey their masters. 6:5; 1 Cor.7:21; not like the Spartacus revolt of 71 B.C.
(b) They are to work wholeheartedly. 6:6-7; Phil.2:12; Eccles.9:10; Neh.4:6
(c) We are to work in the sight of Christ. 6:5-8; George Herbert:
A servant with this clause
Makes drudgery divine;
Who sweeps a room as for Thy laws
Makes that and the action fine.
2. The work of Christian masters.
(a) We are to treat those who are weak as we would wish to be treated ourselves. Matt.7:12; Deut.10:19; 15:12-15
(b) Remember that Christ judges impartially. Lev.19:15; James 2:1-4. The 1857 Dred Scott decision by the US Supreme Court identified slaves with property. Not so the Bible – read Philemon 12-16.