Thursday, January 22, 2009

Serving God by serving others.

Ephes. 6:5-9 (ESV)
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, [6] not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, [7] rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, [8] knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. [9] Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.

Slavery was a reality in Paul’s day. It is even today in some parts of the world. The Bible doesn’t forbid it, neither does it command it. For me, I am glad that slavery has been abolished in Christian countries. Though I think one would have to be blind to not see that abolishing slavery has not quite led to Shangri-La. Sweatshops and exploitation of the poor are still problems. Race relations aren’t always what they could be.
Perhaps we don’t find much helpful for us here in this admonition to slaves and slave owners. But I think there is good advice here that employees and employers can take to heart. Render your service with a good will as to the Lord; acting out of a sincere heart is good advice. In fact what the Christian does in his vocation he does do to the glory of God, and as a service for God. We serve God by serving our neighbors, and our bosses, by serving others. And employers do well to remember to treat their employees as humans it goes along way in garnering productivity.


steve martin said...

Great advice. We certainly ought try and do those things.

Thanks Bror.

Bror Erickson said...

Here one of these days I will get back to the gospel. As these morning devotional thoughts are just that, thoughts, I don't always get around to the gospel. But as I have been reading them this last week they are quite sparse on gospel. Lots of advice, law etc. No Gospel.
Well not every verse one reads in the Bible is going to have both law and gospel. So i suppose that not all are going to garner thoughts about the gospel.
so yeah we should do those things. Do we? No. We can try, but we will always fall short. That is where Christ comes in. I might get to that next week. That Christ guy.

Brigitte said...

Ben Witherington is going on about lack of Lutheran ethics, again:

"In addition, lots of people are ethical for either insufficient or the wrong reasons. The Calvinistic side of the interpretive equation does a much better job in taking seriously the ethical mandates in the NT than traditional Lutherans did and do. I am especially impressed with various of the Puritans in this regard."

(from comments on his recent blogpost giving excerpt from the book he's writing) Some supposed Lutheran pastor had to chime in and agree with that.

steve martin said...


I read what that Lutheran pastor wrote over at Witherington's blog.

What a shame that the "God project" infecting more and more Lutherans who ought know better.

Bror Erickson said...

"In addition, lots of people are ethical for either insufficient or the wrong reasons."
Then they are not very ethical are they? What are the good reasons he offers for being ethical?
Perhaps someday this week I will jaunt over to his blog and check that all out.