Col. 4:1-4 (ESV)
Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.
Sometimes you wonder why the chapters break where they break. One would think this short sentence is the conclusion to the paragraph above dealing with households.
Paul enjoins the masters to treat their slaves justly and fairly. You never actually do find a prohibition of slavery in the Bible. But Christians are expected to treat their slaves as the humans that they are, justly and fairly. They are men and women who are redeemed by Christ’s blood in the same manner all are, regardless of status. It is this sort recognition of the worth of all human life that gradually led Christians to abolish slavery in western countries. Sadly this recognition is being more and more lost in this world, as people become less and less conversant with scripture.
Paul reminds the masters that they have a master in heaven. Far from being depicted as free, Christians are depicted as slaves, over and over again in the Bible. We have a master in heaven who has purchased us not with gold or silver, but with his holy precious blood. We are not our own. We belong to Christ.