Bible Study Notes:

Work Relationships Ephesians 6:5-9


These notes are from a transcript of the postings during Bible Study on Thursday Nights at 8 PM at Bible Study Chat at churchusa.com.
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Tonight I'm tired and stressed because have taught 4 difficult computer classes and 1 Bible study this week! But the Lord is great and greatly to be praised regardless of our circumstances!

Thank you Jesus that you watch over us and protect us regardless of the circumstances. We just yield ourselves to you and rejoice that in our weakness your strength is made perfect!

We thank you that you use the foolish things of the world to confound the wise! We thank you that YOU are our strength, our wisdom, our joy and no matter what happens around us, YOU will uphold us with your might right hand, and that underneath are the everlasting arms! Glory!

Praise you Jesus. Now anoint your servants with the oil of joy, renew our strength so that we can mount up with wings as eagles, we can run and not be weary, we can walk and not faint. We cast off the yoke of weariness and faintness, and take on your strength in Jesus Name AMEN

Savior's Servant - Lord, help OT and OP to not be stressed and that they would flow with your might and strength. Give them the words that you want them to say tonight and keep us from anyone trying to interfere and we bind you satan right now in Jesus name, Amen

satan we bind you and rebuke you and cast you out of this holy place in Jesus Name. We come against, thwart, overcome and destroy all your tactics and schemes against the Word and this Bible Study in Jesus Name amen!

Father we confess that your Word will not return unto you void, but shall accomplish the purposes for which you sent it. We praise your Name. AMEN

Athie - Amen Lord open our minds for Your Word let us feel your presence here tonight

Holy Spirit, we invite you to be our teacher, open our hearts and minds to receive the Word with gladness, and produce a crop of your fruit in our lives AMEN!

Praise the Lord. Now I feel refreshed in Jesus! Let's get going!

We've been studying Ephesians for several weeks now, and the last few have been applications of being filled with the Spirit (5:18). As we had stated before being filled with the Spirit is a command, and in the Greek is followed by several participles ("ing" form of the verb) that tell what the Holy Spirit has enabled us to do. They are speakING, singING, makING melody, givING, and submittING.

We talked about submitting to each other in love (5:21), which is a voluntary act, thinking of the needs of others, a subject/subject relationship. Then we talked about the husband/wife relationship, which is also a subject/subject type. The Greek words used for submitting and loving stress the mutuality of that relationship. The husband is the "head", kephale, in the sense of one who leads into battle. He is the priest of his household and responsible for the spiritual welfare and protection of the family. He is to serve the family, not rule harshly. Then we talked about the child/parent relationship, which is one of obedience in the Lord, a ruler/subject relationship.

eternally secure - Is it the same thought in Acts which uses filled, i.e. filling, sustaining, and sustaining???

Yes ES, a continuous process. Now we are going to discuss the slave/master relationship, which even though we no longer practice slavery in our country, has a lot of applications in our everyday lives.

Ephesians 6:5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.

Now slavery was widespread and generally accepted in bible times. We have a different outlook today, primarily I believe because we HAVE been applying the principles of freedom and equality taught in the Bible.

Servant or Slave, in the Greek doulos {doo'-los} was a slave, bondman, man of servile condition. IN some English translations the world slave is softened to servant, but in Bible times they meant the same thing. If you were a slave you had been bought with a price and were someone's property.

Paul considered himself a slave for Christ. Here slave is more than someone that was born into slavery. It is one who willingly gives himself up to another's will; those whose service is used by Christ in extending and advancing His cause among men. This person is devoted to another to the disregard of one's own interests.

Today slavery is outlawed in America, and I don't think Paul approved of slavery. He saw all of us as equals in Christ.

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

He had a problem, though, for slavery was ingrained in the society of his day. Now he could have said - "Well there's no slavery in heaven, so all you slaves run away." Now think of the chaos and confusion this would have caused. There would have been people running, hiding, and starving.

watchman - We are not our own , but we have been bought with a price

There would have been even more hatred towards Christians and shame would have been brought to the cause of Christ. No, Paul was lead by God, to tell the slaves to stay where they were, and serve Christ in their slavery. They were to please God, not men, and look to Him for reward.

jgr - Hi. I don't mean to interrupt, but in the KJV, "slave" or "slaves" only appears in two places, once in Jeremiah and once in Revelations. The phrase in Eph 6:5 uses servant.

BibleBoy - He was referring to the Greek "doulos" which is also "servant" in the KJV.

In the Greek the word translated "slave" OR "servant" is doulos and means the same thing. In Bible times, if you were a doulos, you belonged to the owner and had been bought with a price.

I Corinthians 7:20 Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him. Were you a slave when you were called? Don't let it trouble you--although if you can gain your freedom, do so.

I Corinthians 7:22-23 For he who was a slave when he was called by the Lord is the Lord's freedman; similarly, he who was a free man when he was called is Christ's slave. You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.

I Corinthians 7:24 Brothers, each man, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation God called him to.

So if a slave could obtain freedom, Paul said to do so. But if not, to remain content. Because even though he/she may have been a slave in the worldly view, they were God's freedmen.

There is a great discontent in American today. Many are not happy "in the place" the Lord called them. They are striving for a better job, more social status, and more possessions. How would this scripture passage apply to them? In striving for MORE, fueled on by the constant harassment of the advertising industry, we sometimes miss the contentment that godliness brings.

Rev.Mike - many of us are still workplace slaves/servants bound in chains of debt and confusion of roles!

In I Timothy 6:6 we are told that "But godliness with contentment is great gain".

Timothy 6:7-9 "For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain that we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment [clothing] let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare and into may and foolish and hurtful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.

There is a move, I believe led by the Holy Spirit, for people to "downsize" themselves, to leave stressful high power jobs and social activities, to get lesser paying but more satisfying work and to spend time with their families. OP and I could make TONS of money in the computer field elsewhere, but what good would that do? We want to make enough to provide necessities, but aren't concerned with laying up treasures here on earth.

OlePappy - AMEN...Our work is God's work!

So there is great wisdom in remaining "in the situation which he was in when God called him", and not buying into the false priorities of the world. Boy! does that take the pressure off! God did not call us to "pressure-cooker" lives, but to contentment, godliness, peace and joy.

eternally secure - amen and amen

Ephesians 6:5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.

OlePappy - I am so thankful to the Lord

Here obey is the same word as 6:1 hupakuo, dutiful obedience out of respect or fear from the Greek phobos {fob'-os} fear, dread, terror and trembling, Greek tromos {trom'-os}, a trembling or quaking with fear, used to describe the anxiety of one who distrusts his ability completely to meet all requirements, but religiously does his utmost to fulfil his duty.

We modern people don't like to obey, do we? We like to be independent, "self-made" people, not subject to anyone. Instead of being arrogant because you are a Christian, and know you are your master's equal, you are to be fearful and trembling to fulfill your duty. Now this attitude of humble service is very unpopular today, especially in the working world. How different our jobs would be if we served each other as to the Lord!

Sincerity, Singleness (of heart), in the Greek haplotes {hap-lot'-ace}, is singleness, simplicity, sincerity, mental honesty; the virtue of one who is free from pretence and hypocrisy; not self seeking, openness of heart manifesting itself by generosity. This rules out gossiping, backbiting, "ulterior motives", manipulation, etc.

Even though Paul is addressing slaves in this passage, this also applies to us in two ways: one as servants of the Lord, our attitude toward our Master, and two, as employees and our attitudes toward employers.

Rev.Mike - well the same word used for fear also means respectful or in awe of ( someone ) that's the base for that question .....Serving dutifully as to Christ is not out of fear ....Its out of respect to me..

Ephesians 6:6 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.

"Out of respect and fear" is from the Greek phobos {fob'-os} fear, dread, terror and trembling, Greek tromos {trom'-os}, a trembling or quaking with fear, used to describe the anxiety of one who distrusts his ability completely to meet all requirements, but religiously does his utmost to fulfil his duty.

Servants (slaves) be obedient to those who are your physical masters, having respect for them and eager concern to please them, in singleness of motive and with all your heart, as [service] to Christ [Himself]. (Amplified)

We are all slaves of Christ, and our #1 job is doing the will of God from our hearts. We are not to perform "eyeservice", ophthalmodouleia {of-thal-mod-oo-li'-ah} being productive only under the master's or employer's eyes. When the master (employer) is present, an "eyepleaser" is usually stimulated to greater diligence, but in his absence, he is sluggish, lazy and unproductive, doing what he can "get by with". He is also a manpleaser, anthropareskos {anth-ro-par'-es-kos} studying to please man, courting the favor of men, and trying to win their favor. The key here is striving to please our Lord Jesus Christ in all that we do!

Ephesians 6:7-8 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.

Serve, douleuo {dool-yoo'-o}, here comes from the same root word as slave again, and it means to be a slave, do service, and to yield obedience to. We are see the Lord as our boss, and what we do we do to please Him. He, ultimately, will be the one to reward us. Some get caught in the trap of man's advancement, "the career track", serving men with an eye to promotion, "stepping on" others, betraying them, casting them aside in the climb to the top if necessary. But where does promotion, advancement, or exaltation ultimately come from?

Psalm 75:6 -7 No one from the east or the west or from the desert can exalt [promote] a man. But it is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts [promotes] another.

So let's summarize. We as slaves of Christ and employees are to serve others out of an eager concern to please the Lord first of all. We are not to do "eye service", only serving when someone is watching over us, but being diligent and productive at all times as to the Lord. We are also not to live as "men-pleasers", caught up in the social or economic climb and trying to live as men tell us to. Again our lives are to please the Lord. Any questions?

Alma - I'm having difficulty understanding your interpretation of men-pleasing

To be a manpleaser would be to please MAN at all costs, even if it were doing something illegal, immoral, or to the hurt of co-workers, family or friends. The Bible does tell us to love each other as we love ourselves, and to put other's needs ahead of our own AS LONG AS it doesn't violate the Word of God or commands of our savior. Well the respect is the key I think. I've always been headstrong and stubborn (LOL confession time), and had a HARD time learning this one. :)

Alma - Yes, but you connect striving to get ahead with man pleasing.

When we are caught up in "selfish ambition" to get ahead at any cost, we often have to be manpleasers - doing the will of whomever we are trying to impress - to get ahead. Again Paul comes back to the mutuality of our relationships in Christ.

What about employers? What if they are harsh, controlling, manipulative, immoral, etc? Paul addresses that issue as well, but let me say no matter who you are working for, it still applies that you work diligently to please the Lord, whether you boss notices/cares/rewards or not. And this also does NOT leave you the option of grumbling, whining, complaining, gossiping, backbiting, or undermining your boss. If the situation is bad, what should you do?

I learned this lesson the HARD way. When I first got a job, my supervisor was imperfect, as all of us are. But I participated in the office gossip and got all worked up about it, to the point that we all were going to confront the supervisor. When the day came, guess who showed up. NOBODY, but my best friend and myself. We went through with our little confrontation anyway. Well the results were awful!

NOW I know it is better to keep your mouth shut and PRAY for the supervisor, try to see things from his/her perspective, and try to do your very best whether it is recognized/appreciated or not. THEN when the Lord has given you wisdom, approach the supervisor RESPECTFULLY and COURTEOUSY and express your concerns AND recommendations in a NON-accusatory manner.

Now we get to the master/employer side of it: Ephesians 6:9 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. Treat them "in the same way"? What does Paul mean here, the same way as what? Even though this is a master/slave; ruler/subject relationship, we are still equal in Christ and our goal is to serve and please Him.

Again it is God who promotes and DEmotes: Psalm 75:6 -7 "No one from the east or the west or from the desert can exalt [promote] a man. But it is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts [promotes] another." He can bring the master/employer down as easily as he can exalt/promote the slave/employee.

The word master kurios {koo'-ree-os} comes from kuros (supremacy) and specifies he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord, the possessor and disposer of a thing, the owner; one who has control of the person. Master is a title of honor expressive of respect and reverence, with which servants salute their master; this title is given to: God, the Messiah.

The master/boss has no right to threaten without cause, either with punishment, demotion or dismissal, because he has to answer to the Lord. God does not "play favorites", so neither should the master/boss. Now I know this is ideal and the REAL world is often VERY different from this! (BEEN THERE!) So what is our responsibility here? As employees we serve with eager concern to please and be productive for the Lord. We do not grumble, complain, gossip, etc., but work cheerfully as best we can.

If we are the bosses, we are to treat those under us with respect and concern, not harshly, but as fellow laborers in the kingdom, not "playing favorites". A boss also has somewhat of the responsibility of a father in a family - to nurture and admonish those under him/her to help them be the best they can be.

eternally secure - I always told my Christian employees that you should give your employer more than what was expected. But it was not a rule.

Father God, help those in the working world to be obedient to you. Help them to apply your wisdom to their situation. If they have fallen short in any areas, forgive them and help them to grow into a better relationship. We ask in Jesus Name AMEN

peanut - well isn't respect recognizing someone else's worth honoring them for what they have done and for who they are...isn't it a gift you confer on someone a gift of valuing them highly.. - to honor and respect others requires humility on our part doesn't it

In our culture, we see respect as something EARNED, we say "you gotta EARN my respect" or "I lost all respect for them". However, in the Scripture respect is something DUE someone because of their position of authority. It is not a gift, but a duty.

Malachi 1:6 "A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?" says the LORD Almighty. "It is you, O priests, who show contempt for my name. "But you ask, `How have we shown contempt for your name?'

eternally secure - if you cannot respect the person (mother in law) at least respect their position in life.

1 Thessalonians 5:12 Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you.

peanut - ot- is it kind of like-- I really dot trust all who come to this chat place-- but it is my duty-- to respect who they are what they say-- and not judge them-- or talk about them-- just acknowledge that they are there and respect-- but I don't have to agree do ya understand..

1 Timothy 6:1 All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God's name and our teaching may not be slandered.

peanut - kind of like what eternally said respect their position..

I Peter 2: 17 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.

I think you are right - respect is due the POSITION, even if you don't think the person occupying that position is worthy. God will reward your obedience and submission.

Like I said before, this was a HARD lesson for me to learn. I guess my father was stubborn too, and I spent most of my life HEARING how stupid, inefficient, unproductive, inexperience, etc his supervisors were. I seem to have picked up that attitude. So when I went to work, I saw the bad and thought that gave me the right to be insubordinate. Well, needless to say, my work life was miserable.

Now we've been studying the Holy Spirit's enablement to voluntarily submit to those that God has place in authority over us. The quicker we can discern our place and who to submit to, the quicker we will be productive in God's kingdom. I know this goes "against the grain" because we in America are so independent, but the Bible says so. Get in prayer and find out where the Lord has placed you and be obedient to those He has place in authority over you FOR YOUR GOOD.

Next we are going to be talking about spiritual warfare, which we will continue next time as well. Notice the CONTEXT of this passage. AFTER being filled with the Spirit, AFTER spending time in praise and thanksgiving, AFTER submitting to the proper authorities, THEN we are ready for WAR!

If you are having trouble with oppression or living a life of defeat, BEFORE you try to engage the enemy, check yourself over. Am I filled with the spirit? Am I praising, thanking God. Am I in submission to the proper authorities? Am I living my life to please the Lord, not as a manpleaser? When this is in order, THEN you WILL be victorious.

peanut - how do y'all look at someone and say umm now god has a plan for that

The Bible says so. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Ask God to reveal it to you...wait upon his answer.

Adanac - I have always wondered how to go about finding my place in the body of Christ, But don't know how

How to you find your place in the Body of Christ? First, find a church that preaches the whole gospel, not bits and pieces here and there, usually called "full-gospel". I'm assuming of course that you've already given your heart and life to Jesus. If you aren't his sheep, you won't be able to find your place in the flock.

Athie - Adanac God has a place for each of us. Ask him, do what you can and He will add to that - we can all pray.

eternally secure - I also like the thought, that's Gods thoughts toward also include peace.

Anyway, attend that church regularly, participate in worship, VOLUNTEER when help is needed, no matter how lowly it seems. And WAIT. God beautiful peace The Lord will reveal to you in due time what He wants you to do for Him. There are many ministries available, from cutting the grass and cleaning the toilet, to going to prisons, witnessing house to house, visiting the sick, teaching Sunday school, etc.

peanut - well I think the way I look at it is a lot of folks say peanut-- hmm god has something in store for you-- the peanut does not see this-- what can be so special about one person--.. what are their special plans for one...geez I rambling-- I am trying to understand things you are saying-- am I way off here

There is a spiritual principle at work - Jesus said, if you are faithful in a few things, or in humble things, I will make you ruler over many things. As you learn and grow, the Lord gives you ever-greater responsibility.

Matthew 25:23 "His master replied, `Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'

The Bible says in Psalms 119:105 that "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." There was a tiny lamp that they used in Bible days that gave just enough light to see the next step. That's how it is in the kingdom - God reveals a step to you in His Word, you take it. Then He gives you light for the next one. And so on.

Adanac - Well, OT I am born again. Baptized in the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongue. But I still feel like everyone else knows where they belong except me. Boo Hoo

The first step is to accept Jesus as Savior. When you do that, seek God, and He will show you what's next. Sometimes it takes years of preparation to grow into your ministry. Moses spent 40 years on the backside of the desert. Joshua spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness. David was humble shepherd for many years, and even after being anointed as king, he had to flee from King Saul's wrath, and be in hiding for several years.

There is this thing called FAITH. when you ask God for or to do SOMETHING, then you must have faith that He will provide it to you. You should thank Him for it before you ever see it. And wait upon the Lord

Alma - When you say "seek God" Do you mean to study the Bible?

Noah spent 100 years building the ark, being continually laughed at by his neighbors and friends. And so on. Be faithful where you are, spend your time learning and praising God, and in due time He will show you. Read and meditate on the Word, and DO it, and seek God in prayer. If you want to hear from Him, you gotta talk to Him and then listen.

Athie - Adanac you are on the way. That is a good testimony

Adanac - OT If I wait 40 years ,I'l be 91 HA HA

Abraham waited 100 years for the Son of Promise and Sarah was 90!

eternally secure - Moses was 80 when he led the children of Israel

Right ES, Moses spent 40 years as the son of Pharaoh and learned everything Egypt had to offer, then he spent 40 years as a wandering shepherd on the backside of the desert, and learned what God needed for him to know.

peanut - when you speak of this warfare you talk about.. umm is it kind of like this... this is the only way I understand tell me if I am off.. okie dke-- in order to be effective on the battlefield a soldier must be both well trained and properly equipped.. he must access as well to both a defensive stronghold and offensive weaponry right.. he or she must know the enemy and be alert to surprise attacks right.. but if you don't know what the battle is about you can't fight in it..

Right peanut, and that's where we'll start next time. Read Ephesians 6:10-18 and we'll talk about that.

Athie - OT is 78 too young to start?

MOM! start! You just keep going and going and going... praise the Lord! How many years have you been a teacher now?

Athie - I have been teaching children 50 years.

eternally secure - Psalm 92:14 "And they shall still bring forth fruit in old age, they shall be fat and flourishing"

WOW mom that's great! I knew it was a long time. And God sees your faithfulness and is extremely pleased. You know mom, I believe that you will not only reap rewards from being faithful as a Sunday school teacher, but since you taught ME to teach, you will reap rewards from our ministry as well! LOVE to you all. You mean so much to me! I appreciate each one of you, your thoughts and comments.

Father God we pray that you will reveal to Adanac, peanut and us all what your plan is for our lives. Help us to be patient and wait on YOUR timing, and be willing to be a servant in your kingdom. In Jesus Name AMEN Praise God for His peace. Praise God for His love Bless all who have joined us. Make the Word real to them, Lord, and teach them how to apply it to their everyday life. IN Jesus Name AMEN May God's richest blessings in Christ Jesus shower your lives to overflowing in the blessed peace of the Holy Spirit. AMEN!

Remember, whenever God gives us a revelation, the devil tries to steal it from us. Guard your hearts and meditate on what you've learned!
And put it into practice.

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