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Ephesians (W11D1) Sincere Obedience

Week 11. Monday: Sincere Obedience

PRAY: Ask God to speak to you from His Word.

READ: Ephesians 6:5

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

UNDERSTAND: get a deeper understanding of the key words

  • Slaves (Greek: doulos): servant, bondservant, devoted to another

  • “Servants” is a better term. “Slaves” is not the best english term to use here.

  • Our modern view of slavery is not what Paul is referring to in this passage. In first century Ephesus, a servant was an integral part of the family. While some servants were abused and mistreated in that culture, most servants were treated as devoted family members. In most cases, servants willingly offered themselves to a household much like we willingly offer our employment to our employer. Paul is not approving of slavery as a practice.

  • Therefore, we should apply this passage to how we serve and treat those in authority over us at work, church, home, and anywhere else.

  • Obey (Greek: hypakouō): to listen and submit to a command (Romans 6:17)

  • Respect (Greek: phobos): fear, reverence

  • Though this word can mean fear, here it refers to reverence.

  • We are called to respect and honor the position of those in authority over us.

  • Also see Romans 13:1-7.

  • Fear (Greek: tromos): trembling, coming from an attitude of humility (Phil. 2:12)

  • Sincerity of Heart (Greek: haplotēs sy kardia): virtue, selfless attitude, honesty

  • Paul is referring to our motives behind our obedience to our leaders.

  • We should serve our leaders out of a selfless and humble attitude.

  • As You Would Obey Christ: this should be our chief motivation

APPLY: What is this passage calling me to do?

Obedience to those in authority over us can be a struggle. Sometimes those in positions of leadership can be hard to follow. Your boss may be one of those people. But this passage does not give us an option. We are called to obey and respect those that God has placed in authority. And God can use our humble sincerity to be an example to those around us.

Make a list of people that are in a place of authority over you.

Which ones do you struggle to follow? Why?

How does this passage help you with those struggles?

PRAY: Ask God to help you serve your leaders with sincerity and humility.

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