Paul’s Perspective On Bondage

Jan 21, 2018Written Devotionals

“Let all who are under the yoke as bond servants esteem their own [personal] masters worthy of honor and fullest respect, so that the name of God and the teaching [about Him] may not be brought into disrepute and blasphemed.  Let those who have believing masters not be disrespectful or scornful [to them] on the grounds that they are brothers [in Christ]; rather, they should serve [them all the better] because those who benefit by their kindly service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these duties.  But if anyone teaches otherwise and does not assent to the sound and wholesome messages of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and the teaching which is in agreement with godliness (piety toward God),”    1 Timothy 6:1-3   Amplified Bible

In our culture, we are taught to think of self first.  We are trained to worry only about our needs, never giving a thought to the needs of others.  We believe we deserve to be treated to certain things and to demand those things.  All of this is contrary to the Word of God.

People have tried to apply the above verse to today by saying that this means that as an employee you should be respectful of your employer.  While that is a true statement, it belittles the instruction that Paul is imparting.  Paul is speaking of a bondservant not an employee.  An employee has the option of leaving a place if he is mistreated, a bondservant does not. He is truly a slave.

So Paul is saying that if you are a slave, you should not be focused on your rights first of all.  In fact, Paul is giving no mention of the rights of the slave to be free at all.  Paul certainly does not believe that slavery is acceptable nor does the Word speak this, but his point is that the most important thing to you should not be your rights.  Your first concern is the spiritual well being of others, even one who could place you in bondage.  Your concern is to see to it that you live a life that it is an example of Jesus and His love.  You are to pray for others before thinking of your own freedom.

If we would spend less time thinking about what we deserve and more time serving others, even those who mistreat us by serving them with the love of Jesus, we would see multitudes come to Jesus.  We have not experienced a great revival in this country for more than a hundred and fifty years.  Part of the reason is that we are living lives thinking of self and not serving others.  Even if we were called to endure bondage, so as to the win the lost, we should be willing make the sacrifice.  Thinking of others first rather than ourselves; it is a hard message, but one that is desperately needed in this time and culture.

J Todd Hostetler

www.cityonahillTC.org

 

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