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Scripture Reading
Opening Prayer
Introduction
Before we get into out exposition of the text, let’s review some societal differences in Ephesus and the world of the time this letter was written.
Bondservants vs. More recent slavery
English Standard Version The Translation of Specialized Terms

Third, a particular difficulty is presented when words in biblical Hebrew and Greek refer to ancient practices and institutions that do not correspond directly to those in the modern world. Such is the case in the translation of ‘ebed (Hebrew) and doulos (Greek), terms which are often rendered “slave.” These terms, however, actually cover a range of relationships that requires a range of renderings—“slave,” “bondservant,” or “servant”—depending on the context. Further, the word “slave” currently carries associations with the often brutal and dehumanizing institution of slavery particularly in nineteenth-century America. For this reason, the ESV translation of the words ‘ebed and doulos has been undertaken with particular attention to their meaning in each specific context. Thus in Old Testament times, one might enter slavery either voluntarily (e.g., to escape poverty or to pay off a debt) or involuntarily (e.g., by birth, by being captured in battle, or by judicial sentence). Protection for all in servitude in ancient Israel was provided by the Mosaic Law, including specific provisions for release from slavery. In New Testament times, a doulos is often best described as a “bondservant”—that is, someone in the Roman Empire officially bound under contract to serve his master for seven years (except for those in Caesar’s household in Rome who were contracted for fourteen years). When the contract expired, the person was freed, given his wage that had been saved by the master, and officially declared a freedman. The ESV usage thus seeks to express the most fitting nuance of meaning in each context. Where absolute ownership by a master is envisaged (as in Romans 6), “slave” is used; where a more limited form of servitude is in view, “bondservant” is used (as in 1 Corinthians 7:21–24); where the context indicates a wide range of freedom (as in John 4:51), “servant” is preferred. Footnotes are generally provided to identify the Hebrew or Greek and the range of meaning that these terms may carry in each case. The issues involved in translating the Greek word doulos apply also to the Greek word sundoulos, translated in the text as “fellow servant.”

In other words, generally speaking, the slavery in view here is actually a form of contractual labor and, though different from how we today deem appropriate work relations, not at all the equivalent of what we think of with the word slavery.
This passage does not have an absolute direct relation to every workplace situation but it provides principles that definitely apply at work and in many other situations as well, even in your person walks with God.
Interesting to note here is that Paul even addresses wives, children, and slaves...
Exposition
Ephesians 6:5 ESV
5 Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ,
Bondservants
“earthly master” kurios/Lord, play on words
Obey with “fear and trembling, with a sincere heart”
This is a Helinistic Jewish saying from the Greek translation of the Old Testement always refers to submission to God in light of His mighty works. That it is used here emphasizes the next phrase
“as you would Christ”

Principle 1: Earthy authority is established by God so submission to earthly authority is submission to God (5)

Applications:
Workers
Citizens
Family relations
Exposition
Ephesians 6:6 ESV
6 not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,
“eye-service:
probably coined by Paul
“as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ”
Basically, it means that we are not to obey our earthly masters just to please them but rather to please God
“doing the will of God from the heart”
Ephesians 6:7 ESV
7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man,
“with a good will as to the Lord and not to man”
God sees the heart
Illustration: Kid cleaning room
Ephesians 6:8 ESV
8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free.
Illustration: An employer should love hiring Christians (College)
Just because we don’t serve God for the rewards doesn’t mean there are not any rewards
Illustration: Christian worker being paid the same as a lazy worker.

Principle 2: True obedience is not reliant on outward actions only but requires obedience of the heart (6-7)

Applications:
Workers
Citizens
Family relations
Exposition
Ephesians 6:9 ESV
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.

Principle 3: Those in authority are there by God’s decree and therefore are equally subject to God as those under authority (9)

Conclusion
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