Text: Colossians 3:22
LIFE IN THE FIRST CENTURY
The following text must be read and understood as a statement of life in the first century. The Roman Empire ruled much of Europe, the Middle East and even Africa. In those days, slavery was an established feature in society.
“Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh,
not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God.
And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,
knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance;
for you serve the Lord Christ.
But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done,
and there is no partiality.”
a) This word is directed to Christian bondservants (literally “slaves”).
b) They are obviously urged to behave as Christian bondservants.
2. Exemplary behaviour is enjoined
a) Christian bondservants must display the following:-
i) True Obedience
iii) The fear of God
iv) Heartily suggests sincerity
v) As if they were serving the Lord Jesus Christ Himself
b) Christian bondservants must avoid the following
i) Giving “eyeservice”
ii) Being “men-pleasers”
a) A good reward awaits those who serve faithfully.
b) Just recompense awaits those who do not serve faithfully.
SOUND PRACTICAL ADVICE
Paul did not attempt to challenge the practice of slavery in his time. His focus was on things spiritual and eternal. His mature outlook of life is one that is worthwhile studying and emulating. May our hearts be challenged to live well for the Lord, in whatever capacity we find ourselves in.