9 Slaves are to be subject to their own masters in everything, to do what is wanted and not talk back,
10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith, in order to bring credit to the teaching of God our Savior in everything.
- doû-los, means a slave, bond-servant, or servant.
- Though there were abuses and few rights for slaves in the Roman Empire, slavery was a main source of employment.
- Many slaves lived in better conditions than freemen.
- Many slaves were treated well so they would be better workers.
- There were 3 million slaves out of a population of 7.5 million total in the Roman Empire around the time that Paul wrote these words.
- Slaves in the Roman Empire were obtained the following ways:
- received as a payment for debt,
- voluntary surrendered by choice for money,
- arrested and sold to pay restitution for a crime,
- or captured in war.
- Since slavery is not legal in our culture, how can we apply this scripture to us today?
- Why should we be grateful to live in this country and in this time period?
are to be subject –
- hypo-tássō, means to subordinate and to obey.
- This same word was used earlier in verse 5 when referring to younger women to be subject to their own husbands.
to their own masters –
- des-pót-ēs, means an absolute ruler.
- From this word we get our English word, despot.
in everything –
- pas, means all, any, every, the whole.
- Do you know other Christians who passively or even aggressively rebel against their boss or manager’s instructions? If so, what problems does this cause?
- Should a Christian employee be silent or should they provide their input to their boss if they think there is a better way of doing things? If input is provided yet the manager does not follow it, what should a Christian do?
- In our culture, is our boss our absolute ruler?
- When should a Christian not obey their boss or manager?
- In today’s culture, what are healthy boundaries we should have between our boss and ourselves?
to do what is wanted and –
- eu, mean good and well
- ar-es-tos, means agreeable
- A Christian should do his assigned tasks with a good and agreeable attitude.
not talk back-
- Ante, means opposite.
- Lego, means speak.
- A Christian should not dispute to do tasks asked of him.
- What specifically in our human nature causes us to have a poor attitude when we are asked to do tasks?
- Can you name an example of a person who receives tasks with an agreeable attitude and with good words?
not pilfering –
- nos-phí-zom-ai, means…
- Means to purloin- to take something that belongs to someone else.
- To embezzle- to steal money that you have been trusted with.
- To withdraw covertly and appropriate to one’s own use.
- Can you give examples from the news of people who embezzled money from their company or church?
- What are minor ways that almost everyone purloins from their employer?
but showing all good faith –
A) but – al-la, means an exception.
B) showing – en-deík-ny-mi, means to indicate.
C) good – ag-ath-ós, meaning good, excellent, upright, honorable.
D) faith –
- pis’-tis, can mean a persuasion or moral conviction of religious truth, but in this context it means fidelity or faithfulness.
- Fidelity means the quality of being faithful or loyal to a country, organization, etc.
in order –
- Hin-a, means, in order, or so that.
- Denotes the purpose or the result of showing good faith..
to bring credit –
- kos-mé-ō, means to put in proper order, i.e. decorate, ornament.
- From where we get our English word, cosmos, which means the universe especially when it is understood as an ordered system.
- Matthew 12:44 (NET) 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the home I left.’ When it returns, it finds the house empty, swept clean, and put in order.
- Revelation 21:2 (NET) 2 And I saw the holy city – the new Jerusalem – descending out of heaven from God, made ready like a bride adorned for her husband.
- The sense is that when the Christian servant avoids doing wrong to his master but instead is faithful, then the master and others will see the doctrine of the servant, which is God’s teaching, as being beautiful, ordered, adorned, and attractive.
- Does your work give credit to God’s teaching?
- What motive does a lost person have to serve well at their work?
- How is the motive of a Christian’s work similar and different to a lost person?
- Can you give examples of differences you see between Christian workers and lost workers at your job?
to the teaching of –
- Did-as-kal-i-a, means the information contained within the instruction.
God our Savior –
A) God –
- the-os, meaning the supreme Divinity.
B) Savior –
- so-ter, meaning a deliverer.
- Pas, meaning all, any, every, the whole.
- This means that God’s teaching will be glorified in everything – even in slavery.
Listening Prayer method – a method where you write what you think God would say to you after meditating and studying a Bible passage.
Does your performance at work bring credit to God’s teaching?
Be grateful for your country and the time in which you live. Slavery has been abolished. You have the freedom to move from employer to employer if you wish. My providence has placed you in the richest country on earth with a multitude of economic opportunities.
Also be grateful for your managers. They encourage your feedback, and they are reasonable with assigned tasks. Work with a positive and agreeable attitude while not complaining.
Push yourself to stay on task. Restrain yourself from steeling company time with excessive personal conversations and looking on the internet at non-work related things. Be honest at work. Do not even show the appearance of infidelity with company resources that they may put their full trust in you.
Do all this to glorify Me and My teaching.