Colossians 3


‘Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.’ Colossians 3:1-4

Paul reminds the saints at Colossae that they need to keep their hearts and minds on heavenly things. This is so important even for Christians today, especially if we want to become mature by being transformed, Romans 12:2 / Romans 8:5-6.

One way to help us keep our minds on heavenly things is simply to follow Paul’s advice in Philippians 4:8 ‘Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.’

Paul gives us another reason why we should keep our hearts and minds set on heavenly things. He says, ‘we died’, this happened when we were baptised into Christ, Romans 6:3-6.

But what did we die to? We died to sin, Romans 6:7-13. The good news does not only do we die with Christ but we were also ‘raised with Christ’ which happened when we come up from the waters of baptism, Colossians 2:12. But we were raised with Christ for a purpose, Romans 6:4.

Notice also that Paul says our ‘life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.’

Our story will end in glory and the truth is we’ve already been glorified, it’s just that people haven’t seen it yet. Paul says in Romans 8:30 ‘And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.’

We have already been glorified. Now you might think, well, nobody can see it. Do you know why?

Because they can’t see Jesus’ glory either. It’s impossible apart from the illumination of the Holy Spirit for people to see the glory of God in a man on a cross. And since your life is hidden in Christ and they can’t see His glory.

Your life doesn’t make sense to them either. Here you are trying to focus on heaven, live by a different preoccupation, and not get caught up in the worry of the things of the world. And your life makes no sense at all to the world because you’re hidden in Christ and they can’t see who He is.

Paul says, ‘someday that’s going to change’. There’s going to come a day when the real world is revealed. That day is going to be the revelation of the Son of God.

‘Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices’ Colossians 3:5-9

To keep our hearts and minds on things above we must get rid of our earthly nature. ‘Sexual immorality’ in Greek is the word, ‘porneia’, this is a general term for any illicit sexual intercourse which includes adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism, and bestiality.

‘Impurity’ in Greek is the word, ‘akatharsia’ and it means uncleanness in a moral sense, the impurity of lustful, luxurious, profligate living.

‘Lust’ in Greek is the word, ‘pathos’ it was used by the Greeks in either a good or bad sense, in the New Testament in a bad sense, it means depraved passion, vile passions.

‘Evil desire’ in Greek is the word, ‘epithumia’ and it means to desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden, lust.

‘Greed’ in Greek is the word, ‘pleonexia’ and it means greedy desire to have more, covetousness, avarice. Notice Paul says this is the same as ‘idolatry’. Greed puts things in the place of God.

We’re to set our minds on things above, where God is, but when we’re greedy for material objects we have our minds on things below, making such objects our idols! Why is it important to put these sins to death?

‘Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.’ Colossians 2:6-7. It’s one thing to do these things when we lived in them, but in Christ, we have died to them.

But Paul hasn’t finished in his list of sins that need to be put to death within us. Notice he begins by naming the sins which are related to our emotions.

‘Anger’ in Greek is the word, ‘orge’ which means a movement or agitation of the soul, impulse, desire, any violent emotion, but especially anger.

‘Rage’ in Greek is the word ‘thumos’ and it means passion, angry, heat, and anger forthwith boiling up and soon subsiding again.

‘Malice’ in Greek is the word, ‘kakia’ which means malignity, malice, ill-will, desire to injure. Now notice that Paul now gives a list of sins that deal with the tongue.

‘Slander’ in Greek is the word, ‘blasphemia’ and it means to slander, detraction, speech injurious, to another’s good name; impious and reproachful speech injurious to divine majesty.

‘Filthy language’ in Greek is the word, ‘aischrologia’ and it means foul speaking, low and obscene speech.

‘Lying’ in Greek is the word, ‘pseudomai’ and it means, to lie, to speak deliberate falsehoods, to deceive one by a lie, to lie to.

And what is the reason for putting to death all these sins?

‘Taken off our old self.’ God is trying to help us become mature and sin only hinders us from becoming mature. And let’s be honest, we won’t put to death these sins and other sins not on Paul’s list here, overnight, they may take days, weeks, months or even years in some people’s cases, Colossians 2:11-12.

‘And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.’ Colossians 3:10-11

Notice what Paul says here, to encourage us to put to death those sins, He reminds us that have put on our ‘new self’. Again, this is a reference to what happens at our baptism, Galatians 3:27.

Those behavioural practices of life that they put off must be replaced with positive actions of righteousness. Now that they were walking in newness of life, their behaviour must characterise the One after whom they called themselves, Philippians 1:27.

We are ‘new’ because of the washing of sin by the blood of Jesus, we are ‘new’ because we decided to maintain direction in our life that’s guided by his knowledge of Christ. We’re continually renewed by the knowledge of Christ in walking the Christian life. The renewing process is a continual growth in the knowledge of Jesus, 2 Corinthians 3:18 / 2 Corinthians 4:16 / 2 Peter 3:18.

Our growth is pointed in the direction of the image of Jesus, and so, we’re continually becoming more like Jesus, 2 Peter 1:3-8. One identifying characteristic of those who are being conformed to the image of Christ is the fact that they begin to see humanity as God sees all men. God sees no race or social or economic classifications.

In Christ, our racism is broken down. Racism is dissolved in the minds of those who grow to understand that we are one in Christ. Though sociological behaviour between groups of people divides men in societies by cultural characteristics, such cannot divide disciples in the church, Galatians 3:26-29.

Being in Christ doesn’t mean that men lose their culture, all men are related to one another in society through their common cultural characteristics. However, when we come into Christ, our culture is moulded by God.

We’re transformed into the image of Christ, and so, dwell as one man with all who are in Christ. In the Christian community, therefore, every member is moulded to be able to dwell in eternity with those of other cultures.

Fellowship in the church becomes the test as to whether we can dwell in heaven with those who have come from different cultural backgrounds.

We need to remember that ‘Christ is all and in all’. This is one of the greatest statements made in Scripture that declares the fact that it is all about Jesus. In life and worship, the Christian must proclaim the centrality of Christ to our behaviour. If our worship is focused on what we can get out of it, then we have missed the point.

If we become Christian to see what material blessings we can receive, we don’t understand who Jesus is and what we must be in response to His deity. Every disciple must awake every morning and declare that it is a day the Lord has made, and thus declared Christ is all in all for the day.

‘Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.’ Colossians 3:12-17

Now notice that Paul gives us other reasons as to why we should put on these new ‘clothes’. He says we are ‘God’s chosen people, holy, dearly loved and forgiven by Christ’.

If these things alone don’t encourage us to be transformed, I don’t know what will. God has foreseen that in final judgment He will elect out of the world His children, 1 Peter 1:21 / 1 Peter 2:5 / 1 Peter 2:9.

From our standpoint that is confined to time, we haven’t realised the action of His future election of the church out of the world. However, since God does know the future, and what He will do, then Christians can be referred to in time as the elect of God.

Therefore, since we are the ones who will in the future be called into eternal glory, we must put on the nature of Christ with whom we will dwell in heaven. The nature that must characterise the elect is developed by loving God and one’s neighbour, Matthew 22:37-40 / John 13:34-35.

Interpersonal relationships are based on loving our neighbour. Love in action will thus produce the fruit of the Spirit in one’s life.

Paul continues to describe the ‘clothing’ Christians must put on. He begins by reminding us that there are two ways we need to treat others.

‘Compassion’ in Greek is the word, ‘oiktirmos’ which means pity, mercy or a heart of compassion. ‘Kindness’ in Greek is the word, ‘chrestotes’ and it means usefulness, kindness. Paul continues and gives us two more things that we need to put on in relation to our state of mind.

‘Humility’ in Greek is the word, ‘tapeinophrosune’ and it means to have a humble opinion of one’s self, a deep sense of one’s moral littleness, modesty, humility, lowliness of mind.

‘Gentleness’ in Greek is the word, ‘praotes’ and it means mildness, meekness. Paul continues and gives us three more things that we need to put on in relation to how we act when we’re being mistreated by others.

‘Patience’ in Greek is the word, ‘makrothumia’ and it means forbearance, longsuffering, slowness in avenging wrongs.

‘Bearing with one another’ in Greek is the word, ‘anechomai’ and it means to sustain, to bear, to endure. ‘Forgiving one another’ in Greek is the word, ‘charizomai’ and it means to do something pleasant or agreeable, to do a favour, gratify, to grant forgiveness, to pardon. Forgiving others is demanded because we have been forgiven by Christ!

Paul continues and gives us one more thing that we need to put on and that’s ‘love’. This is the Greek word, ‘agape’ meaning goodwill, benevolence. Paul says love ‘binds them all together in perfect unity.’

Without love, none of the other virtues can last, with it, the others can be easily maintained.

And when all these are tied together the Christian can display the character of Christ Himself. But Paul isn’t finished yet, he speaks about ‘the peace of God which must dwell in our hearts.’

Why? Because we were called to be at ‘peace’ in one body, the church. This is one reason why Jesus came to die on the cross, Ephesians 2:14-18. In other words, if we disrupt the peace of the body, church, we disrupt the work of Christ on the cross and so we must be diligent to ‘maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond peace.’ Ephesians 4:3

Let’s be honest with ourselves, where there is contention and strife, it’s among members of the body who aren’t letting the peace of God rule in their hearts. Peace in the body, the church, begins with peace ruling in our hearts.

And this whole process begins when we follow Paul’s advice in Colossians 3:1-2 ‘Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.’ And this peace is experienced as we engage in ‘thankful prayer’, Philippians 4:6-7.

Paul continues with our new ‘clothing’ and tells us we need to ‘let the message of Christ dwell among you richly.’ This is possible only through a serious effort to learn it, whether it be through Bible study on our own or in a class or through sermons but as we know learning is one thing but obeying what we’re learning is another, James 1:22-25.

Notice also that Paul says that the message is to dwell in us ‘richly’, this happens when we add to our study of the Word of God the element of ‘song.’ We know this because Paul says we’re to let the Word dwell in us richly, in other words, by ‘teaching and admonishing one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.’

In other words, if the Word of God is going to dwell in us, it doesn’t only involve the mind through Bible study but it also involves the heart, our emotions, and through song. We have to understand the words of the songs we’re singing and sing with gratitude in our hearts and when we do it’s all joy, Ephesians 5:19.

In both Ephesians and Colossians notice the phrase ‘one another’ is used, Paul is reminding us what the type of music is to be used, and that type of music is congregational singing.

Paul mentions three categories of singing, ‘Psalms’ which are songs from the Old Testament book of Psalms. ‘Hymns’ are songs of praise and ‘Spiritual songs’ are basically poetry songs. All of which are to be sung with the purpose of ‘teaching’ and ‘admonishing’ one another with spiritual truths.

The Ephesian passage also tells us that we are to ‘make music in our hearts’. When we sing, we are teaching and admonishing each other and so filling each other with the words of Christ. This isn’t an outward attitude, expressed with instruments, or by clapping our hands in time with the song, it’s very much an inner attitude.

God says listen, ‘apart from glorifying Him, singing is also a way of getting fed spiritually’. When we’re singing the words to a song, we are feeding each other on the word of God at the same time. And because we are feeding on those words, we are also promoting the purity of the heart within ourselves.

God tells us that we’ve got 4 things to think about when we are praising Him in song.

1. We can sing Psalms, spiritual songs and hymns.

2. Our singing needs to be aimed at Him.

3. We need to sing with gratitude.

4. We need to sing from the heart.

That’s why we sing together as a body of believers and that’s why we have to sing together at the same time because when we sing together, we are praising God together, and that’s part of our worship to Him.

Now have you ever noticed what comes before Ephesians 5:19? Yes, it’s Ephesians 5:18, but what does Ephesians 5:17-18 say? ‘Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.’

Now is Paul jumping on to a different subject in verse 19? Of course not, he’s still speaking about our attitude towards other people and the will of God. You see, being filled with the Spirit means filling our minds with the word of God and what that does, is creates gratitude in our hearts, which is expressed in our singing to God. That’s why Paul says, ‘Don’t get drunk on wine’, he’s saying the Lord’s will for us is joy, not alcohol.

He goes on to say in Ephesians 5:20-21 ‘Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.’

In other words, everything we do in our worship assemblies is done out of gratitude. Paul says it should always be like this, he says we should be thankful for all things, we should be thankful for everything in Jesus’ name, and our thankfulness should be aimed at God.

Singing praises to God is a privilege, it’s a joy and God has given each of us a voice with which to praise Him. Think about it, if our singing comes from our hearts, it goes straight to the heart of God, and that’s a wonderful experience.

The word ‘singing’ in our English translations is from the Greek word ‘psallo’, which literally means, ‘plucking the heartstrings.’ When we use our voices to praise God, we are plucking our heartstrings and so not only is God pleased but it also brings us great joy.

Paul continues and says, ‘and whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.’

This is speaking about the authority of Christ. For if we say or do all ‘in the name of the Lord Jesus’, that is, by His authority, then it’s evident that we have put on the Lord Jesus Christ in our lives.

‘Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. Colossians 3:18-21

After speaking about the sufficiency and supremacy of Christ, and all the sins we’ve to put off and the new virtues we’ve to put on, Paul now moves on to speak about how families and servants and masters should conduct themselves.

He begins by telling us, ‘Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.’ The Greek word for ‘submit’ is ‘hupotasso’ and it means to arrange under, to subordinate, subject, put in subjection, obey. And so, wives are to be in submission to their husbands, as is fitting in the Lord, Ephesians 5:22.

The word ‘fitting’ in Greek is ‘aneko’ and it means to pertain to what is due, duty, as was fitting. To be willing to submit to another is certainly in keeping with Jesus’ own teaching and example, Matthew 20:25-28 / Ephesians 5:21 / Hebrews 13:17 / 1 Peter 2:13-15 / 1 Peter 2:18 / 1 Peter 5:5-7.

Now, what does ‘in the Lord’ mean? I think the way to figure this out in part is to look at the phrase ‘in the Lord’ every time it occurs in the Bible. That won’t take long. It only occurs three times.

‘A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, only in the Lord.’ 1 Corinthians 7:39

Does it mean that the person she marries must be a Christian? That is certainly one alternative.

It occurs in Ephesians 6:1 ‘Children, obey your parents in the Lord.’

Now, does that mean that if you have Christian parents, you have to obey them and if you don’t have Christian parents, you don’t have to obey them? No. I think it means that children are to obey their parents in the sphere of the Lord’s authority.

You have to obey your parents the way the Lord says to obey your parents.

‘In the Lord’ means in the way that the Lord guides you, in the way the Lord teaches you, in a way that shows you are in submission to the Lord.

 ‘Wives submit to your husbands in the Lord’. Colossians 3:18

Does that mean that if he is a Christian, you have to submit to him, but if he isn’t a Christian, you don’t have to submit to him? No. Paul’s counsel is to the wives. Wives, you are to submit to your husbands. How? In the Lord, in the way, the Lord would have you do it.

Submit to him in the way the Lord leads you to submit to Him, not in the world’s concept, but Jesus’ concept. Wives, submit to your husbands in a way pleasing, acceptable to the Lord. ‘In the Lord’ signifies a realm of authority.

Paul continues and says, ‘Husband, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.’ Paul speaks more about this in Ephesians 5:25-27. Our role model is Christ, and His love for the church and husbands are to love their wives just as Christ loved the church, in other words, it’s a sacrificial kind of love, Ephesians 5:28-29.

Just as we nourish and cherish our own bodies, so husbands should love their wives. The word, ‘nourish’ comes from the Greek word, ‘ektrepho’ which means to nourish up to maturity, to nurture, bring up.

The words ‘tenderly cares’ are from the Greek word, ‘thalpo’ which means to warm, keep warm, to cherish with tender love, to foster with tender care, again, this is how Christ loves the church.

Notice also that Paul says our love for our wives should have any ‘harshness’ involved. The Greek word for ‘harsh’ is ‘pikraino’ and it means to produce a bitter taste in the stomach, to embitter, render angry, to be embittered, irritated, 1 Peter 3:7.

I believe the principle is clear when husbands love their wives as Christ loves the church, and aren’t harsh toward them, then it’s much easier for wives to be submissive to their husbands. Since husbands are to be the leader in the family, then let them show leadership by fulfilling their responsibility.

Paul continues and says, ‘Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.’

This is one of those verses which children throughout the world don’t like, only because they don’t understand that they are actually pleasing to God, Ephesians 6:1-3.

Nobody likes a rebellious child and neither do God and fathers need to remind themselves of the dangers of a rebellious child. In the Old Testament for example we get a glimpse of what God thinks of rebellious children, 1 Samuel 15:22-23.

This shows us the importance of trying to raise our children correctly and helping our children to understand why they need to obey their parents, especially their fathers. When we think about it, fathers have a very important responsibility towards their children. Fathers need to encourage and understand their children and show them some compassion, Joshua 24:14-15.

Fathers need to train their children about spiritual things, Ephesians 6:4. It’s so easy to treat a child unfairly, whether that be through inappropriate punishment or showing favour to one of their siblings and even worse, being a hypocrite.

Please take special note here, parents, especially fathers are to train and instruct their children in the ways of the Lord, they are not responsible for their children becoming Christians, that’s God’s department.

Some children have been raised in the church and have gone off the rails, especially preacher’s kids but parents can’t always take the responsibility for their children’s actions. If your child decides they don’t want to be Christians, this isn’t necessarily a failure on your part.

Keep loving them, keep encouraging them and let God do what only He can do, 1 Corinthians 3:6-7.

‘Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favour, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favouritism. Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.’ Colossians 3:22-4:1

How do you become a slave? Well, you could become a slave in 1 of 3 ways.

1. Your father was a slave and if his dad was a slave and he was born into that family, he was the owner’s property. The owner could sell him and do whatever he wants with him.

2. Maybe he was a thief who stole money and under Jewish or even Roman law, if you stole and could not pay back, then they can take you as a slave.

3. Maybe he was a murderer, but instead of killing him, they would decide to give him to the victim’s family and the family could take him or sell him or do whatever they liked.

So whatever reason, a slave has no rights whatsoever, he was a piece of property, and his masters owned him. And at the slave market, they would auction them off. Then someone would buy them for so many shekels and now the slave belongs to him.

Imagine when the slave’s new master takes him home. Who is going to supply a bed for the slave? His master is going to supply a place for him to sleep. In the morning where is the slave going to get food from?

The slave doesn’t have any food with him, so his master has to feed him. The master has to feed and clothe and provide a place for his slave to sleep. The slave depended completely on the master for his life, he had nothing if the master did not provide it for him. That meant that the slave didn’t worry because he simply depended on the master but no matter what the master said the slave had to do it.

There is a section in Deuteronomy, which describes a special rule. Deuteronomy 15:12-17. In Deuteronomy 15:12 it says, that on occasion a Hebrew would end up purchasing a fellow Hebrew as a slave. ‘If a fellow Hebrew, a man or a woman, sells himself to you and serves you six years, in the seventh year you must let him go free.’

Can you imagine for a moment that you are a Hebrew and you have served me for 6 years? And congratulations, it’s your 7th year, you’ve served me and now you are free to go.

However, Deuteronomy 15:13-14 says ‘And when you release them, do not send them away empty-handed. Supply them liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to them as the LORD your God has blessed you.’

Now if this was applied today, if I was to give the slave £5, the Lord would ask, is this supplying him liberally? No. Liberally is saying, ‘here is a blank cheque, here are the keys to a brand-new car for you which is parked outside and there is a holiday villa which is yours waiting in Hawaii.’

The slave has just gone from being a slave with nothing to having a charge account, a car, and a place to live. I have supplied him liberally now.

Now any slave is saying, ‘this is my lucky day’ and most slaves would say, ‘thank you very much’ when the master says, ‘ok, it’s all yours, you’re free to go’.

But as the slave begins to go, he turns, and says, ‘I don’t want to go’. Deuteronomy 15:16 says, when the servant says, ‘You know what master, I appreciate all of this but I’d rather stay, you take care of me, you give me life, I don’t have to worry, can I stay?’

The Scripture says, ‘If he says that, then you take him to the doorpost of your house’. The reason you would go to the doorpost is because there is a strong piece of wood and then you take an awl, which is a metal object used to poke holes in leather.

You would take his ear and you take a hammer and you would drive it through his ear, piercing his ear. And in that hole, you would hang something from it, which probably had his master’s name on it and for the rest of their life, they were your servant.

Though in this context Paul deals specifically with slave-master relationships that were the common work relationships of the Roman Empire, the principles that he discusses here should also be applied to employee-employer relationships. In such societies, an employee isn’t under bondage as a slave, for he can quit the job whenever he so desires.

However, he is to treat his employer with no less respect and servitude as Paul here enjoins servants to respect their masters. We would conclude that an employee in today’s economic structure should treat his employer with even greater servitude because he has the freedom to quit the job.

In all things, the Christian employee must remember that it’s his responsibility to make his employer successful. If through irresponsible conduct he does not, he will be out of a job, and subsequently brings shame on the name of Jesus, Ephesians 6:5-8.

Slaves should obey their masters with a sincere heart. If they give grudging service, such will bring harshness upon them by their masters. Their service should be motivated by a heart that fears God.

In the Old Testament, the fear of God was in reference to our obedience to God. Those who feared God obeyed His commandments. In this context, when we fear God we will be the best employee we can possibly be in response to the will of God.

‘Work at it with all your heart’, should be the attitude of all Christians who serve either masters or employers, Ecclesiastes 9:10. Christians should serve with diligence in everything they do, Romans 12:11.

Paul’s point is that Christianity changes the nature of our service to others. Those employees who are in the world may give grudging service to their employers but not so with Christians. Their attitude toward their masters and employers should be based on their fear of God, 1 Peter 2:18-25.

The service of the Christian is given to others as if they were working for the Lord, and not a master or employer. When the Christian is working for their living, therefore, they are working on behalf of the Lord. When we become a Christian, our attitude changes concerning our work in making a living.

As a Christian, they go to work every day for the Lord. By working to earn a living to support our own necessities, we earn in order to help the poor and to support the Gospel being spread throughout the world, Romans 10:15 / Philippians 4:17.

Those servants and employees who do wrong to their masters and employers will reap what they sow. Both servants and masters, employees and employers should work in view of the fact that all men will stand in judgment before God, 2 Corinthians 5:10.

As Christians, we must remember that all our service in this world to others is in view of the fact that God served our sin problem through Jesus.

Paul continues to encourage masters to deal fairly with their servants, Ephesians 6:9. Christian masters must understand that they will also give an account before their Master in heaven. Therefore, they should deal with their servants or today’s employees, in view of the fact that they will stand in judgment for their own behaviour.

It’s an encouragement that is based on the concept that they should do to others as they would want the Lord to do to them, Matthew 7:12.

And most all, we all have to remember, whether slave or master, that on Judgement Day, the only people that will walk through the pearly gates are those who respond to, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!’ Matthew 25:21

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"Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted."