1 Timothy 6 Message 29
Paul has been instructing the pastor on the –
a. Ministry to members
b. Ministry to widows
c. Ministry to pastors
And we conclude this section with the pastor’s –
d. Ministry to slaves and to masters. 1 Timothy 6:1-2
John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Paul is helping Timothy, pastors, and churches throughout the ages to deal with a very difficult situation arising from human relationships and responsibilities. We know that the Lord has set us free from the bondage of sin and from religious tradition. God is no respecter of persons and we are all equal in His sight. The problem arises when we confuse relationship with responsibility.
God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit are absolutely equal in their relationship, yet they carry out responsibilities which cause them to submit and serve one another which in no way affects their equality.
John 8:28-30 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. As he spake these words, many believed on him.
John 10:30 I and my Father are one.
Men and women are equal in their value to God, yet their have responsibilities which demand submission and servitude in their relationships. The responsibilities are clearly set forth in the Bible, God’s Word.
Masters, servants, and slaves are equal in their value to God, yet they also have responsibilities which demand submission and servitude in their relationships. Again, these responsibilities are clearly set forth in God’s Word.
The relationship between God, the Father, The Son, and The Spirit is always perfect and pure, without conflict and their responsibilities are fulfilled without contradiction.
This, sadly, cannot be said about men and women or about masters, servants, and slaves. The human nature, the sin nature, continues to strive for mastery even in the Christian.
The unbeliever may claim, sometimes loudly and angrily, “I am no man’s slave”!
When I was 18 years old, I was hired by an engineering company to work in the print shop and to be a messenger. I had not been at the company long when I was asked to go to a local Italian restaurant and pick up lunches for the partners and clients as they had an afternoon meeting. Upon my arriving at the restaurant, I found that a communication problem had occurred and the manger had to contact my supervisor. He called and said “Your boy is here to collect the order”. I interrupted him and told him in no uncertain terms that I was not their boy and I did not appreciate his words.
Now, the fact is that I agreed with the company to sell them my time and so as long as I was on their clock, I was their boy. My ego, my pride had gotten in the way of truth. I was serving the company. I had something those spoken of by Paul did not have, I could quit and work for someone else or I could start my own business – but that does not change the fact that I am going to serve someone, even if it is myself.
I, as kindly as I can, declare unto you may very well be the slave of the person who looks back at you from a mirror with all of his or her faults, failures, pride, ego, lust and whatever has not been put off with the old man and replaced with the things of the new man. We are in a struggle to be free from ourselves and the only way we can do this is to follow the instructions of God through the Apostle Paul in –
Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
We see the need Paul addressed in these verses because of believer’s failure to give themselves wholly unto the Lord in all things.
Their mindset could be that since the servant is equal in the church, they would be tempted to consider themselves equal in all situations.
Paul dealt with this situation in his letter to the church in Corinth, instructing them to be faithful to the Lord and to their position –
1 Corinthians 7:20-24 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant. Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.
Considering the plight of slaves, they may rebel against their position of bondage and desire to be free.
Consider also the difficulty in serving a harsh master , especially after having the opportunity to fellowship in the church with those kind and caring brethren. It also could be that the servant will see his master as being friendly and caring to others in church, while being harsh and difficult in the home. The servant might feel he is being treated unfairly and rebel against his master.
We learn here that –
1). Freedom in Christ should not promote rebellion
1 Timothy 6:1 Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.
2). Equality in Christ should not promote disrespect
1 Timothy 6:2 And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.
The servant is to not expect special consideration from the master just because they are on equal standing as brethren in the service of the Lord.
3). Refer to 1 Peter 2:17-18
1 Peter 2:17-18 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.
The word translated ‘Servants’ is not the general word used for a servant, but this word ‘Οἰκέτης’, includes members of a household. Peter is restricting the use here to servants, but as believers, refers to them as to belonging in a more familiar sense than just a paid employee or a slave.
He is speaking here to both the relationship as believers and the responsiblities as servants. The Lord, in giving this command through the Apostle Peter, will give the grace to carry it out for His honour and glory.
Ephesians 6:5-8 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
Titus 2:9-10 Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.
The master’s attitude as required by the Lord is seen in the simple wording by Paul –
Colossians 4:1 Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven. Servants and masters, both answerable to God for their behaviour. Do we have the testimony that God will have us to have for His honour and glory?