Daily Devotional- Ephesians 6:1-9

If the husband and wife are the picture of Christ and His church, where does that leave children? Paul answers. Children are to obey their parents in the Lord. He quotes form Exodus 20 and adds a general promise—that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth. There are a couple differences, here, from Exodus 20 because Exodus 20 was a promise for Israel living in the land of Canaan. Paul is writing to Gentiles and applies the principle. In general and in society, people will live longer if parents are discipling children and children are honoring and obeying their parents. When there is a breakdown of the Christian family, there is a breakdown in society and people will generally experience more difficult lives and shorter lifespans. I think we see this ring true in our own modern society. Fathers are not to provoke their children to anger—which reveals something about God’s own heart for His people. He is not interested in picking on us or provoking us to anger. The intentions of His will are kind (cf. Ephesians 1:5).

In First Century Rome, people had slaves. Some slaves were owned. Some were paying off a debt. Some were treated more like employees today. Paul does not comment on the morality of slavery in any form. He does instruct slaves to be obedient to their masters. They are only masters according to the flesh. Obey them in sincerity of heart as to Christ. They are not to pretend to serve their masters. They are to do the will of God from the heart, rendering service as to the Lord and not men. Whether a person is a slave or free, God will reward that person according to his or her sincere service in this life according to the flesh.

Paul instructs masters also. They are to serve their slaves in sincerity and give up threatening them. Their true master, both the earthly master and the slave, is in Heaven. He will not show partiality to either the earthly master or the slave. They are equals in God’s sight. So, honor God. Have kind intentions in sincerity because the intentions of God’s own will are kind toward us.

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