Ephesians Sentence by Sentence: 6:9

Καὶ οἱ κύριοι, τὰ αὑτὰ ποιεῖτε πρὸς αὐτούς, ἀνιέντες τὴν ἀπειλήν, εἰδότες ὅτι καὶ αὐτῶν καὶ ὑμῶν ὁ κύριός ἐστιν ἐν οὐρανοῖς καὶ προσωπολημψία οὐκ ἔστιν παρ᾽ αὐτῷ. And masters, do the same to them, ceasing threatening, knowing that also theirs and your Master is in heaven and partiality is not from him.

After having addressed the slaves, now Paul turns to the masters. He instructs masters to “do the same” to the slaves. Does this mean they are to obey the slaves? To do good as the slaves do? This phrase indicates that the masters were to fulfill their roles in the same way that the slaves fulfilled theirs, that is, they were to do the will of God wholeheartedly as though their actions were performed in service to Christ. They are not to rule their slaves by means of threats. Abusive leadership has no place in leadership done for Christ. They “do the same” by ceasing threatening their slaves. Why should they stop threatening their slaves? Because the heavenly Master, who is not only the Master of the masters but also of the slaves, does not show partiality (“partiality is not from him”). In other words, the Master will not be partial with the masters. He will be even-handed with the masters and the slaves.

And masters, do the same things to them, by ceasing threatening them, because you also know that theirs and your Master is in heaven and partiality is not from him.

If slavery is not a common thing in America today, what good is this verse for us? Many of us feel like slaves on the job. Those who are in administrative positions would do well to heed this verse. Managers, bosses, and the like should out of reverence for Christ, out of devotion and service to the Lord, deal respectfully with their employees, which excludes threatening them in order to get them to perform. Bribery or blackmail, threats of indirect or direct physical harm or destruction of property, or even verbal abuse should have no place for Christian masters. Honor God with your actions. Choose to treat your employees with the highest level of respect. When it all comes down to it, administrators and employees, or masters and slaves, will all be dealt with by God without partiality. Christians are all going to be held accountable by God, regardless of their financial, economic, social, or political statuses. We need to remember that God cares about how we interact with each other. Therefore, it is imperative that we treat each other with the love Christ demands of us.

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