The Bible is full of practical teaching on how Christ-followers live their lives. The first few verses of Ephesians 6 are just that. They teach us how Christ-followers honor Jesus at home and at work.
Ephesians 6:1-9 (HCSB)
1 Children, obey your parents as ⌊you would⌋ the Lord, because this is right. 2 Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise, 3 so that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life in the land. 4 Fathers, don’t stir up anger in your children, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
5 Slaves, obey your human masters with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ. 6 Don’t ⌊work only⌋ while being watched, in order to please men, but as slaves of Christ, do God’s will from your heart. 7 Serve with a good attitude, as to the Lord and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good each one does, slave or free, he will receive this back from the Lord. 9 And masters, treat your slaves the same way, without threatening them, because you know that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with Him.
HONOR CHRIST AT HOME
- Children, obey your parents (v1).
- Children, obey your parents in the same way that you would the Lord (v1).
- Children should obey their parents because it is right, not because their parents are always right (v1).
- Children should always honor their parents (vv2-3). This principle continues for all of your life.
- Honor your parents by the way you speak to them (v2).
- Honor your parents by the way you listen to them (v2).
- Honor your parents by the way you care for them in their old age (v3). When you do this, you set a good example for your own kids, and it will go well with you in your old age.
- Fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath (v4).
- Fathers, teach your children to walk with Christ (v4)
HONOR CHRIST AT WORK
[Note: When the Bible refers to “slaves” and “masters” in this passage, understand that their societal system in the first century was much different than what we have today. Much needed to change! Praise God that Jesus Christ laid the groundwork for the abolition of slavery all over the world! So, when you read the verses, realize that the most accurate way to apply the principles of Ephesians 6:5-9 today is to see that the instructions given to “slaves” can be applied today to “employees,” and the instructions given to “masters” can be applied today to “employers.”]
- Take your job seriously and do your job (v5).
- Show sincere, proper respect to your boss and your company (v5).
- Work in the same way that you would if Jesus were your boss (v5).
- Work hard all the time, not just when your supervisor is watching over you (v6).
- Work with a a good attitude (v7).
- Realize that you are actually working for the Lord, and not for men (vv7-8). The Lord will reward you as He chooses.
- Bosses, work in the same way that you expect your employees to work (see above points, vv5-9).
- Do not threaten your employees; rather, treat them fairly (v9).
- Remember that God does not show favoritism, and neither should we (v9).
- We should not think too highly of ourselves nor think of ourselves too lowly. The Lord chooses who works where. He doesn’t play favorites (v9).
PUT THE PRINCIPLES INTO PRACTICE
- In what ways are you honoring Christ at home?
- As you read Ephesians 6:1-4, what changes do you need to make in your family relationships?
- In what ways are you honoring Christ at work?
- As you read Ephesians 6:5-9, what changes do you need to make in your work relationships?