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Friday: Further Thought ~ Practicing Supreme Loyalty to Christ — 12 Comments

  1. I think we make a mistake if we think that Paul should have written a textbook for twenty-first-century living. He lived in the first century and he was for a time the pastor of the growing Christian church in Ephesus. They were learning how to apply Christian values in a culture that was very different from ours.

    I taught mathematics in a classroom, but I was always very much aware that most of my students would never go on to become mathematicians, or even use mathematics as a tool in their real life. However, I knew that the problem-solving skills they developed by solving mathematics would come in handy for a wide range of issues outside the classroom. That was a life skill.

    Paul is essentially giving Christian living skills in a classroom far from us in both time and culture and we need to take those lessons and apply them to our real spiritual lives in our time. Keep close to Christ. Treat one another with respect. Love one another unselfishly. We are still learners. Paul has a message that translates to the twenty-first century and across the cultural gap.

    Now, I am about to put on my wheels and drive out into the outback where I will most likely not have internet access for a week. Some of that time I will be sitting in an ancient volcanic crater under some of the clearest night skies in the world. And, I hope to photograph birds I have never seen before. Blessings to you all.

  2. That means that you will be absent for a week. Enjoy your time in God’s beautiful nature. I will miss your comments brother.

  3. “Slavery, in any form, is one of the greatest moral evils.” How impactful this phrase is! Another impactful mention is child abuse, which, in my view, can be the most immoral/cowardly of master-slave relations. How degrading a human being can get!

    As not enough, the author hits one more blow in our faces with the mention of “40 million slaves around the world today” – what a shame!!!

    Let’s recognize the master-slave relations (distortions) we may be involved in all our relationships and CHANGE. God left us with the most fantastic example of humiliation by coming to this Earth, turning Himself into an enslaved person to take all sins from all people and ages so we could, after accepting His sacrifice, receive forgiveness and eternal life! There is no better example of LOVE.

  4. Well said Maurice. My overall take-away is to submit to each other. If the 21st century slave masters did that, the atrocities committed under slavery could not have happened.

  5. My wife read to me yesterday
    Proverbs 6:6-8 KJV:
    “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: [7] Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, [8] Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.”
    Verse 7 states that the ants are very organized without the need for hierarchical relationships and yet we seem to not be able to function without them. So many of the troubles and sorrows in our sinful world can be traced to the abuses suffered in hierarchical relationships whether social, economic, governmental, etc.

  6. I believe that Paul’s letter applies to us today just as much as to the church members in Ephesus. There are yet alleged Christians who act not unlike slave masters, spouses who abuse , parents who abuse their children and children who neglect and abuse their parents. The challenge is to let Christ live within each of us so that we will fully recognize and treat each other as we wish to be treated . May Christ dwell within me and you .

  7. Modern day versions of the Bible try to change the name slaves to servants or workers. But when Paul was writing, he knew what he was referring to; slaves. A good understanding of slaves and slavery gives us the real understanding of our redemption. Realising this, we will always be empathetic to everyone.

    • Modern Bible versions are not "changing" anything, since the Bible was not written in English. That means that all translations of the New Testament are translations from ancient Greek (with some exceptions) and, like English, Greek words have several meanings, depending on context. Translators thus need to decide which word in English is closest in meaning to the Greek word In Eph. 6:5,the Greek word, doulos is translated as "servants" in the KJV (a not-so-modern version) in this instance and 119 other instances. But, yes, it could possibly be translated as "slaves" as well, since there was not always a clear distinction between servants and slaves.

      You can check out the usage of the word at BlueLetterBible.org. If you'll click on the link, you can also see a list of verses that translate that Greek word into English.

      The important thing for us to remember is that Christ calls us to service not to power over anyone. He calls us to forget self, not to protect or advance self - no matter what our station in society.

  8. Slavery still exists today. Today you have the sex trade where people are taken and used as sex objects. The bible is not defining modern day slavery or the slavery that existed in the New world. It is dealing with the slavery that existed in Paul’s day between Christian masters and Christian slaves.


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