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Sabbath: Practicing Supreme Loyalty to Christ — 9 Comments

  1. Here is my paraphrase of Ephesians 6: 1-9:

    Hey kids; your Uncle Paul has a message for you too. Do what your parents tell you. You know the commandment, “Honour Dad and Mum”. But did you know that it has a promise attached to it? The commandment continues, “So that you may live long and prosper!” That’s cool isn’t it.
    And, you Dads, if you see your kids getting angry when you discipline them, stop, and think how you can practise the love that Jesus has taught us.

    Those of you who are workers, learn to put forward your best effort as though you were working for Jesus. Don’t just put on a show, but really give value for your work. Remember that you and your work are representing Jesus.

    And those of you who are bosses and have people working for you; treat them with love and respect. Don’t threaten them with harsh words. Remember always that in Jesus’ eyes, there is no such thing as bosses and workers.

    • Oh Maurice how I wish I could read your version of Ephesians 5:21-23, 25, 28 and 29. What a wonderful type for our generation

  2. This week,we will be looking at duties of:

    (i) children to their parents(to submit to their parents and honour them)

    (ii) fathers to their children(not to irritate their children,deal wisely with them)

    (iii)servants to their masters(subjection and obedience)

    (iv) masters to their servants(to do what is right and practice justice)

    This is not a detailed manual on how we are to handle all situations in a Christian family,but helps us a long way on how to do well in our roles.

  3. In the context of Jesus saying: “whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it” - what does He mean? What is unique about children? I consider this to be their 'need and willingness to learn', to listen to the parents and to apply what is explained to them.

    There is no partiality with our heavenly Father – Eph.6:9. Adults and children, bondservants, or slaves, all benefit when sitting at the feet of Jesus Christ to learn how to live and conduct themselves rightly – how to live for righteousness – 1 Peter 2:25.

    I am certain that all who decide to follow Jesus Christ, committing to taking the High Road in life, experience challenges when needing to deal with injustice. How do we ‘practice supreme loyalty to Christ’ under these circumstances?

    The master on earth has a Master in Heaven. Is it not highly hypocritical to demand obedience from our children when, at the same time, we, as their guardians, transgress the basic tenants of our faith – to diligently follow with grateful appreciation our heavenly Father’s Word? I am open to learn!

  4. There was slavery in the Old Testament by God's people and there were laws from Leviticus as to how to deal with slaves by their masters. I am sure that the Apostle Paul wrote in his New Testament Epistles about this from those rules and laws and also by Jesus example of how He dealt with people.

    This Country of this United States has come a long way in trying to abide by its claim that "All men are created equal," and each has rights to "Life, Liberty, and the persuit of happiness."

    But it still has issues when it comes to "skin color, race, and religion."

    Our own Seventh Day Adventist Church has issues too: I heard two Church Leaders once discussing whether God had really created the "Black Race," I asked them both if they felt that God had created "black horses, cats, dogs, birds, etc. and etc," to which they then claimed that they had never even thought about it in this way at all.

    • Dear Brother Pete,
      As I prefer to teach this Sabbath, I wrote the following, because it is easy to get distracted from the spiritual topic that Paul is telling the Church of Ephesians:

      "Our Memory Text is Paul’s advice to slaves; however, these slaves were not exclusively African slaves, they had slaves of various ethnic groups.
      “…in the period of 3000 BCE to 400 CE: “In antiquity slavery was independent of race or class, and by far the vast majority of the thousands of slaves was white, not black. The identification of blackness with slavery [was] not develop[ed yet]. No single ethnic group was associated with slave status or with the descendants of slaves.” from the article, Does the New Testament Support Slavery? - TGC Africa (thegospelcoalition.org).

      Another article confirms the same sentiment, “Slavery in the Roman Empire was a fact of life. Most people could not imagine a society without slaves. Some people spoke out against the mistreatment of slaves, and there were slave revolts, but no abolitionist movement existed [yet].” Slavery in the New Testament - Bible Odyssey.

      [This is me speaking to my Sabbath School class] Also, I beg of you, to please reframe from making comments like this one, “So called Christian slaveowners and slave traders used these verses in the Bible for centuries, here in America, to justify slavery to their slaves”. Ok, there, now I said it for you; because I don’t want the discussion of the unfair treatment of slavery to distract from the Real Topic at hand, our Supreme Loyalty to Christ, or as we will discuss later, being “Slaves of Christ”. However, I can’t tell you not to share your comments, because I’m just a Teacher/Facilitator. But if your comments is related to “Slaves of Christ”, then please share.

      The slave system in Paul’s day was more of an indenture status from chattel slaves. Now Wait, again before you disagree, or we get too far into this line of discussion, we must remember that we are not here to talk about the unfair treatment of slavery, that is not the point of Paul’s advice; the point is Loyalty. However, we know that indenture slavery was more like a contract that had a beginning and an end, usually 7 years. It was not customary for a slave to be in slavery for life; although, there were some Jewish and Arab tribes in the early Bible days did hold their slaves in servitude for life (Abraham for example, but he treated one of his slaves as an heir), and some Arabs kept their slaves in servitude for life, up until the 1960s.

      But whether indenture or chattel slavery, no one wants to be a slave to another person, because under both systems, 1) you were not paid anything, money, or from Barder system of receiving goods, for your labor, 2) you lose your dignity, and 3) you were not free to move, or travel, from place to place without the permission of your master; so, it was definitely a lack of freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

      However, on this whole subject of slavery in the Bible: Did you know that some people, nowadays, are using the fact that the Bible, or these verses, appear to uphold slavery, as their reason to not believe in Christianity? But truthfully, some people are just desperately trying to come up with any reason to not believe in Jesus Christ. Again, they don’t say that they don’t believe in God, or a Supreme Being; they just don’t believe in Christ and Christianity.

      The point that Paul is making us, and in several other epistles to the various churches he started, is that “Loyalty reigns Supreme” (my quote), no matter your status in life. I know that sometimes this is very hard advice to digest; it’s the same sentiment that you get when we remind people about Paul’s advice in Philippians 4:11, “…for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content”. It’s hard to say that to a person that is homeless, hungry, sick, or in prison, especially if they are in their state due to no fault of their own. It’s hard, I get it, but “Supreme Loyalty to Christ” still stands in whatever situation we face.

      God's blessing to you all! Sorry about the long text.

  5. Flawed is not only today's culture. Flawed was Adam; flawed was/is everyone else after him. The world became flawed after the decision to try something different than God's will. How am I being flawed in my relationships, family, work, church, social media, and country? I'll always be flawed. The only One Who can change this in me is the One who calls Himself and truly is Love. God completes every missing detail in me through His mercy, uplifted on the cross.

    • Amen to this. Isaiah had it and still has it very clear in Isaiah 1:16-18 but especially verse 18, "Come let us reason together says the Lord, though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." In our work of becoming "Sanctified," for God we need to do this on a daily basis. We need to daily come and "Reason together," with God. And we will always come short of being exactly like God and His Son and His Holy Spirit; We will always see ourself as God sees us: "Red like crimson and as Scarlet." So then what is it here that He then sees us as "White as snow and like Wool?" Only and Ultimately, the "Flawless and Sinless Righteous Character of God's Only Son Jesus and what He did for "All Humanity," 2,000 plur or minus years ago in Israel with 30 years of flawless sinless living and finally bleeding for "All of Humanity's Sin" on a Roman Cross.

  6. The narrative opens with a very biased translation of the bible. “ It was an abridged Bible designed to teach essentials of faith while deleting any passage inciting rebellion by slaves”. It was written by people who were pro slavery to defend slavery in the States. We do these things to try to appease our conscience. In 1808, this was a bible for the times, used to condone a great evil. We should read Ephesians in the context of the complete bible.


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