Monday, April 21, 2008

Life: public and private

Ephesians .1-9
I. Private life (vs1-4)
Eph 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 "Honor your father and mother" (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 "that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land." 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord

In the final chapter of Ephesians Paul continues his theme of submission by talking about the two sections of life, Public and private. He directs the readers on how to live Publicly and Privately according to the Lord. He begins by talking about our private lives. The Children are called to Obey their parents, mainly because it’s the right thing to do. Now notice that he says to obey them in the Lord, this refers to situations were parents are lost and the children are saved. Notice that this DOES not mean we dishonor or respect them. Verses 1 and 2 clearly point out that it is essential that we honor and respect them. The fathers are called on to encourage the children, and not to provoke them to anger. This can have many implications, but simple put the father has a great influence and impact on the child’s life. Paul then urges the fathers to disciple their children in the ways of the Lord. Notice that the mother is not mentioned here. This does not mean she is left out, but it does mean that the father has the responsibility of discipline in the House. (what are some ways we commonly disobey our parents? Are there time when we should not obey our parents? What are some ways we can Honor our fathers and Mothers? What do you think about the promise made in verse 2? What is the father’s responsibility in the House?)
II. Public life (vs5-9)
Eph 6:5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, 6 not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. 9 Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.
Now we see the way we should live in our Public life. The first people that Paul brings up are the servants. These are people who have any one in authority over them, this is all of us. We are all called to be good servants. Notice how Paul tells them to serve. He urges them to take great care for their performance. He even goes on to tell them that they should do as if they were doing it for Christ! Wow this would really make work a lot better if we did it as we would for Christ. But the the fact of the matter is that we are doing for Christ. This applies to school, work, sports, or anything you do. The Bible says to do all things to the glory of God……all things. This applies to those of us with authority as well. We are called to care for those we have charge over. Now this may or may not apply to you now, but one day it will. Masters are also to realize were their power comes from. All authority comes from the Lord. (Is it hard to do your work or studies as if it were for Christ? Why? Why should we take extra care for how we do our work? How is this a witness for Christ? What are some characteristics of a good servant? What are some characteristics of a good leader or master?)

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