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Summary: UNION WITH CHRIST MANIFESTS ITSELF IN GODLY WORK RELATIONSHIPS OF ACCOUNTABILITY

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BIG IDEA:

UNION WITH CHRIST MANIFESTS ITSELF IN GODLY WORK RELATIONSHIPS OF ACCOUNTABILITY

INTRODUCTION

What is the difference in our culture between employers and employees and in the NT culture of

masters and slaves?

To what extent are these principles binding on us today?

Lack of accountability in today’s culture

cf. Eph. 6:5-9; 1 Tim. 6:1,2; Titus 2:9

I. (:22-25) ACCOUNTABILITY OF EMPLOYEES

A. (:22) Accountable to Master on Earth

1. Scope: “in all things”

not all things regardless of the law of God – cf. Acts 5:29

but even in those areas where you personally disagree or areas you find unpleasant

2. Primary Responsibility: obey / submit

3. Motivation

a) Negative

1) “not with external service”

2) “as those who merely please men”

b) Positive

1) “but with sincerity of heart”

2) “fearing the Lord”

B. (:23) Accountable to Master in Heaven

1. Scope: “Whatever you do”

2. Primary Responsibility: Work your Hardest with all your heart.“do your work heartily”

3. Motivation

a) Postive – “as for the Lord”

b) Negative – “rather than for men”

C. (:24-25) Priority of Eternal Wages over Temporal Wages

1. Certainty of Eternal Reward

a) Confidence based on Knowledge – “knowing”

b) Confidence based on Faithfulness of the Lord

“from the Lord you will receive”

c) Confidence based on the eternal nature of the reward

“the reward of the inheritance”

2. Conviction of Who is Our Ultimate Master

“It is the Lord Christ whom you serve”

3. Certainty of Consequences for Disobedience in this area

a) Nature of the Disobedience – “he who does wrong”

b) Principle of reaping what you sow

“will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done”

c) Principle of Impartiality – “and that without partiality”

II. (4:1) ACCOUNTABILITY OF EMPLOYERS – TO MASTER IN HEAVEN

A. Primary Responsibility – Treat employees with “justice and fairness”

B. Principle of Accountability – “knowing that you too have a Master in heaven”

Hendriksen: “The summary of admonitions addressed to separate groups ends, accordingly, with the mention of the all-sufficient, pre-eminent Master, even ‘the Lord Christ’ (cf. 4:1 and 3:24), for it is he who is the source of the believers’ life, the One who is ever ready to enable every believer, to whatever group he belongs, to live to the glory of God.”

* * * * * * * * * *

DEVOTIONAL QUESTIONS:

1) What are some specific examples in your life where you chose to submit to your employer in areas where you disagreed or areas that you found unpleasant? What was your attitude in those.circumstances and how did your boss perceive your obedience?

2) What are some practical suggestions for teaching our children to work their hardest and to work whole-heartedly? What are we modeling in this important area?

3) Do the motivations of pleasing the Lord and fearing the Lord take precedence in our work experience over the motivation to be recognized and rewarded by our superiors?

4) Are we able to focus on the prospect of future inheritance as more significant than the amount

of temporal compensation?

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