SUBMISSION TO THE BOSS IS :
THE ONLY WAY TO GLORIFY GOD
THE ONLY ANSWER TO UNFAIR TREATMENT
THE ONLY WAY TO FULFILL OUR CALLING TO FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF CHRIST
Theme verse for this section: 2:12 - Commendable Conduct will be further defined as submission in the various realms in which we live - looked at submission to the authority of govt. last Sunday; today: submission to the authority of your boss in the workplace
2 Prerequisites: can't take this course today unless you have nailed down these 2 points
1) requires purity first of all - "abstain from fleshly lusts" (talked about drawing near to the Lord)
2) remember: people are watching - especially unbelievers - this is our oppty. To show them that having Jesus as the Lord of our lives makes a difference (3:15)
at the end of this section - we are reminded that the Lord is watching as well 3:8-12
How we respond to authority in our life is the proof of to what degree we have submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ
- Will we respond as the world does?? Or as Christ would - following His example; doing what He wants us to do - which is completely opposite from how our sinful, selfish hearts would respond on their own
The Sovereign God is in control of our workplace (our business) - He will never leave us or forsake us - He is right there with us while we are working all day long
We spend a good chunk of our day at work - so we'd better listen up and get this right
I. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SUBMIT TO THE BOSS?
II. WHEN SHOULD WE SUBMIT TO THE BOSS?
II. WHY SHOULD WE DO IT?
I. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SUBMIT TO THE BOSS? -- DESCRIPTION OF THE CONDUCT
Being a Christian should always make a person a better, more productive, more cooperative worker.
Cf. the Puritan work ethic
People won't listen to the testimony of a shoddy worker or a complainer.
A. THE FUNDAMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY IS SUBMISSION
How is our context today different or the same from the type of relationship that existed between servants and masters in the first century?
The vast majority of businesses in NT times were family operated and provided goods or services on a very direct basis. (No giant corporations like Caterpillar; no assembly line production jobs; no labor unions)
Therefore, if you didn't have your own small business or farm you worked very directly for someone else as a servant - and often as part of their extended household.
You either fell into the category of servant or master for the most part
The word used here = house slave; member of the household;
Lit. = "to dwell in the house"
Note: Peter not a social reformation crusade to abolish the commonly practiced institution of slavery
Dealing with far more important issues - eternal issues
our type of employment, occupation, etc. which seem so crucial today and so defining of who we are - are really not so significant in light of eternity
Character issues and personal testimony and our role in the advancement of the kingdom of God are far more important and not conditioned on our occupation - Difficult to grasp in today's culture
In every sphere of authority the two points of reference are:
How to properly submit
How to properly exercise authority
Same principles apply today - even though in our jobs we have far more freedoms than the slaves of Peter's day
(also apply these principles to being in the military; to playing on a sports team; to relating to your teachers, etc)
Pres. Tense - ongoing action - willingly, voluntarily take this posture of submission = ranking yourself under
Practical Ways we can demonstrate this submissiveness:
1) have a teachable rather than defensive spirit when being corrected or instructed
2) don't complain about your boss or put him down behind his back - when others are doing it all the time
3) you don't have to agree with the validity of his instructions in order to faithfully carry them out cf. in times of battle - you can't have the soldiers just following the orders they agree with
4) pray that God would prosper your boss - spiritually, financially
5) work diligently and faithfully all the time - not just when the boss is watching
6) show him respect in your tone of voice, body language, etc.
B. THE PROPER ATTITUDE IS APPROPRIATE RESPECT - "in all fear"
could be talking about fear of God (parallel passage in Col. 3:22 supports this)
more natural to think he is talking in the context of respect of the boss here - that is the decision most translators have made