The Journal of Biblical Accuracy

As to Christ (Ephesians 6:5)  (PDF) PDF version

As to Christ (Ephesians 6:5)

We find the above words in Ephesians 6 where starting from verse 5 we read:

Ephesians 6:5-8
“Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as to Christ; Not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man does, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he is slave or free.”

What draw my attention in the above passage is the phrase, “be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart AS TO CHRIST”. We are to treat our bosses, our masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart as we would treat Christ! “AS TO CHRIST”! I find this so amazing! It forces me in my interaction with my boss to treat him or her in the same reverence - with fear and trembling the Word says! - as I would treat Christ! God considers this very important for He repeats almost exactly the same words in the book of Colossians. There in chapter 3 verses 22-25 we read:

Colossians 3:22-25
Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men; Knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance: for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong shall receive for the wrong which he has done: and there is no respect of persons.”

Whatever we do we must do it from the heart, as we would do it to the Lord! And in the beginning of the above passage we see it again: we are to obey in all things to our masters according to the flesh.

However the above verses are not the only ones speaking about work relationships. Here are some more:

I Timothy 6:1-2
“Let as many bondservants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed. And those who have believing masters, let them not despise them because they are brethren, but rather servethem because those who are benefited are believers and beloved. Teach and exhort these things.”

The second part of the above passage speak of those whose masters are believers, and it commands that the servants of those master must not despise them! In other words if your boss is a Christian don’t take advantage of it! The fact that your boss is a Christian does not mean that you have the right to be lazy and “relax”. In contrast, we must even more fervently serve our Christian bosses for the ones that will be benefited are believers and beloved of God.

Well the Word of God does not finish with the above passages. Moving further to Titus 2:9-10 we read:

Titus 2:9-10
“Exhort servants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back, not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.”

Also in I Peter 2:18-20
“Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.”

What is the conclusion from all the above? I don’t think it needs much to understand it: the Word of God commands that we must submit to those we serve in everything. We must render good service as unto the Lord. This does not refer only to our bosses. The Word of God speak about servants and those whom they serve. You may be a self employed: those whom you serve, your customers, are your “bosses”. In general, serve always as UNTO THE LORD. Many people don’t like the work they are doing. Instead they would like to do something else. The above commandments of the Lord do not have any condition attached to them, not even the condition “if you like what you are doing”. Many rebel against the job that God may have given them and instead of moving forward and accepting it and be thankful they move backwards in bitterness or they just do the job longing for something else. I know this because I used to be there. I studied Economics up to getting a Ph.D. and my vision was to work in the Bank of Greece doing research concerning the national and the world Economy. Ten days before I finish my military service, a very good friend and brother called me and asked me whether I would like a job in the firm he was working for and which was expanding very strongly. The job would be as an SAP consultant (At that time, I had almost no idea what exactly this was). I asked the Lord and the Lord told me that this work was from Him. I accepted immediately the offer. My first months turned out to be very difficult. My biggest difficulty was that my work had very little relationship with what I had studied and wanted to do. It was a very good job, in fact my company was voted the third best company in Greece concerning employees satisfaction. However for me everything was painted black. I didn’t want this job. I wanted what I wanted! After half a year of struggle I started looking for another job. But all doors closed. Then I decided that I would stop it even if I had to stay unemployed. How foolish I was! Praise the Lord, the day that I was to make the announcement the Lord impressed deeply to me that I should not announce what I had planned. And I didn’t. But I was struggling till one day after some more doors closed I saw it crystal clear: I was fighting against what God had intended for my life! God Himself gave me this job but I had never submitted to His will. Instead I acted as a rebel. I was a rebel! Then I went to the Bible and there it was: “work heartily AS UNTO THE LORD”. Not as eyeservants but as UNTO Christ. With the strength of God I started the change: this job was God’s job and I did like working. I wanted therefore to work as hard as possible. And I did! Soon I discovered that I really loved what I was doing but my stubbornness never left me to appreciate it. I turned a page in my life and started working as hard as possible and serving the customers in the best of my abilities! As unto the Lord. Three months after, a significant pay rise came. Then another one. Then a promotion. I left this company in 2000 coming as a freelancer to Germany. I’m still doing what God gave me 7 years ago and I’m so thankful to Him for this. Coming to Germany I met my wife and got married some months ago. But the turning point was to understand and accept that whatever you do, God has given you to do. Work therefore on it as unto the Lord. BECAUSE THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD.

Anastasios Kioulachoglou