Colossians 3:18-4:1 Serving The Master.

So Paul gets specific about the life of Christians in community. It is specific when we read that wives are to submit to their own husbands-it is a specific relationship with one person, as it is for the husband (v. 18 Cf. Eph. 5:25). What it means to submit must be informed from what we find elsewhere in scripture , and not by certain cultural expressions per se. Since marriage is ultimately a covenant relationship, and Christian marriage involves three parties, the focus of this submission and love is spiritual (v. 19). Children are likewise to obey their parents, and this clearly reiterates the law-the first commandment with a promise (v. 20 Cf. Ex. 20:12; Dt. 5:16; Eph. 6:1-3). Again, the family is a covenant entity, and therefore Paul focuses on the fathers to their children, to “bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4 v. 21).

Bondservants are really employees, and the focus here is on Christian employees, and our focus is to be ultimately on serving Christ in our employment, as in all things (v. 22 Cf. Eph. 6:5). This reiterates what Paul wrote in our verse before this passage (v. 23 v. 17 Eccl. 9:10). This ultimately defines what he meant by submission and love-Christ is to be our focus. As children will receive the reward of life and prosperity in obeying their parents, even so all of us will be rewarded for our obedience done ultimately in service to Christ (v. 24 Cf. Eph. 6:8). On the other hand, judgment will come to those who do wrong, and as Paul wrote, with the Lord “there is no partiality” (v. 25 Cf. Rom. 2:11; I Cor. 7:22). Paul said this before his instruction to masters to make the point that no one is above the law or the accountability we all have to the “Master in heaven” (4:1 Cf. Eph. 6:9).

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