In our message, GOD SHOWS NO PARTIALITY (Eph. 6:5-9), we looked at a third relationship in which the Lord asks Christians to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Not only are husbands and wives to be continually filled with the Spirit as well as parents and children, but slaves and masters also are called to fulfill their roles in a way that honors the Lord (Col. 3:22-4:1, etc.). The principles here in God’s Word applies to any kind of employees and employers as well (1 Cor. 7:21-22; Eph. 2:10; 1 Pet. 1:17, etc.).
A Christian employee should work for his employer out of deep respect (that is, “with fear”) because his boss is made in the image of God and the Lord has placed him in a position over him (Eph. 6:5; Col. 3:22; 1 Pet. 2:17, etc.). He should also obey his boss in “all things” (within the scope of his employment) “with… trembling” because his employer oversees the work and can fire him (Eph. 6:5; Col. 3:22). But the primary motive for a Christian to work “heartily” or enthusiastically should be out of “sincerity of heart” because he ultimately is doing the work “as to Christ” (Eph. 6:5; Col. 3:23). This is his mission field (Acts 1:8), and we want to be good witnesses of Jesus. When a Christian is filled with the Spirit, he is not a people “pleaser” because He acts as Christ’s agent “doing the will of God from the heart” (Eph. 6:6, Rom. 12:1-2; Gal. 1:10). This means his boss can trust him with the work- even when he is not there- because the employee is faithful and consistent in what he does (Eph. 6:6-7).
The Christian servant is also to “know” he “will receive… reward” for “whatever good” he does with the right heart attitude letting God work through him (Eph. 6:7-8; Col. 3:24 vs. Eph. 2:8-9, etc.). Realistically, in this life, a slave or even an employee in our culture who serves an unjust employer may not receive reward and may be treated very poorly. God wants His children to “know” also there is a reward for faithfulness in serving Him (Eph. 6:8; Col. 3:24, etc.) because “we must all [Christians] appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be paid back according to what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Cor. 5:9-10; Rom. 14:10-12, etc.).
Christian employers “also have a Master in heaven” and are accountable to God (Col. 4:1, etc.). To do well at that accounting, they likewise need the filling of the Spirit in their lives (Eph. 5:18, 21; 6:9; Col. 3:25, etc.). That is, they are called to walk with Jesus (Gal. 5:16-18, 25, etc.). For them, this includes not “threatening” but providing gracious, just and fair treatment to those under them (Eph. 6:9; Matt. 20:27; 25:21, etc.). Just as God shows “NO PARTIALITY,” they likewise should show no favoritism- because when Jesus comes, their Master will evaluate them in complete fairness- without regard to their rank, social, or economic status (Heb. 4:12-13; 12:23; Luke 19:15; Eph. 4:7; 6:9; 1 Tim. 5:21; James 3:1, etc.).
This also means for Christians who do not deal with their sin today (1 John 1:9; 1 Cor. 11:31-32, etc.), “he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done [at the judgment seat of Christ because] … there is NO PARTIALITY [with God]” (Col. 3:25). While all Christians will “not [ever] be condemned with the world” and all will be in his kingdom because of the blood of Christ (1 Cor. 11:32; John 1:12-13; 3:5, 7, etc.), the Bible does also teach Christians can “suffer loss” of rewards when He returns if they choose to not be “filled with the Spirit” today by walking with Him (1 Cor. 3:11-15; 11:31; 1 John 1:9; Luke 19:11-27, 2 John 8, etc.). May we take His Word to heart desiring to hear “Well done good and faithful servant” when He comes (Luke 19:17; Matt. 25:21, 23; John 10:10; 15:9-11; Eph. 5:10; 6:6; 2 Tim. 2:11-13; 3:16-17; Heb. 10:24-25; Phil. 2:13; Gal. 2:20; 1 John 2:28, etc.).