Vol. 17, No. 1 – January 7, 2018
Vs. 8 – The Promise of Rewards in Time and Eternity.
Eph 6:8, “Knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.”
There are four parts to this verse: 1) Faith, 2) Divine Good production, 3) Rewards, 4) Equal Privilege and Equal Opportunity.
Here we have the promise related to doing our job well as described in these passages. It relates to the fourth point noted above; Glorify Christ by Working Expectantly, knowing that the ultimate reward is coming. No Divine good work goes unnoticed by God. We will stand before the BEMA seat of Jesus Christ and be rewarded, Mat 16:27; Rom 2:6-11; 1 Cor 3:10-15; 2 Cor 5:10; Rev 2-3.
1) It begins with the Perfect, Active, Participle of OIDA for “knowing, understanding, or recognizing.” It means there is a base set of information that is resident within the soul and applied; a fact of reality. In this case, it is Bible doctrine, by way of the promises of God, resident within your soul. The application here is that we have a base of information that we rely upon and trust; faith-rest in. This thing spoken of should be a fact of reality in our lives. So, this is part of the faith rest life, knowing and trusting in the promise of blessings and rewards.
2) The Conjunction “that” HOTI, sets up what the base of knowledge is. Then in the Greek it reads, HEKASTOS. ἕκαστος, EAN TI, for, “each whenever someone.” We translate it, “whenever each one.” TI linked with the Conjunction EAN gives us a potential or 3rd class “if” statement that sets up a hypothetical condition where something is uncertain but likely to be done. In this case, it is Divine Good being produced from the obedient worker.
The Divine Good is found in the words, “good thing” AGAHOS, which is good of intrinsic value, that is preceded by POIEO in the Greek that means, “to do, produce, work, perform, accomplish, etc. In fact, POIEO is in the Aorist, Active, Subjunctive that looks at the entirety of the action, (Divine Good Production), as a probable occurrence performed by the obedient worker. Cf. Gal 5:22-23; Eph 5:9.
3) Next, we have the promise of rewards, “this he will receive back from the Lord,” that begin with the Demonstrative Pronoun HOUTOS, that identifies the “Divine Good” produced. It is followed by the Future Middle, Indicative of KOMIZO, κομίζω that means, “provide for, care for; bear, bring,” but here means, “receive.”
The Future tense means post Divine Good production.
The Middle voice says that the obedient worker benefits from his actions and from the Lord’s blessings.
The Indicative mood is for the fact that the obedient worker will be rewarded by Christ, which is found in the last phrase here, “from the Lord,” PARA HO KURIOS in the Genitive of Source.
Jesus Christ is the One who rewards believers. Therefore, whenever Divine Good is produced something happens; we can be rewarded by our Lord Jesus Christ in time and will be in eternity.
The bottom line is the fact that a Christian’s ultimate reward will come from the Lord, so service must be rendered as unto Him. Everything is dependent on the Lord Jesus Christ, and all believers, whether slave or free, will stand before the BEMA seat of Jesus Christ on the same level and be rewarded for producing Divine Good, Mat 16:27; Rom 2:6-11; 14:10; 1 Cor 3:10-15; 9:16-27; 2 Cor 5:10; 2 Tim 4:8; 1 John 2:28; Rev 2-3.
2 Tim 4:8, “In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
Jesus Christ is the only one who knows whether or not a person produced Divine Good while on the job, or anywhere else for that matter. A boss or an employer may have the wrong attitude about certain things and may not credit the employee properly because of that improper attitude. Nevertheless, there need be no fear of that happening with Christ. His motives are always good and right. More than that, He knows exactly what each believer’s motives are, and He will judge accurately, rightly, and impartially.
4) Finally, we have the principle of equal privilege and equal opportunity regardless of our socio-economic differences, “whether slave or free,” or any other types of differences. The Greek reads, EITE DOULOS EITE ELEUTHEROS.
EITE is related to the EI, “if,” and when used doubly, as here, it is for comparison that means, “whether – or.”
ELEUTHEROS, ἐλεύθερος is an Adjective that basically means, “freedom, free, or independent,” either politically or philosophically.
In other words, freedom either socially or mentally, yet the two often blend together.
The point here is that it does not matter what your circumstances in life are. Everyone has the same privilege and opportunity to produce Divine Good and be rewarded for it, whether they are a hired hand, an indentured servant, or worse.
Therefore, this tells us that the Bible promises God’s people an eternal reward that will far outweigh the difficulties experienced in these few years upon this earth.
Remember, the parallel to our passage is Col 3:24, “Knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”
God is the One who can accurately and impartially judge our performance and motivation while on the job, cf. 1 Peter 1:17.
1 Peter 1:7, “So that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
The negative aspect of this is noted in Col 3:25, “For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.”
Interestingly, in Col 3:25, Paul included failure to fulfill your “Christian” responsibilities on the job. The principle of sowing and reaping is emphasized in many places in the Scriptures. Just as a person who sows corn can expect to reap a harvest of corn, so a person who sows righteous acts can expect to reap righteousness.
Mat 13:23, “And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”
No one is foolish enough to think he can sow one type of seed and reap some other type of fruit, cf. Hose 8:7, but many people seem to think they can sow unrighteousness without reaping the results. The reaping is just as sure as the sowing.
And “without partiality” in Col 3:25, tells us that God does not show favoritism. “Partiality” comes from the Greek root word PROOPON that means, “face.” Paul is saying that what a person’s face looks like does not make any difference with God. Because of attractive physical features, some people are able to get away with things other people might not be able to get away within their human relationships. God, however, does not make His decisions based upon the facial features of a person. He will reward according to the inner motives of the individual.
Prov 18:14 says, “The spirit of a man can endure his sickness, but as for a broken spirit who can bear it?”
If a person’s spirit is crushed, life can become unbearable. But what lifts the spirit? Christ! Future hope! Therefore, be freed from the mundane of serving man and be occupied with the higher calling of serving God on the job.
1 Tim 6:1-2, “Let all who are under the yoke as slaves regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine may not be spoken against. 2And let those who have believers as their masters not be disrespectful to them because they are brethren, but let them serve them all the more, because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved. Teach and preach these principles.”
In conclusion, in each of the four verses regarding “workers,” Jesus Christ is mentioned:
Vs. 5, Workers are to be obedient to their bosses, “as to Christ.”
Vs. 6, We perform our jobs not in eyeservice, but “as slaves of Christ.”
Vs. 7, With a positive attitude, we do a good job, “as to the Lord.”
Vs. 8, We do our job with absolute confidence that we will, “receive good back from the Lord.”
Therefore, we should work through Christ, like Christ, and for Christ, cf. 1 Peter 2:18-25, because we are to serve Christ, not men, because we will receive our rewards from Christ, not from men.
Vs. 9 – Management’s Responsibilities.
Eph 6:9, “And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.”
Like vs. 8, there are four aspects to this verse as part of the responsibilities of management:
- Bosses have the same basic responsibilities as their workers.
- Stop bullying your workers.
- Faith-Rest in God while performing your duties.
- Bosses too will be judged for rewards at the BEMA Seat.
1.) It begins with the coordinating Conjunction KAI for, “and,” with the Vocative of Address of HO KURIOS for, “the masters.” This would be the boss on the job today. Then we have HO AUTOS in the Accusative, Neuter, Plural for, “the same things,” referencing the types of behaviors commanded of the workers on the job in vs. 5-8. Then we have the Present Active, Imperative of POIEO for, “do, produce, work, perform, etc.,” and PROS AUTOS in the Accusative, Masculine, Third Person, Plural for, “to them,” meaning the workers on the job. Therefore, with the Imperative Mood of POIEO, the bosses are given the command to render the same type of service that their Christian workers are commanded to perform.
Here we are to practice mutuality. Bosses or management should treat their workers as they want to be treated; with integrity, respect, humility, and gentleness. They are to treat them as if they were treating Christ, cf. Mat 25:40.
Mat 25:40, “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me’.”
If bosses want respect and service, then they should give it also.
This verse reminds bosses that they too have bosses they are accountable to and are to do their job as a boss, supervisor, manager, etc., for their boss as unto the Lord in all respects, just as the Christian worker is to do. Therefore, they are to do their job of managing others obediently, respectfully, sincerely, not by way of eyeservice or as men pleasers, with good will, (a positive attitude), and with the knowledge (faith-rest) of eternal rewards and blessings, as they do their jobs as to Christ, as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, as unto the Lord, with the confidence of being rewarded for such service from the Lord at the BEMA seat of Jesus Christ.
2.) With this in view for their first mandate, the Lord gives them an additional mandate, “and give up threatening,” which is ANIEMI HO APEILE.
There is no KAI for “and” in the Greek here, but it is added to reflect the additional mandate given. “Give up” is the Present, Active, Participle used like an Imperative of ANIEMI, ἀνίημι that can mean, “untie, desert, give up, stop, unloose, leave, neglect, etc.” It is used here and in Acts 16:26; 27:40; Heb 13:5. While the other usages mean to loosen or untie or “never desert,” here we have the idea of “relinquish, give up, suspend from, cease, or desist.” In other words, stop doing what you have been doing. The thing to give up is “threatening,” APEILE, ἀπειλή. It is also used in Acts 4:17, 29; 9:1. In its application here, bosses are not to extract service from their employees by inducing fear in them in any form or fashion. There are many ways a person can threaten another, such as, bullying, intimidation, coercion, extortion, mistreatment, harassment, oppression, or treating unfairly, and bosses are exhorted to not employ any of them towards their workers.
Therefore, bosses are to avoid hostility. This type of exhortation to bosses back in Paul’s day would have been extremely rare. But Christian bosses were to be different. They were not to bully or use aggression to get their workers to perform. Bosses must not indulge in abusive, tyrannical, or manipulative treatment.
3.) Next, we see that bosses are also given an “OIDA” mandate, “knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven.” As in vs. 8 for employees, “Knowing” is now given to the bosses with the Greek Perfect, Active, Participle of OIDA which represents an aspect of the faith-rest life. What the faith-rest bosses are exhorted to apply is that they are accountable in the end to the Lord Jesus Christ. This is noted in “that both” HOTI KAI, “their Master,” AUTOS HO KURIOS, “and yours,” KAI HUMEIS, “is in heaven” EIMI EN OURANOS. EIMI is in the Present, Active, Indicative, for the current and ongoing reality of the Ascension and Session of Jesus Christ being seated at the right hand of God the Father, who will also be the judge at the BEMA Seat judgment.
Just as the workers were exhorted to know dogmatically in faith-rest that they will be rewarded for their Divine Good production, so too are bosses reminded that how they do their jobs as bosses will be rewarded at the BEMA Seat of Jesus Christ, if they perform it according to God’s Word applied from their souls through the power and filling of God the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, Christian bosses are to live with Christ-centered accountability. Management should live with a fear / respect of Christ. Proverbs speaks of this equal accountability of rich and poor:
Prov 22:2, “The rich and the poor have this in common: the Lord is the maker of them all.”
Prov 29:13, “The poor man and the oppressor have this in common: The LORD gives light to the eyes of both.”
Prov 15:3, “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, watching the evil and the good.”
4.) Finally, bosses are given the reality of Jesus Christ’s judgment along with the principle of equal privilege and equal opportunity in the phrase, “and there is no partiality with Him,” which in the Greek reads, PROSOPOLEPSIA OUK EIMI PARA AUTOS. This not only explains Jesus’ authority to judge, but also tells us that He is the example bosses should emulate.
PROSOPOLEPSI, προσωποληψία is a Noun that means, “partiality or favoritism,” it is also used in the parallel passage of Col 3:25, and in Rom 2:11; James 2:1. As we noted above regarding Col 3:25, Jesus Christ is a fair, equitable, honest, righteous, and just judge. He knows all, even the heart of the man, and will judge perfectly.
Bosses do not get a pass on being evil to their workers because of their position. The ends do not justify the means, nor do the means justify the ends. As in all aspects of the spiritual life, we must do a right thing in a right way. When we do, we produce Divine Good and will be rewarded by the Supreme boss and judge, our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:15-17, “But like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” 17And if you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each man’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay upon earth.”
Deut 10:17, “For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe.”
Acts 10:34, “Opening his mouth, Peter said: ‘I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality’.”
Rom 2:11, “For there is no partiality with God.” Cf. Gal 2:6.
Therefore, bosses are to remember God’s impartiality. Partiality was written into the Roman law. But Paul says on the last day it will not matter. The Lord Jesus is utterly impartial. Roman law was discriminatory, but heavenly justice is not.
Then we see in the parallel verse of Col 4:1, “Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven.”
In this passage, “threatening” is replaced by treating your workers with “justice and fairness,” DIKAIOS and ISOTES. DIKAIOS, δίκαιος means, “just, righteous, right, upright, or impartial,” and ISOTES, ἰσότης means, “equality, equity, or fairness.” It is a stern warning that bosses are to treat their workers properly, because they also have a Lord or Master. “Just” in this verse refers to providing justice, and “fairness or equal” relates to the necessity of being equitable in all transactions with workers. Therefore, in both verses, Masters are warned to treat their workers fairly, realizing their own ultimate responsibility and accountability to their own Master in heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ.
1.) God is fair, He does not show partiality, He is not impressed with the personality of an individual or his ability to enter into flattery. He treats us on the basis of His character. Therefore, His integrity is beyond reproach, He plays no favorites, and He is fair to all. Therefore, it should be the same with Christian management. The spiritually mature believer in management or authority should emulate his Lord.
2.) The Christian faith brings harmony by working from the heart. Christ gives us a new motivation, not a new organization. Both servant and master are serving the Lord and seeking to please Him, and in this way, they are able to work together to the glory of God.
3.) Bosses then should lead through Christ, like Christ, and for Christ.
a) Lead through Christ. The challenge of leadership. You take on numerous responsibilities and make numerous sacrifices. You need the Spirit’s power. Paul felt the pressure of leading churches, 2 Cor 11:28. But he goes on to describe how in his weakness the grace of Jesus is sufficient, 2 Cor 12:9. We must lead out of Christ’s strength too.
b) Lead like Christ. Christ is not just the model Servant; He is the ultimate Master also. What kind of leadership did Jesus execute? Servant leadership. He displayed the attitudes those in leadership should follow. He came to serve. He took up the towel. He cared for the vulnerable. He did not seek earthly praise. He was a shepherd, not a dictator.
Jesus said the way to be a ruler is first to be a servant in Mat 25:21, “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master’.”
Many of the great men of the Bible were first servants before God made them rulers: Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, and Nehemiah are just a few examples. Even after a man becomes a leader, he must still lead by serving. As our Lord said in Mat 20:27-28, “And whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
c) Lead for Christ. Paul says masters will give an account. As a leader, you may have more opportunities to bend the truth and make unethical decisions, because you have less accountability and more control over your time. Remember, your audience is Christ. He is an impartial master. What this means is that you should seek to honor Him with holy leadership.
4.) This passage should change the way we relate to people. Our culture subtly tells us that there is a hierarchy of value among individuals, and it tells us where we fit in this value system. This text crushes that idea. Although there are different roles and levels of authority, in no way do these roles define one’s value. This hierarchy does not exist for the Christian. We have the same Lord, and we await the same judgment, Rom 2:6-11. Further, James tells us that showing partiality is inconsistent with the gospel of Jesus, James 2:1.
5.) We should relate to people differently from the way our culture relates to people. Do not give preferential treatment to a certain class or ethnic group. Care for the rich and the powerful, as well as the poor and the powerless. Be careful about your body language, your attention on others, and the way you communicate to others. Do not give the impression that you are superior or that someone is not worth your time. Do not dehumanize individuals by thinking less of them. Do not idolize any human by thinking too highly of him or her.
6.) These passages should change the way you evaluate what is important. What matters according to this text is your relationship with Christ. The most important thing in this life is not whether you work in a saw mill or an office building in a nice part of the city. What matters is how you respond to Jesus Christ. Is He your Master?
Jesus said it like this: Mark 8:36, “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?”
7.) If you know Christ, then you are rich. Because of this, you can say with Paul 2 Cor 6:10, “As having nothing yet possessing all things.” The person who has Jesus and nothing has no less than the person who has Jesus and everything else. If you belong to Jesus Christ, then you have everything. Then what you do in this life matters. It matters in this life, and it will be revealed in the next life. What matters most to you? The economy? The president? Your team? Your grades? We should all long to say it like Paul: Phil 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
8.) If you do not have Christ, then you need to receive the One who, though being the ultimate Master, became the ultimate Servant, dying for sinners like us. Jesus came to do for us what we could not do for ourselves: to free us from slavery to sin and bring us into loving relationship with the Father. He came to give us what we could not earn; spiritual life. He came to make us what we could not become: no longer slaves, but sons. He is the obedient Servant, the best Master, and the sovereign Lord. Look to Him and live.
In conclusion, only a Spirit-controlled believer, Eph 5:18, is able to fulfill the obligations given in this section, Eph 5:15-6:9. Many of these verses emphasize selflessness, which results in harmony, one evidence of the Spirit’s work.
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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#17-138 & 18-001
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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.
Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I Welcome You to the Eternal Family of God !!!