"As Bondservants of Christ..."

by Gene Taylor

"Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart..." (Ephesians 6:5-6)

Ephesians 6:5-6 encourages Christians to work for men as if they were working for the Lord. In stating how they are to work for others, this passages relates how Christians can be pleasing servants in the Lord's sight: "doing the will of God from the heart."

"Doing..."

The servant of Christ is to be active, i.e., he is to be doing what God would have him do. Idleness and inactivity are condemned in the Bible. Consider the parable of the talents and how the "one talent" man was severely condemned for his sloth (Matt. 25:24-30). In the same chapter, in the parable of the virgins, the five virgins who had actively failed to prepare for the bridegroom's return were called "foolish" (Matt. 25:1-13). James, by inspiration, said that Christians are to be "doers of the word" and "not hearers only" (Jas. 1:22-25). He also stated that "faith without works is dead" (Jas. 2:26).

On the other hand, Scripture always encourages "doing." Paul told Christians to be "always abounding in the work of the Lord" (1 Cor. 15:58). Ephesians 2:10 says the child of God is "created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." Doing the will of God demonstrates one's faith: "I will show you my faith by my works" (Jas. 2:18).

"The Will of God..."

Sadly, much religious activity done in the world today is not doing God's will. But no religious activity honors God if it is not authorized by God (Lev. 10:1).

Heaven awaits those who "do the will of the Father" (Matt. 7:21-23). Those who are wise are those who hear and obey the words of the Lord (Matt. 7:24-27). Jesus asked the question, "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46). One cannot properly wear the name of Christ and recognize Him as Lord and Master without seeking to do the will of the Father.

"From the Heart..."

In religion, it is important to do that which is right. But even doing right things is wrong when done with the wrong attitude. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus condemned the doing of charitable deeds, praying, and fasting -- all proper in and of themselves -- when done with the wrong attitude: "to be seen of men" (Matt. 6:1-2, 5, 16). In Acts 5, Ananias and his wife Sapphira were condemned, not because they gave of their possessions to aid the needy, but because they did it hypocritically, trying to leave the false impression that they were giving all while they held back a portion for themselves (vv. 1-11).

When one contributes of His means to support the work of the Lord he is doing the will of God (1 Cor. 16:1-2). However, 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 says that if he does it with an improper attitude -- giving "grudgingly" and "of necessity" -- he sins even though outwardly he is doing what God commanded. Why? Because it is not enough to have the truth and go through the motions of doing it. One must do that which is right "from the heart."

The word "heart" in our text is from the Greek word Psuche and is often rendered "life" or "soul." This suggests that the whole soul of a person and all the faculties of it are involved in serving the Lord. One must serve Him whole-heartedly and without reservations of any sort.

When you think about it, the principle stated in Ephesians 6:5-6 -- doing whatever you do heartily as to the Lord and not to men -- forms the basis of all acceptable service. When such a heart does not characterize us and our service to the Lord, we serve in vain.

Conclusion

On the job, whatever it may be, work in a manner that is consistent with your profession to be a servant of Christ. And in the Lord's vineyard, be that active servant that the Lord wants you to be -- one, who out of appreciation and love, gives himself whole-heartedly to Him.