(Vs. 17.) This is the key verse in our study. Paul gives us a common rule for all our actions in worship and in daily life. They are to be done in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, for his glory and with thanksgiving to the Father for our interest in Christ, our position in Christ and our acceptance in Christ.
1. Whether in preaching, singing, praying, teaching, or in conversation with other believers, let us do what we do in the name of Christ and for his glory.
2. Whether in the home, on the job, or in any of our business and social contacts, we are not left at liberty to do as we please, but we are to aim at his glory and his will.
3. This will bring God's blessings, will bring unity of heart and purpose, will drive out divisions and strife, if we do all that we do, not for selfish purposes, but for Christ's sake.
(Vs. 18,19.) From this verse to the end of the chapter, Paul talks about the duties and deeds which relate to Christians as they are members of a family. In this family there are three pairs: husbands and wives, parents and children and masters and servants. He points out the duties of each to the other, to be fulfilled for the glory of Christ and in the name of Christ.
In order for a home to be well-ordered, a place of love and contentment and for Christ to have preeminence, these two things must be true:
1. The wife must be in subjection to the husband as is fit in the Lord, obeying him, respecting his judgements and decisions, and following his leadership as long as he does not violate the Word of God (Eph. 5:22-24, Gen. 3:16).
2. The husband should love his wife, treat her with kindness, respect and defend her before his parents, children and all who would discredit or abuse her. Husband and wife are one in the Lord and must not suffer this union to be broken, either in their own eyes or the eyes of others, particularly their children. No home can be built for Christ's glory or for our good if we are pulling our separate, selfish ways. We walk together in love and affection if we seek the glory of Christ.
(Vs. 20, 21.) Do you children want to be happy? Do you want God's blessings on your lives? Do you desire to live for the glory of God and do all things in the name of Christ? Then "Obey your parents". Honour your father and mother. Respect them and their decisions. Speak respectfully of and to them. This is well pleasing to the Lord! (Exod. 20:12.)
Parents, do not abuse your parental authority. There are two dangerous directions we take in raising children: either being too hard and unreasonable with them, or being too indulgent and easy with them. Either way children will become discouraged, spoiled and rebellious. If we can seek God's will and not our own, God's glory and not our own, God's tenderness and way and not our own in dealing with our children, we will build a relationship the Lord will bless.
(Vs. 22.) "Servants" here refers to all who work in the employ or service of someone else:
1. Give them fair and equal pay. They have families to support, children to educate and they enjoy the same things you enjoy.
2. Expect them to work, produce and promote the business; but don't be unreasonable. Treat them as you want to be treated. Don't lay burdens on them you are unwilling to bear.
3. Treat them with respect. A man may dress poorly or have less ability and education, but he is a son of God. He is an important person in the eyes of God.
(Vs. 25-25.) "Whatever you do in all these areas (husbands and wives, children and parents, servants and masters), do what you do sincerely, with all your heart, as unto the Lord and before the Lord." If we are his children, our activities have a higher purpose and calling than just building relationships and programmes that will one day crumble. We are serving the Lord Jesus Christ and his greater glory. From him we shall receive a "well done" or judgement.