Morning Sermon: 1 Timothy 6:1-2, Masters Worthy Of All Honor


Old Testament Reading: Psalm 107

“Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to a city to dwell in; hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way till they reached a city to dwell in. Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, prisoners in affliction and in irons, for they had rebelled against the words of God, and spurned the counsel of the Most High. So he bowed their hearts down with hard labor; they fell down, with none to help. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and burst their bonds apart. Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he shatters the doors of bronze and cuts in two the bars of iron. Some were fools through their sinful ways, and because of their iniquities suffered affliction; they loathed any kind of food, and they drew near to the gates of death. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy! Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the great waters; they saw the deeds of the LORD, his wondrous works in the deep. For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea. They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their evil plight; they reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wits’ end. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven. Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! Let them extol him in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders. He turns rivers into a desert, springs of water into thirsty ground, a fruitful land into a salty waste, because of the evil of its inhabitants. He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water. And there he lets the hungry dwell, and they establish a city to live in; they sow fields and plant vineyards and get a fruitful yield. By his blessing they multiply greatly, and he does not let their livestock diminish. When they are diminished and brought low through oppression, evil, and sorrow, he pours contempt on princes and makes them wander in trackless wastes; but he raises up the needy out of affliction and makes their families like flocks. The upright see it and are glad, and all wickedness shuts its mouth. Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD.” (Psalm 107, ESV)

Sermon Text: 1 Timothy 6:1-2

“Let all who are under a yoke as bondservants regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these things.” (1 Timothy 6:1–2, ESV)


Please excuse any typos and misspellings within this manuscript. It has been published online for the benefit of the saints of Emmaus Reformed Baptist Church but without the benefit of proofreading.


Here in the text that is before us today, we find the last of Paul’s instructions to Timothy regarding the care of particular groups within the congregation. First, Paul spoke to the care of men and women, young and old. Next, he addressed the care of widows. After that, he spoke to the treatment of pastors or elders. And now Paul has a word to say about the care of bondservants. The question is, how are they to be exhorted to relate to their earthly masters?   

And as we begin to consider this passage I think it is important to repeat something that I emphasized when we first began to study this section, which began in chapter 5 verse 1. Though it is true that in Christ we are all one so that there is no distinction between male and female, young and old, rich and poor, it is also true that in Christ we are many. In Christ’s church there are many unique individuals, and there are in fact males and females, young and old, rich and poor. And these groups in Christ’s church will have particular needs and obligations. 

So, in Christ we are one and we are also many. In Christ’s church there is perfect unity and there is also beautiful diversity. And no, this is not double talk. In fact, I believe it is crucial for us to confess and celebrate both our unity and diversity in Christ Jesus if we are to truly honor one another as God has called us to. 

That word “honor” should ring a bell.  You know that it is the glue that binds this entire section of Paul’s letter together. From 5:1 through 6:2 Timothy is in essence being urged to see to it that honor is shown to the various groups within Christ’s church. And as I have said, knowing that in Christ’s church there is both unity and diversity is key if we are to show honor to one another.  

First, we must know for certain that in Christ we are one. As Paul says elsewhere, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28, ESV). All are to be honored, therefore, for all who are in Christ stand on an equal footing. All humans are made in the image of God, and all who are in Christ are God’s beloved children. This is true of the very young and the very old, the very rich and the very poor, the powerful and the weak, male and female, free and slave, Jew and Gentile. What a marvelous doctrine this is! And how unifying! The world is so very divided. People divide over race, gender, and class. But in Christ we have unity. The dividing wall of hostility has been broken down by him. In Christ we are one. 

Secondly, in Christ we are diverse. Pay careful attention to this: our unity in Christ does not do away with every distinction, nor does it obliterate authority within the church and society. In Christ we are one, but this does not mean that we are all the same. Consider the sexes. Male and female are equal in Christ. They are both beloved children of God, co-heirs together through faith in Christ. But this does not mean they are the same. No, though they share human nature in common, and though they share Christ and all of the benefits that are found in him in common, men and women are different. And the diversity is beautiful. It is to be celebrated. Both men and women are to be honored within society, the home, and the church. But men and women are called to take different roles according to God’s design. In the home, wives are called to honor their husbands as head, and husbands are called to honor their wives with love given their position as the weaker vessel. And in the church, some men are called to hold the offices of elder and deacon.  Are men and women equal? Yes! Are they the same? No. And consequently, a special kind of honor is to be shown to each according to God’s design. 

“Honor” is the glue that binds this section of Paul’s letter together. Who is to be honored? Well, everyone is to be honored! Every human is to be honored because they are made in God’s image. And every Christian is to be honored because we are one in Christ. Paul teaches this doctrine of unity so clearly in other places. But here in 1 Timothy 5:1-6:2 Paul makes distinctions. Older men and women are to be treated with a special kind of honor. Widows too! They are to be cared for in their distress. And those who hold the office of elder are to be honored given the authoritative position they hold — some deserve double-honor. And all that I have been saying regarding our unity in Christ and our diversity does really come to a head the passage that is before us today, for here Christian bondservants are commanded to show honor to their earthly masters — yes, even (or especially) their Christian masters.

Now, we must use our imaginations here, for we do not have masters and bondservants in our culture or congregation. But they were present in the church of Ephesus where Timothy was a minister. Imagine that. In the church of Ephesus, and in many other congregations in the first century, there were men and women, old and young, married and single, Jew and Gentile, rich and poor — all of this sounds familiar to us; we have these types of people in our midst — but there were also masters and bondservants in the first-century church. This diverse group would assemble together on the Lord’s Day, just as we do, united by their shared faith in Christ to give worship to God the Father, to whom they each had been reconciled through Christ’s shed blood. They were one in him, just as we are one in him. They were equals in Christ. But some were masters over others in an earthly sense. It is not difficult to imagine why Paul would need to address this. Here he addresses the attitude of Christian bondservants towards their masters, whether non-Christian or Christain    

Now, before we go any further I should say something about slavery as it existed in the first-century Roman world. It was not long ago that I made some remarks on this subject in a sermon on Ephesians 6:5-9. These remarks are necessary because it is difficult for modern-day Christians to read of slaves or bondservants in the scriptures and to not think about slavery as it existed in the United States of America not long ago. Modern-day Christians will sometimes wonder, why did Paul command bondservants to honor their masters and not command masters to free their bondservants? That is a valid question. Let me make a few observations to help us understand. 

  1. The form of slavery that existed in the first-century Roman world was not the same as the slavery that existed in this land not long ago. The slavery that plagued this nation was energized by the awful view that one race of man was inferior to another. 
  2. Though the slavery that existed in the first-century Roman world was not driven by a racist ideology, it was no less brutal. Slaves were often treated very poorly by their masters. This must be acknowledged.   
  3. Not all masters treated their slaves (or bondservants) unjustly. In fact, some were treated very kindly. They were considered members of their master’s household. Some were treated like sons and daughters. 
  4. There were many reasons why people came to be slaves. Some were captured through military conquest. Others were sold as slaves after being abandoned at birth. Some sold themselves into slavery to escape poverty and debt. 
  5. While the slave trade was plagued by oppression and injustice, it is not impossible to imagine some situations where a man or woman could come to be a slave justly, and be treated justly by their masters. Here I am thinking of those situations where a man or woman would sell themselves as a bondservant to work for a set amount of time and set pay to escape poverty or debt. Though unfortunate, this is not unjust.  
  6. Slavery was pervasive in the first century. The Roman economy depended upon the work of slaves. It is estimated by some that ⅓ of the residents of Ephesus were slaves. Think of that. 
  7. When Paul wrote concerning the attitude that bondservants should have towards their masters he was not speaking to the goodness or badness of the institution of slavery. Instead, he was addressing the reality of the situation. The reality was this: in the church of Ephesus, there were bondservants and masters. Here in 1 Timothy 6:1-2 the question is not, is this good? but simply, how should bondservants act towards their masters given the reality of the situation
  8. If we wish to gain a better understanding of Pual’s view of the institution of slavery we must look elsewhere. When we do we notice that, one, he never speaks of the institution of slavery in positive terms. It is not rooted in creation. It is not an institution to be desired. It’s existence can only be explained by the fall of man into sin and its effects. Two, Paul does warn masters to treat their bondservants well. For example in Ephesians 6:9 he calls masters to honor their bondservants, saying, “Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.” Three, there is one letter of Paul that is particularly revealing, and that is Philemon. Evidently, Philemon was a wealthy Christian man who had bondservants. One of them was named Onesimus. Onesimus ran away, came into contact with Paul, heard the gospel, and believed. And Paul sent him back to Philemon along with a letter which urged Philemon to receive Onesimus back, not as a bondservant, but as a beloved brother in Christ, and to treat him well.

When all is considered we see that Paul in his writings was aiming, not so much at the transformation of the Roman culture, but at teaching Christians, slave and free, how to live to the glory of God in the circumstances they were in. This was the reality. In the Roman world, there were slaves and bondservants. Neither Paul nor the Christians were in a position to change that reality, and so what to do? Christians were to show honor to those under them and over them. 

You know, as modern-day Americans we can tend to be very idealistic. What do you do if a government begins to act in a tyrannical fashion? Answer: start a revolution! Really? Is it that easy? Yes, the American revolution turned out pretty good. But many, many others have failed. Revolution is not always (or often) the answer. Sometimes Christians are simply called to suffer patiently under despotic rule. Take for example our brethren in North Korea today. What options do they have? And what do we do when we see injustice in society? Well, we pray for its eradication and we act when we have the opportunity, but sometimes we are powerless to bring about change. Yes, there is a time for revolution. Yes, there is time to seek the emancipation of the oppressed. But sometimes we can only patiently suffer. And this was the reality in the days of the early church. Being such a small minority, the Christians were powerless to change the system. But they could honor God and one another in the midst of a crooked culture, and thus bring glory to God. 

Listen to how Peter exhorted bondservants in 1 Peter 2:18-21: “Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.” (1 Peter 2:18–21, ESV)

So yes, I get it. When you read 1 Timothy 6:1-2 and you hear Paul command that bondservants honor their masters, you think, but what about the masters’, Paul? Why not command them to set their bondservants free? Tell me, brothers and sisters, where would these bondservants go? How would they earn a living? What would they eat? Where would they sleep? Let us not be so naive. Sometimes things are more complicated than they seem on the surface. It was neither the time nor the place for the emancipation of these slaves. And so what did Paul do? He did the only thing that could be done. In his writings, he exhorted Christain slaves and masters to honor one another, to do what is right and just in the eyes of God.

The passage that is before us today is divided into two parts. In verse one Paul speaks to bondservants who are under non-believing masters. And in verse 2 he speaks to bondservants under believing masters. In both instances, bondservants are exhorted to honor their masters. 


Non-Believing Masters Worthy Of All Honor

Verse 1: “Let all who are under a yoke as bondservants regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled.”

The phrase “let all who are under a yoke as bondservants” indicated that Paul has bondservants with unbelieving masters in mind. It would not be appropriate for Christian masters to rule over their bondservants in such a way that they could be described as being “under a yoke”. A yoke is fitting for oxen and other beasts of burden, but not the shoulders of men. The language is metaphorical, of course. But the metaphor communicates that these bondservants were under a heavy burden. They served masters who ruled with a heavy hand. We should not forget that many of the early Christians were of this class of men. They were not free but were slaves. And many did suffer under cruel masters. 

And so what were these bondservants to do? Were they to fight for their freedom and cast off the yoke of bondage? Were they to serve begrudgingly and treat their masters with contempt, reasoning thus — I am a child of God. Jesus is my Lord. This man will no longer have any authority over me? No, Paul says, “Let all who are under a yoke as bondservants regard their own masters as worthy of all honor…”

But these masters did not treat their servants honorably, we say. No, but according to God’s providence they were in fact masters over these, and so Paul commanded the Christian bondservants to show them honor. These masters were to be honored, not because they were honorable men and women, but given the position they held. 

And why was Paul so concerned that Christian bondservants honor their unbelieving and perhaps harsh earthly masters? He says, “so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled.”

Think about this. The glory of God amongst the nations and the furtherance of the gospel of Jesus Christ was to motivate those who were mistreated as bondservants to honor their masters. Apparently, these non-believing masters did permit these Christain bondservants to assemble with the Christian congregation. And what would happen if these Christian bondservants returned to treat their masters with contempt? God’s name would be blasphemed and the teaching of Jesus would be scorned.  The glory of God and the furtherance of Christ’s kingdom was the leading concern for the apostle, and it should be our leading concern as well. 


Believing Masters Worthy Of All Honor

In verse 2 Paul turns his attention to the bondservants who had believing masters, saying, “Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these things.” (1 Timothy 6:2, ESV)

So here we see by way of inference that it was possible in that first-century Roman context for Christians to have Christian bondservants and to treat them justly. It’s not hard to imagine how this would be the case. Imagine a person falling into poverty and being taken into a wealthy household to serve for a time, being compensated for their labors, treated with dignity and respect, and eventually set free. This happened in the first century. In fact, some bondservants would decide to never leave because they had it so good in their master’s home. 

But Paul’s focus here is upon the Christian bondservant who has a Christian master. He exhorts them to serve even better because they are beloved believers who are benefiting from their service. You can imagine how some bondservants might reason in the opposite direction, saying, but I am one in Christ with my master. We are equals in Christ. Therefore, he no longer has authority over me. Paul says no. One in Christ? Yes! But does this unity obliterate the diversity? Does this equality cancel out all earthly authority? No. The authority remains. And so Christian bondservants were called to honor their Christian masters.     



We do not have masters and bondservants in our culture or our churches today, thanks be to God. So how does this passage apply to us? We must apply the scriptures, brothers and sisters. Whenever we encounter God’s word it must change us. God’s word is to renew the way that we feel, think, speak, and act. Sometimes the application of God’s word is very direct and obvious. For example, when the scriptures say, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality…” (1 Thessalonians 4:3, ESV), we know exactly what the scriptures are calling us to do, and not do. But sometimes the application of scriptures is less obvious. We must dig for it a little. This is one of those texts. If we had masters and bondservants in the congregation then the application would be direct. But since we do not we must work to identify the principles that undergird Paul’s instructions to bondservants. The application that we make will be indirect and will come to us as implications of the truth that is found here.   

Here are two suggestions:

Firstly, if it is true that Paul commanded Christian bondservants to show honor to their masters — even masters that were unbelieving, harsh, and unjust — then it is also true that we are to show honor to those who are over us even if they are dishonorable people. They are to be honored, not because they are honorable, but because they have authority over us. This is a very important lesson for Christians to learn. Christians are to “Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed” (Romans 13:7, ESV). 

This principle is first learned within the home. Children are to honor their parents, not only when their parents act honorably, but always. There are limits to their obedience, of course. If the parents are commanding the child to do something sinful, then the child is to obey God rather than man. But even that act of disobedience is to be done respectfully. Tell me, parents, if you are having a bad day and are acting dishonorably, what do you expect from your children? Are they then permitted to disrespect you? I suspect you would say no. Your children are to honor you, not because you are honorable, but because of the authority you have over them. 

And what about husbands and wives? We know that wives are to honor their husbands. They are to submit to them and respect them for God has called husbands to be the head of their wives. And husbands are also called to honor their wives. They are to love, cherish, protect, and provide for them. Husbands are to “live with [their] wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with [them] of the grace of life, so that [their] prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7, ESV). So husbands and wives are to honor one another. Tell me, brothers and sisters. Are they to do this always, or only when their spouse is acting honorably? The answer is always. In fact, it is when your husband or wife is having a bad moment or day that you have the greatest opportunity to show them honor. You are to show them grace. You are to love them. And we know that love covers a multitude of sins. You are to honor them even — or perhaps I should say, especially — when they are acting dishonorably. 

The same sort of thing can be said regarding the relationship between elder and church member, citizen and governor. Rember, the Christian is to “Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed” (Romans 13:7, ESV). Honor is owed to those who rule in the church and in the civil realm, and this honor is not contingent upon the behavior or policies of the man. He is to be honored because of the position of authority he holds, according to the will of God.  

You know, as I was writing this portion of the sermon it occurred to me that we sometimes have a difficult time understanding how a person can be both very strong, courageous, firm, and resolute, and at the same time humble, gracious, gentle, meek, and mild. I think we often assume that a person will have either the one temperament or the other.  We assume that people are either confrontational or non-confrontational, bold or meek, direct or indirect — and indeed, people do have different temperaments. But here is my concern: sometimes people will excuse their bad behavior by appealing to their temperament. Some will fail to confront and stand when they need to stand, saying, it’s just who I am. I’m passive. I don’t like confrontation. And others will be rude, harsh, and abrasive and they will excuse it saying, it’s just who I am. I’m a fighter. I’m a very direct person. Well, brothers and sisters, may I suggest to you that who you are might need to change. We call that progressive sanctification. Not only has God forgiven all of our sins in Christ Jesus, we know that he is also sanctifying us, making us more like Christ, progressively by his word and the power of the Holy Spirit. 

I say this now because I am afraid that some, when they hear that we are called to honor those who have authority over us, assume that means we are to be entirely passive. They take “honor” to mean, never disagree, never take a stand, never confront. I don’t think that’s what it means at all. Instead it means that we are to relate to those over us being mindful of the position of authority they hold, and we are to treat them in a way that is fitting. 

Take the parent-child relationship as an example. Does a child disrespect her father when she comes to him at the right time and in the right way and says, Dad, can I talk to you about something? The way that you have been treating mom lately is bothering me, etc. Maybe you would disagree with me, but as a father I would not feel dishonored. That would be hard for me to hear. But I would not feel dishonored. And neither would I feel dishonored if my wife said something similar to me. But I would feel dishonored if my child, being frustrated by my bad attitude, began to lash out at me, speaking disrespectfully to me, and behind my back, etc. 

So please understand this: when I exhort parents and children, husbands and wives, elders and congregants, governors and citizens to honor one another, I do not mean, never disagree, never correct, never confront. Instead, I mean that we are to do all of these things (when necessary) in a way that is honoring, fitting, and Christlike. In fact, if you want an example of a man who was perfectly strong, courageous, firm, and resolute, and at the same time humble, gracious, gentle, meek, and mild, then look to Christ. We are to grow up in him, brothers and sisters. We are to be like him. If we are mature in Christ then we will “Pay to all what is owed to them… respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed” (Romans 13:7, ESV). 

And so the point is this: do not believe the lie that says, you are to honor others so long as they are honorable. Husbands, do not treat your wives this way. And wives, do not treat your husbands this way. You are to honor one another always. And the same could be said to parents and children, elders and congregants, citizens and governors. Were this not true then Paul would not have written to bondservants with oppressive masters, saying, “Let all who are under a yoke as bondservants regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled.”

Secondly, if it is true that Paul commanded Christian bondservants to honor their Christian masters, then it is also true that we must pursue contentment concerning our particular place in life, guarding our hearts against covetousness, and protecting the congregation from division. 

Can you see how I came to this point of application? Immagine the danger in the church of Ephesus. There in that congregation masters and their bondservants worshipped side by side. In Christ, they were one. In Christ they were equal. But in the world, they were not equals. The one had more than the other. The one had authority over the other. And how easy it would have been for the bondservant to grow jealous, discontent, and bitter towards God and their earthly masters. This must have been a problem in Ephesus or else Paul would not have written the words, “Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved.”

There are no masters and bondservants at Emmaus. But there may be bosses and employees. Some members will have more than others as it pertains to material possessions. Some are enjoying pleasant life circumstances, whereas others are walking through dark and difficult times. In Christ we are to honor one another. This means that those with much will need to honor those with little, and those will little will need to honor those with much. But this will not be possible if the heart is filled with covetousness and discontentment.    

The tenth of the Ten Commandments is, “thou shalt not covet”. It requires of us “full contentment with our own condition, with a right and charitable frame of spirit towards our neighbor, and all that is his.” It forbids of us “all discontentment with our own estate, envying or grieving at the good of our neighbor, and all inordinate motions and affections to anything that is his.” Covetousness is a sin of the heart, and it is deadly. In fact, left unchecked and does produce other sins forbidden in the second table of God’s law, most obviously murder, theft, and adultery. And covetousness, if left unchecked will destroy the unity of the church.  Christians will not honor one another if they are jealous of one another.  

Being content does not mean that we are to be complacent. There is nothing at all wrong with trying to better your circumstance or wishing to escape some suffering. In fact, it is right for you to better your circumstances, if you are able to do so in a way that is honoring to God. But as we work and as we wait patiently upon the Lord, we must pursue contentment and keep our hearts free from all covetousness.   

Clearly this was on Paul’s mind, for in verse 6 of this same chapter we read, “But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs” (1 Timothy 6:6–10, ESV).

If we are not content — that is to say, satisfied in God and with the place that he has assigned to us — then we will not be able to do what is commanded in Romans 12:15, which says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another” (Romans 12:15–16, ESV). And consider what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:17 and following: “Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ. You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men. So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God” (1 Corinthians 7:17–24, ESV).

How important it is for us to be content, brothers and sisters. And we must be content in God. He is to be our portion, our joy, and our satisfaction. We must recognize that he has appointed us to our place in life. We were born into this world at a certain time and place and to certain parents. We were born either male or female. We were born with certain mental and physical abilities. Some were born to rich families, others poor. Some to good and loving parents, others to negligent parents. Some we call privileged, others disadvantaged. The world will never be content with this, for the world does not submit to God and his will for us. But in Christ, we are to be content. Where there is injustice we must seek to correct it. Where there is an opportunity to improve our own condition, or the condition of others, we must take the opportunity. But until then, we must submit to the will of God for us, we must wait patiently on the Lord, finding our satisfaction, not in the things of this earth, but in him.   

In the church, brothers and sisters, we are one, but we are also many. Let us be sure to honor one another in our unity and diversity in Christ Jesus. 

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