The Worthy Walk: Godly Business

I. The role of the servant (employee) is explained (Ephesians 6:5-8).

A. There are three types of servants identified in the New Testament.

1. There is the young servant (pais), usually a child in a home.

a. Herod killed all the pais in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16)
b. Jesus healed a pais that was a “servant” of the Centurion in Capernaum (Matthew 8:5-11).
c. King David and the Lord Jesus were both called pais during their adult life (Acts 4:25, 27)

2. There is the ministering servant (diakonos) usually in authority.

a. Deacons (diakonos) were given responsibility in the churches (1 Timothy 3:8-12)
b. Paul was diakonos (Colossians 1:23) as well as an Apostle.
c. Phoebe was diakonos to the Cenchrea church (Romans 16:1)

3. There is the purchased or indebted servant (doulos).

a. This the most common term used in the New Testament
1) It is used of our relationship with Christ (Romans 1:1; 1 Corinthians 7:22; Galatians 1:10, etc.)
2) Epaphras was a fellow servant (sundoulos) with Paul (Romans 13:1).
3) James (James 1:1). Peter (2 Peter 1:1), and Jude (Jude 1:1) were all doulos of Jesus Christ.
b. Several principles are given for the doulous.
1) The doulos is not above his Master (Matthew 10:24)
2) The doulos can be a leader (Matthew 20:27)
3) The doulos can be either wise or evil (Matthew 24:45-50)
4) We are “bought with a price” and are not to be doulos of men (1 Corinthians 7:23 and 6:60).

B. The doulos is identified in Ephesians 6:5 contrasted with “master” (kurios).

1. This specifies how “servants” should behave toward their “masters according to the flesh.”

a. Servants are to be “obedient” (Colossians 3:22-25)
b. Servants should obey with “fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12-13; 2 Corinthians 7:15)
c. Servants are to obey “with singleness of heart”
1) “Singleness” = “healthy; whole” (Colossians 3:23)
2) 1 Peter 1:22 – “with a pure heart, fervently”

2. The obedience is to be done “as unto Christ”

a. Not with “eyeservice” or as “menpleasers”
1) Eyeservice – ophthalmodouleia – a service done only under the eyes of the master.
2) Menpleasers – anthropareskos – merely courting favor with men
b. Colossians 3:22 – “fearing God”

C. The doulos is to serve as if he were the “servant of Christ” (Ephesians 6:6)

1. He is to do “the will of God from the heart” (Ephesians 6:6)

a. The “healthy heart” (6:5) uses the word kardia.
1) This is the common word for the inner organ and is most often used to designate our inner character (Matthew 6:21; 12:25; 15:18)
2)  Its use in Ephesians 6:5 speaks to the “healthy attitude” that should be displayed in our service.
b. The “heart” used in Ephesians 6:6 is the word psuche.
1) This word is most often translated “soul”
2) This is part of our obedience to the “greatest commandment” (Luke 10:27)
3)  This is differentiated from the “heart” – usually to indicate an “emotive” (happy, committed, persuaded) drive to obey (Acts 4:32)

2. He is to understand that whatever “good” is done will be rewarded.

a. Even the “secret” deeds will be rewarded (Matthew 6:6)
b. Even the “small” deeds will be rewarded (Matthew 10:42)
c. Even the “full reward” must be verified (2 John 1:8)

3. He is to give special recognition to those “masters” who are believers: “because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit” (1 Timothy 6:2)

II. The role of the Master is outlined (Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 4:1).

A. He is in the position of “lord” (kurios) in a given sphere.

1. Kurios is the most common word for “owner” in Scripture.

a. This is the title given the Lord Jesus (Acts 1:21 etc)
b. This title is used 121 times – mostly in the epistles.
c. The single term, “Lord” is applied to Jesus most often in the Gospels (Matthew 14:28, etc.)
d. Jesus favorite title of Himself was “Son of Man.”

2. Kurios are to do the “same things” that the servants are to do – to the servants (Ephesians 6:9).

a. Have “singleness of heart” and no “eyeservice” or “menpleasing.”
b. Have focus on “doing the will of God.”

3. Kurios are to be especially careful not to have “respect of persons.”

a. God is watching and there is no respect of persons with Him (Ephesians 6:9Romans 2:11)
b. Our faith is not to have “respect for persons” involved in our evaluation of others (James 2:1; 1 Peter 1:17).

4. Kurios are to “forbear threatening”

a. We have the good example of the Lord Jesus (1 Peter 2:23)
b. We have the bad example of the unsaved (Acts 4:17, 29)

III. The Bible provides several examples of excellent business practice.

A. There is the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30)

1. The Lord gave differing amounts “to every man according to his several ability” (25:15)

2. The servants “traded” and “gained” with the money given

3. The Lord returned and “reckoned” with each servant.

a. The Lord “compared’ one with another
b. The % gain was precisely the same (double the amount)
c.  The “wicked and lazy” servant was “cast out”

4. The reward was in direct proportion to the amount of value, not the % of return.

a. The one entrusted with the most received the greatest reward.
b. The “lazy” servant had his value taken away and given to the one with the most.
c. Jesus: the one who has will be given more.

B. There is the Parable of the Pounds (Luke 19:12-26)

1. The Lord gave each servant the same amount (19:16, 19)

2. The Lord evaluated each by how much they had “gained by trading”

a. One servant gained ten pounds
b. One servant gained five pounds
c. One servant did nothing but preserve the original pound.

3. The Lord rewarded based on the % of return.

4. The servant who was “afraid” had the opportunity taken away.

5. The one who has will be given more.

C. Note:  These parables have an eternal picture in mind – eternal reward based on our service in the Kingdom on earth.  However, they both picture “real” situations that can be understood as business principles

D. There are several other passages that give us business insight.

1. Proverbs 10:4 – the hand of the diligent makes rich.

2. Proverbs 22:29 – the diligent will stand before kings

3. Proverbs 27:23 – be diligent to know the state of your business

4. Proverbs 22:1 – a good name is better than silver and gold

5. Proverbs 23:5 – riches have wings and will “fly” away

6. Romans 12:11 – do not be slothful in business; serve the Lord

Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 -- Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.  Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.  For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart.

Ecclesiastes 9:7-10 -- Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment. Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 -- Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.  For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.



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