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SIH’s Think On These Things: Ephesians 6:9

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SIH TOTT ICONReflections Of His Grace”

“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”



The Grace Of Authority/Submission (6:1-9)


Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.

And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.


This devotional, continues to look at the second main division of the book of Ephesians. Previously, we have looked at “Reflections Of His Grace Revealed” (chaps 1-3). It that section, Paul revealed to us the gracious works of the Lord in the lives of His chosen people.

In this new section “Reflections Of His Grace Applied” (chaps 4-6) Paul will be explaining to us the practical effects of God’s grace in the lives of His people.

  1. The Grace Of Unity (4:1-6)
  2. The Grace Of Maturity (4:7-16)
  3. The Grace Of Renewal (4:17-32)
  4. The Grace Of Imitation (5:1-14)
  5. The Grace Of Wisdom (5:15-21)
  6. The Grace Of Relationships (5:22-33)
  7. The Grace Of Authority/Submission (6:1-9)
  8. The Grace Of Preparedness (6:10-21)


The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of AUTHORITY/SUBMISSION (6:1-9)…

For those who are under the authority of another, there exists a great opportunity to follow the example of Christ, who was under the authority of His Father during His earthly ministry.

For those who hold authority over subordinates, there exists a great opportunity to reveal Christ, who was exalted as Head above all, to those who are around them. Also, keep in mind that those who are given authority over others remain under the authority of the Lord.

Keeping all this in mind, let’s turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I.        The Role Of Children (vs 1-3)
II.        The Role Of Fathers (vs 4)
III.        The Role Of Servants (vs 5 -8)
IV.        The Role Of Masters (vs 9)




Now Paul turns our attention to the responsibilities that authority holders are given in respect to those under their authority…

(Eph 6:9) And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.



And, ye masters,

Paul uses the word “kurios” to describe those who are masters…
1. This word’s most basic meaning is “controller”.
2. By implication, it can speak of many differing positions of authority and rulership.
3. It is commonly translated by the word “Lord” and applied to Jesus in many New Testament verses.

Paul is speaking to anyone who exercises “control” or “authority” over others. In today’s time, it would apply to authority holders in the government or the workplace as well as any other areas where authority is possessed.


do the same things unto them,

What is the “same things”? This refers back to the responsibilities held by those under a higher authority. This principle reminds us of a very basic truth found in the Word…

Luke 6:31 KJV – “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” 


Let’s note some of the servant’s responsibilities that would apply to authority holders as well…
1. Fear Of the Results Of Disobedience (vs 5)
2. Singleness of Desire to Meet Needs of Their Servants (vs 5)
3. Recognizing That Keeping Responsibilities Are A Type of Service for Christ (vs 5).
4. Do Not Exercise Authority “For Show” (vs 5)
5. Be Motivated By A Desire To Please and Glorify Christ (vs 6)
6. Accompanied By Love and Kindness For The Servant. (vs 7)
7. Exercise Auhtority As If They Were Serving Christ. (vs 7)
8. Recognizing Their Exercise Of Authority Has Eternal Consequences. (vs 8)


The only responsibility possessed by those under a higher authority that does not apply to the authority holders would be “Be Obedient”.

However, we saw this term meant to listen attentively to instructions and then seek to fulfill those instructions.   Of course, this would not literally apply to an authority holder, however, in principle this would apply. Authority holders are to observe and listen carefully to the needs of those under their authority and work to fulfill those needs when possible. Those under a higher authority are to be accepted as if they were a member of the authority holder’s family and should be cared for as such. In that sense, the authority holder should actually be working for the good of those who are under their authority.


This is exactly how Paul asked Philemon to treat his servant Onesimus….

Philemon 1:12, 15-18 KJV – “Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels:For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever;Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself.


 forbearing threatening: 

Authority holders are to “resist” or “walk away from” making these threats to those under their authority. Remember, if those under a higher authority is properly serving the authority holder there is absolutely no reason to threaten those under their authority.

Although it is very easy to allow authority to “go to our heads” it should never be allowed to do so. The use of threats (to force those under a higher authority to do whatever they are commanded) many times is looked upon by a lost world as a mark of the power and strength. A Godly authority holder will resist this type of manipulation.

Colossians 4:1 KJV – “Masters, give unto [your] servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.


knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.

One of the great motivations for authority holders to treat those under their authority properly is a knowledge that they must answer to their Lord for their actions. Every authority holder is given their authority through the Lord who is in control of all things. This granting of authority then translates into the need to use that authority responsibly, in a God fearing way. This is much like a steward who is held accountable by the landowner to control his property wisely.

Romans 13:1 KJV – “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”  



As authority holders, let us always be thankful to the Lord for the authority He has graciously given to us.   May we all seek to exercise that authority in a Godly way bringing honor and glory to our Lord.

May we all get a clearer picture of our Lord and Savior, and the great grace He has shown to us. Let us be always watchful to keep His great acts of grace on our behalf in the center of our attention… In doing so, may we be motivated to LOVE Him more, APPRECIATE Him more and SERVE Him more! 


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  1. SLIMJIM says:

    Under a Christian worldview, every leadership opportunity is really an opportunity of servant leadership whether at church, family or work

  2. Thanks Rob. Another excellent study!!!

  3. Thanks again Rob. All authority carries accountability. Even a high authority is responsible to a higher, and we are all responsible to the Highest of all.

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