Christian Work Ethic for Authorities (Ephesians #45)

Text: Ephesians 6:9

In this instance, the Holy Spirit deals with Christians who have authority over other people such as management, bosses, and masters.  The principle here is that God is the restraint on authority. And abuse of power is carried out by self righteous people who have no fear of God.  However, God will account for their abuse because He is not as impressed with their title as they are.

The ethic of service in authority

  • …do the same things unto them… What were those things?
  • Work with singleness of your heart, as unto Christ
  • Work not with eyeservice, as menpleasers… doing the will of God from the heart…
  • Work with good will doing service, as to the Lord…
  • Knowing that your reward is with the Lord…
  • Luke 22:25-26 – the preparation for greatness in the Lord’s kingdom is service.
  • The example is the Lord himself as the Master
    • The Master is Jesus Christ according to John 13:13-14 and notice his service.
    • You know the Lord has plenty of reason no to put up with your foolishness.  And He has the power to not have to put up with your foolishness. But it’s that servant attitude and spirit about the Lord that makes Him a good master.  His leadership seeks to make people better.
  • Do you know the things that made Joseph a good leader in Egypt were the same things that made him a good servant in prison?
  • The preparation for greatness in the Lord’s kingdom is service according to Philippians 2:5-11.
  • The things that make you a good, godly servant will also make you a good, godly master.
  • Peter Drucker said, “The man who stresses his downward authority is a subordinate no matter how exalted his title and rank.  But the man who focuses on contribution and who takes responsibility for results, no matter how junior, is in the most literal sense ‘top management’.”
  • Proverbs 30:21-22 For three things the earth is disquieted, and for four which it cannot bear: For a servant when he reigneth…

The ethic of emotional control

  • …forbearing threatening…
  • How you treat someone subordinate to you indicates your relationship to God.
  • Emotional bully.
  • How someone treats those subordinate to them tells much about that person’s character.
    • Someone said, Nothing is more telling about your character than how you treat people who can’t do anything for you.
    • This type of leadership that treats subordinates poorly will treat people with preference according to what they can do for them.  Because your respecting persons.
  • Matthew 18:23-34 – 10,000 talents versus 100 talents

The ethic of accountability

  • …knowing that your Master also is in heaven…
  • You’re accountable to God for your treatment of subordinates.
  • The principle here is that God is the restraint on authority.  And abuse of power is carried out by self righteous people who have no fear of God.  However, God will account for their abuse because He is not as impressed with their title as they are.
  • Colossians 4:1
  • This is why our government started with so many checks and balances because if a man got in power and didn’t believe he had any accountability to anyone, he would become a tyrant.

The ethic of impartiality

  • …neither is there respect of persons with him…
    • Romans 2:11
    • Proverbs 28:21 To have respect of persons is not good: for for a piece of bread that man will transgress.
    • Deuteronomy 16:19 Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.
  • God is righteous.  And in order to be righteous and just, He has no respect of persons.  That means He can’t be bought. That means He is not as impressed with your title as you are.  And it means He does not ignore His own words because your you.
  • No respect of persons doesn’t mean equal treatment.
  • Now, can you imagine if God wasn’t impartial?
    • You’d have a God running things based on bribery and gifts.  A god who could be bought.
    • Heaven would look a lot like a Communist/Socialist government.