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1 Timothy 6:1 – slaves adorning the teaching

14-06-2024 - Posted by Hans

Whoever are slaves under the yoke, let them deem their own owners worthy of all honor, lest the name of God and the teaching may be blasphemed.

As in other letters, Paul also describes the position of believing slaves here. The way he does this beautifully illustrates that the Gospel is not a political program. Paul is not a political activist. He does not use the subject to condemn slavery, let alone take action to eradicate the phenomenon. None of that. Paul accepts slavery as given and calls on every believing slave to bear this yoke. Not in the fatalistic sense, as fate. Like: I can’t do anything about the fact that I am my master’s property. No, Paul’s approach is positive. The slave would seek the honor of his own master.

In Titus 2, Paul writes something similar to the slaves. They would please their masters as much as possible with the motive that in doing so they would “be adorning the teaching that God is our Savior in all things” (Tit.2:10). This is how they would show their masters: God’s saving grace also applies to you (Tit.2:11). Unconditional. Isn’t such an attitude an adornment to the name of God and the teachings?!