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Bondservants and Masters (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
June 18, 2020 4:00 am

Bondservants and Masters (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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June 18, 2020 4:00 am

The Bible urges us to live out the Gospel in every aspect of our lives. Find out how we can make the Gospel our highest priority. That’s our focus as we continue to look at the relationship between bondservants and masters on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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The apostle Paul talks about bond servants, and masters in his letter to the Ephesians is not talking about a social or political agenda is talking about the gospel today on Truth for Life. Alastair beg urges us to live out the gospel in every aspect of our lives and to make that our first priority for continuing with a message about bond servants, and masters in Ephesians chapter 6 God has instituted a structure in the world and that structure is there and this is the part you play well I'm I only supposed to be kind and nice and good and subservient. If the person is a good and a gentle master no.

Even if he or she is an unjust master to observations one it when I say practically speaking, and the other theologically speaking, okay. Practically speaking, practically speaking, Paul was in no position to bring about the abolition of slavery if he had suggested to these individuals that they operate in a different way from that which was expected within the framework of the Empire, then surely would have had an impact in some way in some small way, but 35% of the population were involved in slavery. There was no way. In fact, the reverse would have been the case. Not only would have had very little impact on the practice but it may well practically have precipitated the extermination of the fledgling church because what we know we don't know much. Many of us, but what we know of the Roman Empire is that whenever something went wrong in the Roman Empire who got the blame the Christians. They said is the Christians. The Christians are atheists. Why would they say Christians are atheists because the Christians did not believe in all the gods that were in the pantheon, and since they didn't believe in all the gods in the pantheon, then there is atheists and as a result of that, the pressure that was on them was significant. If Christianity that in that context had taken on the institution of slavery than the Roman Empire would've just crushed it into oblivion and all the power to do so, you see, God moves in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform.

He plants his footsteps in the sea and he rides upon the storm. The expansion of the church in the first three centuries was a church that expanded under persecution. In practical terms, we could make those observations.

More importantly though is to think theologically, to think theologically. Learning to think in terms of what the Bible teaches you see Paul is not driven by pragmatism here. He's driven by his theological convictions. Note what is a foundational theological conviction for Paul. While it is this that God has entrusted to him and to those who serve within the message of reconciliation. So for example when he writes to the Corinthians in in second Corinthians 5. He says in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself.

We are ambassadors for Christ, and so we implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. In other words, Paul. If you like Scripture is concerned.

First and foremost with man's relationship to God that that is the great issue always that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself that the condition of man before God. In light of eternity is and always will be the driving import of gospel proclamation so theologically, the great issue is this issue. God is holy man is sinful man is separated from God.

The message that we are given to proclaim is that God in Christ reconciles men and women to himself were also given to proclaim that message in the short journey of our life's which is a very short journey because we are not here forever. We are merely pilgrims and where strangers therefore the issues of this world is significant as the art are not the great issues the great issues of the world relate to the reality of our separation from God of the provision that God is made for us in that need and of the fact that we are here for a short time, and Paul recognize that that's why in first Corinthians 90s is my great concern is to win as many as possible doing as many as possible so if you take it on if you like the cause of slavery. He would never have one.

Hardly anybody at all because all he recommended talking about all the time was you know, this shouldn't be happening. Of course it shouldn't be happening, but I was in the message been given to proclaim. You see, it alters everything absolutely alters everything wise the church in the world today were not in the world today to reform the world are mandated in the world is not political is not social and is not economic.

The fact that many of us have lived through a period of time in the United States whereby the social, political and economic concerns have increasingly encroached upon the minds of those who should know better and have begun to take on virtually a life of their own, whereby we have begun to be seduced by the idea that these really are the issues that if we could fix this and fix this and fix this, then we would be fine but we were never invited to fix this and this and this.

The calling of the church is to proclaim the gospel and whenever that which is central namely, the gospel becomes peripheral, then that which is peripheral. Inevitably become central whatever you want to use as the issue in an earlier era. Martin Lloyd Jones makes this amazing observation I find it so helpful. I wrote it down in full listen he speaking to a congregation, probably in the 1940s, maybe 50s in the UK. We hear he says so much today about defending Western civilization from attack. That is all wrong. As a Christian I am not primarily concerned about Western civilization. I am interested in the kingdom of God and I am is anxious that men and women behind the Iron Curtain should be saved as that man on this segment on that side of the Iron Curtain should be see, we must not take up a position of antagonism towards those whom we want to win for Christ. If we spend our whole time talking against them. We will never win how you can apply it in any way you want, because if we were to do that and bring in some person a Christian person of pastor whoever it is, so you know the great issue of the world today is the destruction of Western civilization.

We have a problem with this. We have a problem they are in the gender issue is upside down and marriages gone to pot and we don't know what were doing with this and so on. In the next week you will usually want to see people get up out of their seats and get excited. I guarantee it's happened for the last 50 years in America and what is happened in terms of people being converted very little, very little because it's not the issue.

If Paul had decided to take place on the expansion of the gospel would not be as we have now known it.

God is sovereign in these things you see the great concern the great concern is that the gospel might frame our thinking and it is the gospel, which frames Paul's thinking because Paul recognizes that the gospel works everywhere and so Paul as he is addressing these Ephesian believers is speaking to them in the social context in which they find themselves, and his responsibility is not to disrupt that environment, but it is instead to show them the difference. The gospel makes you see the gospel is the answer to slavery. The gospel is the only answer actually the gospel is the answer to human trafficking. The gospel is the answer to the upside down world morally, in which we presently live. That's where red from Philemon.

It was the gospel that brought about the reconciliation between an SMS the slave and Philemon. His master's.

Although the New Testament does not call for the abolition of slavery. What is history tells that the abolition of slavery was brought about by Christian men and women. Christian men and women.

Was it that caused a wealthy high-ranking member of society: William Wilberforce to take on the plight of slaves answer the gospel. The gospel you see the gospel changed his heart changed his mind change his mind about everything and caused him then to say this is wrong and this must be addressed is the one you talking out of both sides of your mouth.

No careful the distinction between the responsibility of the church to proclaim the gospel and then for the pastor teacher to proclaim the implications of the gospel in the outworking of that in every area of life so that Wilberforce did not sit under a standing diet of non-Bible teaching whereby his pastor was constantly going on and on and on about the issue of the day. He sat under the instruction of the Bible whose pastor was going on and on and on. All was about the gospel and he realized that when the gospel changed in.

He had a role to play in society and so do you, but is not my role now this is just by way of introduction, we have to come back to these principles and try and work them out in our own day and time and place, and it does relate to all of that as we will see. But the reason that industrial relations are in the position therein. The reason that you have all that friction in your office. The reason that the unions can agree with management and management can deal with unions and so is what man is sinful man is selfish man is self-centered and managed to save so how will men get a Savior only of people share the gospel note it's been my immense privilege to live here now for all this time since 3 August 1983 I wasn't hardly in the door in this place before I began to be besieged by well-meaning individuals saying to me you know you are is use your responsibility. Given the platform you have in your pulpit to take on the issues of our time, so he wanted me to address abortion. They want me to address Supreme Court nominations. They want me to give out literature in support of various candidates for office. They want me to tackle the question of racism they want me to do all of these things and is best that I've been able I haven't done a single one of what I want you to know that I care passionately about abortion. I care passionately about races I was exercised beyond measure. Regarding appointments to the Supreme Court, but that's me as an individual citizen exercising the privileges of democracy. It is not me as your pastor and your teacher. You see, because at the end of the day. The real transformative work in a nation is the transformative work of the gospel when in the north of Ireland. There was a great movement of the Spirit of God in the Harlingen moves shipbuilding factories. The management began to be overwhelmed by the amount of machinery that was being returned to them that had been stolen by the employees.

To the extent that the management issued a statement that was to the effect we get it. Don't bring us any more stuff, how was it that they began to bring all this by because they were transformed by the gospel.

The Gospels change them and they in turn were changed.

In other words, somebody proclaimed to them at the wonder of who Jesus is, why is America's ungodly as it is because there aren't enough Christians, we need more Christians.

How do you get more Christians by preaching about the issues of the day. Now by preaching the gospel. Why does Faldo do what he does because he understands this. You see before you, when you come in your Bible to issues like this if you don't stand far enough back and address the big principles that underlie all of our understanding of the then it will be possible to make all kinds of direct and immediate applications that may in part be helpful, but by and large, may miss the point entirely. And that's what we want to guard against the more Christians the more Christian thinking the more Christian thinking the more Christian action and art and science and politics and media in education and in medicine, but if I were to forsake my calling. I may cause you to be sidetracked into thinking that these issues were the great issues to the neglect of the message of God's word. If you read history and end alongside a church history you find a number of fascinating things and Melissa just stopped.

But you'll find that the people in poopers pastors who to call on the issues of the day and Chino made into the newspapers, who in Britain you know during the Crimean war or whatever might be the reserve versus the great evil of the day and on. So the press picked it up and said in all reverence so-and-so is really on his game and everything else. Meanwhile over and some little chapel there is a pastor in the St. Louis people were reading the Bible and this is who Jesus is in his white skin in the economy of God that follow. Nobody knows who in the world is disease long long forgotten. Nobody cares and the apparently insignificant work that was coined on where the pastor was just simply day by day, proclaiming to his people, the unsearchable riches of Christ, that is what yielded" yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness.

He seeks with with with thinking.

Think about it.

Think about all all all the work that is going on on scene in small congregations with faithful pastors just sticking with the gospel. That's why we have basics to see to our brothers. We believe this, we believe that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. We believe that the greatest need of man is to be reconciled to God.

When God reconciles them to himself and changes his way of thinking then that man. That woman will engage in the privileges and opportunities that are there for them to affect great change, social change, and so on, but don't whatever you do, start to tell your people that there is only one economic formula that can be true to the new test. Don't whatever you do, start to tell your people that trade unions are ipso facto from the devil don't whatever you do, wrap any of that stuff around the saving work of Jesus Christ, because the gospel works everywhere and works through individuals whose life's have been embraced by and who in turn and embracing others ex-wife.

That's why Wesleyan is great him finally writes the two lines.

He says to us all. My business here below to cry. Behold the Lamb behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world who see the great slavery this morning that each of us faces is a slavery which Jesus referred in John chapter 8 when these religious people come to them and they're very proud of their status and so on, and he says you know you really need to think about this, that everyone who sins is a slave to sin. That's the real slavery and if the sun set you free. You will be free indeed force that then this not this then that the gospel works everywhere powerful take away from our message today called bond servants, and masters listing to Truth for Life. Alister Baird will close with prayer shortly so please keep listening. First though, I want to tell you about a compelling resource. Our team has selected that we think complements our current study. It's a book titled discovering the good life written by respected pastor and author Tim Savage. Whether you are working for a cruel and unfair boss. Dealing with unemployment struggling under the pain of her chronic illness.

The number of daily problems we might face. It's clear we live in a broken world.

Sometimes we might feel frustrated that God doesn't seem to be intervening to help us.

Where is the abundant life were promised in Scripture, Tim Savage tackles these questions by tracing the theme of three trees in the Bible the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

The chute that comes from the stump of Jesse Jesus himself, the tree of life, and as you read, you will learn how to experience the good life even in the midst of suffering.

If you've ever requested any of our recommended books before you know that we put a great deal of care into selecting these books and when you commit to monthly giving is a true partner you can receive a copy of discovering the good life along with both of our featured books each month in the future. Simply have to reach out to request the books were happy to send them to you as our way of saying thanks for making Truth for Life possible, like being a part of a wonderful book club, most importantly your monthly donation brings Alister's clear relevant Bible teaching to people all around the world. We trust God will work through the teaching of his word to bring unbelievers to salvation, to establish believers and to strengthen local churches join the crew partner team today is a Truth for partner or call 888-588-7884.

Now here's Alister close with prayer father, thank you. We find our refuge in Christ alone and as we are confronted by these difficult and complex and uncomfortable areas. We ask that you will help us to do as Paul has done and that is to frame things in light of the great principles of your work. Thank you that beyond the affairs of time. There is a throne that is fixed in heaven. Beyond the ephemeral nature of our earthly pilgrimage. There is a new heaven and a new earth.

And so we pray that we might understand this McShane used to say that I am a dying man preaching to dying man and women Lord Phil is afresh with an understanding of the gospel and the desire to live for 40 pray in Jesus name, amen about the team tomorrow.

Alister continues the series life together explaining how the principles in Ephesians 6 apply to our lives today sure to join us again this daily program features the Bible teaching of Alistair Begg furnished by Truth for Life. But the Learning is for Living

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