So let’s be clear. Paul tells Christian slaves that they are to obey their masters. Slavery was accepted in the 1st century but even then it was wrong and not the will of God. These verses have been used in the past to support the evil institution of slavery by saying that because Paul did not speak out against slavery, then it must be okay. An argument from silence is not an argument that holds water. The institution of slavery puts unequal value on people. This assumption that some people have more value than others is completely contrary to the basic premise of Scripture. God has created us all equal and loves us equally. We can take that concept and apply it to today with people who understand people of color having lesser roles and values than whites. How is it possible that the vast majority of white supremacists consider themselves Christian? It is an embarrassment and something no one reading this should ever consider supporting, even tangentially.
Paul moves on quickly from this topic. We will also move on, but I don’t think I feel more strongly about anything, besides the Gospel, than this topic. Just saying.
Look at vs. 7 and see if it gives you the same sense of comfort as it did me. We brought nothing into this world, so we can take nothing out of it. Yeah, that’s true. We were born with nothing and we leave with nothing. What a great concept as he goes on to encourage us to fight the good fight. Paul tries to move us from a life focused on materialism and focusing on money, which is the root of all evil by the way, to a life focused on Jesus and his desire for us. What does that look like? It looks like a life of making decisions not based upon what it will provide us materially but rather what joy can we get from living for Christ.
Living for Christ, Paul tells us, looks like what he describes in vs. 11: “But as for you, man (or woman) of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness.” We have to shun our pursuit of those things that have money as their base and their goal. Rather, we ought to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. What great goals and how different they are from monetary goals.