This bible study is part of a series on the book of 1st Timothy, in order to see the full series please check out our “epistle” page or alternatively please check out our page dedicated to the book of 1st Timothy for other studies in this book.
When I set this blog up my intention was to explore the epistles and do the occasional bible study based on what I had studied and learned, what you are reading below is notes I have made. I have to confess that this bible study is basic in its content and is not prepared by a pastor and I have to admit I have no theological training; my hope in prayer is that someone will be blessed by the notes below.
Let’s start in verse one of the sixth chapter of First Timothy.
Give masters their due honor
1 Timothy 6:1 (ESV) Let all who are under a yoke as bondservants regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. 2 Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved.
But I am not a slave?
Yes you may not be a slave under the terms written about here, however I do ask you one quick question. “Are you employed?” “Do you have a contract of employment with someone?” “Are you bound to be there a certain hour level a week in order to retain employment?” If the answer to these questions is “yes” then these circumstances apply to you.
Your masters in this case are your supervisors or your bosses; do we give our employers their due honor? Are we respectful in the workplace? Does our actions when we are supposed to be diligent at work reflect the faith that we hold dear?
Does our lives and the way that we tackle the work the LORD has blessed us with (because there is a lot of unemployment and if you do not respect or love your job there is a line of people that will happily fill in for you and let you go elsewhere- make no mistake, having a job, any job is a blessing!) make others wonder and want to explore the faith we hold dear?
Paul speaks of this in his letter to the Colossian church in chapter three…
Colossians 3:22 (ESV) Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
Again more confirmation from the pen of Paul a good biblical truth. We as Christians are supposed to be a good example to the world around us. Paul writes and states that we should be working for our employers as if the LORD Jesus Christ was our direct supervisor.
Are we a walking advert for Jesus? Are we an advert for hiring Christians? Are we diligent in a way that when we work other see Christ in what we do and even our work itself is a silent testimony to our Savior?
Are we only working when we are watched? Are we respectful of our bosses? Do we arrive on time? Do we work hard within our parameters? Do we try to excel in all we do? Are we praying for the success of our companies? Really we are trying to glorify God in all that we do!
Conversely, to quote the Christian Scientist Kent Hovind “We are all serving in one way or another, but are we serving as a bad example?” and that could be the case for our individual walks, are we causing unbelievers to not work hard as they are following our bad example?
What if my boss is a believer?
This command so far talks under the assumption that the employer is not a believer, but Paul also covers what would happen if your manager is a believer and stands next to you at church?
V2 Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved.
I ask myself this question when I look at this line of scripture, “Would I shirk off if I worked for my father?”, “Would I slack off if my boss was my brother?” “Would I disrespect a member of my family?” If the answer is no then why would we do it if our manager or our company owner is a believer?
I love the show “Duck Dynasty” it is by far one of the best shows on TV. I am not the usual demographic for this show as I am not Southern, full bearded, a hunter, a gun fanatic and I rarely am seen outdoors. I am what Phil would call a “yuppie”. But the show does make me “Happy, Happy, Happy” when I watch it. Compared to most other things on the TV it is decent, wholesome and it is an honest to goodness family who loves the LORD and always has God in the center of what they do.
One concern I have though is the work ethic of the two younger brothers Jase and Jep and the example they give of Christian work ethics. The boss man Willie seems to work hard and has to consistently reign in his brothers as they goof off, go hunting, go fishing, disappear in the middle of the day and encourage the non-family members who work alongside to do likewise. It makes for good entertainment I guess but it doesn’t paint Christians in a very good light in the workplace.
Before the DD fans invade this place and say I am slamming the show, I am not! I just wish this part of the show was done better because I love the show and have many seasons on DVD and I am 99% happy with the show and believe the characters to be awesome believers, they just let themselves down in this area!
My boss will show me Christian grace!
That is a misnomer and I would have a hard time with a boss that would do so. Slacking off and taking advantage just because your boss is a Christian is a really bad abuse of a fellow brother or sister in the LORD. We should want to work just as hard if not harder for our brother in the faith and ensure he has a roof over his head to as we would for a non-believer! Using someone’s faith as an excuse to be lazy is not on!
Hence why I entitled this “My boss will show me Christian grace” and I hear of the converse part of that also when someone gets laid off or sacked because they were not fulfilling what they were supposed to be getting paid for the cry is “They are supposed to be a Christian”. “Where is the love?” and people do not examine their own role in why they were let go.
We are called to love one another; we should show that love by being in submission to the authority that God has placed us under. We are part of a missionary team (along with the boss) to show the work ethic of the Christian and we should be blessing our brother with our hard work and being one that he would look to promote due to our diligence and hard work.
On the subject of promotion, we shouldn’t be looking for any special favors because our boss is a brother, we should be working at 110% to make sure that any progression is not viewed with contempt and is above reproach. We should be the top of our game and working to the best of our abilities at all times.
Teach and urge these things
Paul finished this part with the words “Teach and urge these things.” and you can see why, in the Roman era we had quite a mixed group coming through the church we had slaves and free, rich and poor men, Jews and Gentiles, Romans and non-Romans and in the church we did not have these distinctions. The church was the one place a slave could talk to a free man, a master could talk to a poor man and a former Jew could converse with a Roman all as brothers in Christ.
Regardless of the status of the person, regardless of the background or ethnicity they had one thing on common, the faith in Jesus Christ. Paul expected that regardless of whom they were outside of the assembly, that in their Christian dealings they would be treated the same way. It was Timothy’s job to teach these things to everyone regardless of rank, file or association of the member.
Thank you again for finding this article and I pray these bible studies are a blessing. Please feel free to comment, like or share as the LORD leads you to.