In an ever changing world at risk from the pandemic and persecution there is one constant: Jesus Christ. He is not first among equals He is supreme above and beyond all. He is not one of the ways to the Father He is the only way.
“It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favouritism.” (Colossians 3 v 25)
The Apostle Paul has just finished a household list of responsibilities as he did in his Ephesian letters and just before the verse we will focus on in v24 he reminds us all that we serve the Lord Jesus Christ in all that we do. Whether you are a slave or a master; whether you are in the pulpit or in the pew; title or no title; there is no favouritism. Everyone is the same and treated in the same way.
If you do wrong in the home where no one can see, you will be repaid for that wrong because the Lord Jesus Christ is in the home.
If you do wrong in work you may think it is okay because it is not in the Church but you will be repaid, for it is the Lord Jesus Christ you are working for.
Whether you are an apostle or a deacon, a bishop or a member, regardless of your position, power or privilege we are answerable to the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is how the Amplified Bible explains it; “For he who deals wrongfully will [reap the fruit of his folly and] be punished for his wrongdoing. And [with God] there is no partiality [no matter what a person’s position may be, whether he is the slave or the master]” (vs. 25 AMP).
When we serve then we are to do so with responsibility
Surely Paul will call for the emancipation of slaves? It doesn’t even appear the thought had crossed his mind.
I think perhaps Paul is not trying to devise a new way of life but how the Spirit would help us in the one we are in.
Slavery seems to have been universal at this time. There are estimates of up to 60 million slaves in the Roman Empire. Many were well-treated and many were abused. They included not only domestic slaves and manual labourers but educated people as well. Nobody challenged this constitution.
Paul is not looking to a new world but with the filling of the Spirit then our lives are changed and charged with purpose so that whatever we are doing we are really serving Christ. Behind their master is Christ, maybe hard to imagine, but the Spirit can help you find the face of Christ even in the worst of places.
That’s the justice of the Kingdom of Christ.