Ephesians 6:5, “5 Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ;
The letter is written by the Apostle Paul, to the church in Ephesus, a real location in Turkey, you can visit today, and in the opening words of the first chapter we see the Father’s plan is to sum up all things in Jesus, things in heaven and things on earth will be summed up in Jesus as He comes to restore, reclaim, and renew everything that belongs to Him (Verse 10). That’s the plan!
Therefore, in Ephesians 1, 2 and 3 the Apostle Paul is teaching how this plan of restoration takes place theologically, and in chapters 4, 5, and 6 the Apostle Paul is teaching us how this plan of restoration takes place practically today.
In Ephesians 5 and 6 we see the Apostle Paul starts taking Jesus’ plan of restoration all the way down to the marital level, the parenting level, the children level, and in verse 5 we see the employee / employer level of restoration, and verse 5 starts off with “slaves, be obedient to those who are you masters according to the flesh.”
Now, I am guessing that most of us see the word “slave” in verse 5, and it makes us uncomfortable. We are thinking, “Doesn’t seem like ‘slave’ should fit into Jesus’ plan of restoration, right?
Perhaps we have even had a college professor say that the Bible endorses slavery, and yes, there have been pastors who have used these verses to endorse American Slavery, particularly in the south, but this was and is a complete misuse of Scripture.