What does Ephesians 6:7 mean?
ESV: rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man,
NIV: Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people,
NASB: With goodwill render service, as to the Lord, and not to people,
CSB: Serve with a good attitude, as to the Lord and not to people,
NLT: Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
KJV: With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
NKJV: with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men,
Verse Commentary:
Paul adds additional traits for the servant in this verse and the next. Here, the emphasis is on a person's attitude. The Christian servant must work with a godly attitude regardless of circumstances. Paul set a tremendous example in this area. Though imprisoned, he wrote encouraging letters to believers and shared the gospel while under house arrest. He did not let his bondage keep him from living with a godly attitude and instructed others to do the same.

A godly attitude is much easier when a servant views his or her work as "to the Lord." We are to do all things for the glory of God (Colossians 3:17). With this perspective, we can respond with an attitude and life that honors God and shows love to others in the most difficult contexts.

This is even easier when the one we are serving also takes a godly approach, something Paul will refer to in verse 9. However, regardless of whether our boss is doing right, we as Christians are called to be good examples.
Verse Context:
Ephesians 6:5–9 gives specific instructions for both servants and masters. Servants should give a good effort, more than just for show, in all things they are required to do. This shows respect for their master, but it also provides a good example of one's relationship to Christ. At the same time, masters are explicitly told not to be abusive to their underlings. God sees masters as no better than those they command, and He is the ultimate Master of both.
Chapter Summary:
Paul gives specific instructions to children and fathers, stressing obedience and patience, respectively. He also directs servants to serve with sincerity and good intentions, as if they were working for Christ. Masters are warned not to be harsh: the same God who judges all will not give them preference over those they supervised. All Christians are called on to use the tools given us by God for surviving the attacks of the devil. These are imagined as pieces of a suit of armor. Paul ends this letter in his typical style, with prayer, blessings, and news about his plans.
Chapter Context:
Ephesians opens with three chapters of doctrine, followed by three chapters of practical application. This final chapter of Paul's letter focuses on specific ways Christians should live. It also summarizes the spiritual tools we are given by God, imagining them as a suit of armor. Paul pulls the same basic ideas from the rest of letter together, showing how Christians should live out their knowledge of what salvation in Christ really means.
Book Summary:
Ephesians follows a theme common in Paul's writings: connecting theory with practice. In this book, however, he goes into greater depth before making the transition. As a letter meant to be read by more than just the believers at Ephesus, this is an important look at how Christian belief should translate into Christian action. The first three chapters lay out spiritual ideas, the last three chapters show how these truths should be applied in the life of a mature believer. Paul focuses heavily on love, the unity of the Christian church, and the incredible value of our salvation through Christ.
Accessed 5/18/2024 6:23:48 PM
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