Titus 2:9-10 Slaves and Masters
Advice to Servants and Masters
Titus 2:9-10 WEL [Tell] servants to be under the authority of their own masters, to be well pleasing in everything, not talking back [to them], 10 Not stealing [from them], but demonstrating complete trustworthiness, so as to adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in everything,
B1 Ephesians 6:5-9 NLT Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. 6 Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. 7 Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. 8 Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free. 9 Masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Don't threaten them; remember, you both have the same Master in heaven, and he has no favorites.
B2 Does God like slavery?
C1 Often atheists will make a statement (this link is dead. A link to another atheist site writing about slavery) as “Slavery remains a modern day travesty—a travesty with the Bible and the Koran on the wrong side of the issue. You would never think that owning people as slaves is immoral if you rely on the Bible or the Koran as your source of morality. If you need the Bible or Koran to tell you something as obvious as owning people as slaves is immoral, then you would never think that because neither the Bible nor the Koran says a word against slavery.
C2 Two types are spoken of in the Bible
D1 Voluntary—because of debt, etc.
D2 Involuntary—because of war, etc.
E1 Old Testament
F1 Cities that are not in the land of Canaan (Deuteronomy 20)
G1 Offer peace. If they agree, they will serve you.
G2 Offer peace. If they reject, the men die and the others are spoils of war to enjoy, thus the people were to be treated kindly (see Jamieson, Faussett, Brown commentary).
F2 Cities in the land of Canaan. (Deuteronomy 20) All must die, because they have sinned so much, that God has judged them, and Israel was to carry out the sentence.
E2 New Testament. The saints lived in the Roman culture and were under Roman laws.
F1 1 Corinthians 7:21-23 GW Were you a slave when you were called? That shouldn't bother you. However, if you have a chance to become free, take it. 22 If the Lord called you when you were a slave, you are the Lord's free person. In the same way, if you were free when you were called, you are Christ's slave. 23 You were bought for a price. Don't become anyone's slaves.
F2 Ephesians 6:5 GW Slaves, obey your earthly masters with proper respect. Be as sincere as you are when you obey Christ.
C3 Old Testament rules for slaves (Jews could not be considered property)
D1 If one is a thief (to serve until restitution is paid in full): Exodus 22:2-3 NKJV If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed. 3 If the sun has risen on him, there shall be guilt for his bloodshed. He should make full restitution; if he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.
D2 If one sells himself because of debt (as in indentured servant):
E1 Leviticus 25:39-41 NKJV 'And if one of your brethren who dwells by you becomes poor, and sells himself to you, you shall not compel him to serve as a slave. 40 As a hired servant and a sojourner he shall be with you, and shall serve you until the Year of Jubilee. 41 And then he shall depart from you—he and his children with him—and shall return to his own family. He shall return to the possession of his fathers.
E2 Deuteronomy 15:12-15 NKJV "If your brother, a Hebrew man, or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you and serves you six years, then in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you. 13 And when you send him away free from you, you shall not let him go away empty-handed; 14 you shall supply him liberally from your flock, from your threshing floor, and from your winepress. From what the LORD has blessed you with, you shall give to him. 15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this thing today.
D3 War (possibly slaves until they die): 2 Samuel 12:29-31 NKJV So David gathered all the people together and went to Rabbah, fought against it, and took it. 30 Then he took their king's crown from his head. Its weight was a talent of gold, with precious stones. And it was set on David's head. Also he brought out the spoil of the city in great abundance. 31 And he brought out the people who were in it, and put them to work with saws and iron picks and iron axes, and made them cross over to the brick works. So he did to all the cities of the people of Ammon. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.
D4 If the master causes an injury to a slave (injured and dies, the slave owner will be given the death penalty. If the slave is injured and lives, the slave owner loses a worker. My understanding is that if injured, the slave is to be set free, see verses 26-27): Exodus 21:20-21 NKJV "And if a man beats his male or female servant with a rod, so that he dies under his hand, he shall surely be punished. 21 Notwithstanding, if he remains alive a day or two, he shall not be punished; for he is his property.
D5 Master abuses slave (Slave goes free): Exodus 21:26-27 GNB "If someone hits his male or female slave in the eye and puts it out, he is to free the slave as payment for the eye. 27 If he knocks out a tooth, he is to free the slave as payment for the tooth.
D6 If slave runs away (They must not be returned to their master): Deuteronomy 23:15-16 GNB "If slaves run away from their owners and come to you for protection, do not send them back. 16 They may live in any of your towns that they choose, and you are not to treat them harshly.
D7 Slave traders are to receive the death penalty. Exodus 21:16 NKJV He who kidnaps a man and sells him, or if he is found in his hand, shall surely be put to death.
C4 New Testament rules for slaves (remember that the Christians lived under the laws of the Roman Empire)
D1 Be calm and choose freedom if offered: 1 Corinthians 7:21-23 GW Were you a slave when you were called? That shouldn't bother you. However, if you have a chance to become free, take it. 22 If the Lord called you when you were a slave, you are the Lord's free person. In the same way, if you were free when you were called, you are Christ's slave. 23 You were bought for a price. Don't become anyone's slaves.
D2 Be doing the best work as you can: Ephesians 6:5 GW Slaves, obey your earthly masters with proper respect. Be as sincere as you are when you obey Christ.
D3 Paul’s appeal to Philemon to free Onesimus from slavery. See Philemon 1:8-21.
C4 The Bible teaches that freedom is better.
D1 Philemon and Onesimus
E1 Philemon, the slave owner, is a Christian.
E2 Paul makes an appeal to Philemon to free Onesimus, so he can help Paul.
E3 Paul does not condone Onesimus’ running away.
E4 We don’t know why Onesimus ran away.
D2 I cannot find the introduction to Philemon from the IVP Background Commentary NT (by Craig Keener) online. It’s introduction to the letter of Philemon is instructive on slavery, so if you have it is helpful to read.
C5 The Bible does not teach us to overthrow government. We are to fight a spiritual warfare, not physical. The Gospel is freeing, not enslaving. For example, see Some Initial Reflections on Slavery in the New Testament.
C6 Slavery is spoken against in Ephesians 6:9 NLT Masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Don't threaten them; remember, you both have the same Master in heaven, and he has no favorites.
D1 Slaves in the Roman Empire had masters.
D2 These masters also had a master in heaven—God Himself. Paul reminds the slave owners that they are slaves, too.
D3 God has no favorites. He treats all people with justice and equity.
C7 God demands kindness, gentleness, love
D1 It is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Is there no showing of kindness and compassion, then that master is going to hell. He is a fake. Galatians 5:22 NLT But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
D2 A master must show gentleness. No gentleness seen? They are fake. God will punish.
E1 Colossians 3:12 NLT Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
E2 1 Timothy 6:11 NLT But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.
D3 We are to love even our enemies. Surely, these slaves were NOT their enemies; they were to be loved.
E1 Luke 6:35 NLT Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.
E2 The actions of love show that no one can treat any person any other way except God’s way. The actions are love are in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a WEL Love is very patient and kind; love is not envious; love doesn’t brag about itself, is not haughty. 5 Doesn’t behave improperly, is not self-seeking; love isn’t easily aggravated, doesn’t keep a list of wrongs, 6 Doesn’t rejoice in injustice, but rejoices in the truth, 7 Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, calmly endures all things. 8 Love never ends…
D4 God shows goodness to all, so should we. Slavery is wrong. It is not God’s way of doing things. Slave owners are doing evil. Acts 14:16-17 NLT In the past he permitted all the nations to go their own ways, 17 but he never left them without evidence of himself and his goodness. For instance, he sends you rain and good crops and gives you food and joyful hearts."
D5 God wants freedom, not slavery:
E1 2 Corinthians 3:17 NLT For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
E2 Galatians 4:5 NLT God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.
E3 1 Timothy 2:6 NLT He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time.
E4 1 Peter 2:16 NLT For you are free, yet you are God's slaves, so don't use your freedom as an excuse to do evil.
D6 God sent His Son, Jesus, to free slaves:
E1 Prophesied: Isaiah 61:1 CSB The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners;
E2 Fulfilled: Luke 4:18-19 WEL The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, restoring sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, 19 “And to announce the favorable year of the Lord.”
C8 William Wilberforce (1759-1833)
D1 Fought to abolish slavery in the British Empire due to Christian principles.
D2 Two links for studying him.
E1 Short biography= http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/wilberforce_william.shtml
E1 Short biography and bibliography= http://www.brycchancarey.com/abolition/wilberforce.htm
C9 Slavery and its statistics can be found here: EPCAT USA
B3 Some thoughts on the slavery that is most dangerous