The Berean Expositor
Volume 47 - Page 152 of 185
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Verse 17 finally sums up the preceding verses, embracing every aspect of life and
practically expressing the sovereignty of Christ not only in the so-called `sacred', but also
in the secular.
"And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through Him" (3: 17 R.V.).
To do this means to live and act as those who are indwelt by the Lord Jesus and
entirely under His control as Head, and such obedience will not be merely a dry duty, but
a joyous expression of thankfulness to Him. The injunctions that follow cover in a
shorter form the same ground as Eph. 5: 22 - 6: 9 and they touch all aspects of the home
and business life.  The phrase `in the Lord' shows that, for the believer human
relationships must be considered from the basic relationship to Christ. The practical
attitude of the husband to the wife and the wife to the husband should reflect the original
design of the Creator, both realizing that the part they play is an illustration of Christ
Himself and the church which is His Body. There is then no question of one being
inferior or superior to the other, but rather there will be harmony, lasting happiness and
fruitfulness in Christian witness together when this is put into practice.
There is a complementary responsibility of parents and children. The latter are to be
obedient and if parents do not wisely and lovingly discipline children to this end, how are
the children ever to learn what obedience to God means? So many children today are
totally ignorant of the meaning of this word and therefore one does not wonder at the
terrible increase in lawlessness that we see all over the world.
On the other hand, parents are exhorted not to irritate or discourage their children.
God's Word is not one-sided, and sometimes difficult children are the product of unwise
treatment by parents. There is a longer section given to the relationship of masters and
slaves, possibly because slavery was part of the social structure of the time.  The
companion epistle to Philemon clearly shows the practical duties of these two classes in
the Christian fellowship. The Christian slave or the Christian employer had to remember
that they were both servants of a heavenly Master and were fully answerable to Him Who
will deal with both with impartial fairness. "Whatsoever good thing done is recognized
by Him for commendation and reward, whereas `wrong' is equally dealt with by the
`righteous Judge', for with Him there is no respect of persons". The O.T. likewise
required similar impartiality: "thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour
the person of the mighty" (Lev. 19: 15) in lawsuits. The extremely important doctrine of
reward or loss for the service of the believer is here touched upon and is dealt with more
fully in other Pauline epistles such as I Corinthians, Philippians and II Timothy.