I have to admit, I put it off as long as possible, knowing that I most likely wasn't going to do the topic as much justice as it deserves. And then, I read Ephesians 5-6 again!
In these two chapters, really the end of chapter 5 and the beginning of chapter 6 I found something that might be one of the best passages I've read on the subject although it isn't directly pointed toward that end. Let's discuss it briefly and hopefully you will see the same!
The Lord Purchased Us, As A Master Does A Slave - Ephesians 6:5-9
This might go without saying to a member of the body of Christ, but for those of us who might not have been subjected to this thought before, the Lord bought His Christians! Acts 20:28 puts it very clearly when Paul, speaking to the elders of Ephesus, states that Jesus purchased His church, made up of Christians (Acts 2:47, 11:26), with His blood.
But, in a culture where the term "slavery" brings about deep feelings of hatred and disgust because of how our fellow man has been treated in the past and continues to be treated today, this might be a tough thing to grasp.
You see, Biblically speaking, slavery isn't what we might think. While the Bible does state that a master has the power to physically chastise his slaves (Exodus 21:20-21, for instance), we must understand the time and reason for such commands (which we don't have time to discuss here).
However, given that the Bible teaches, very clearly I might add, that slaves are to be treated with care and love (Exodus 21:1-11, Ephesians 6:5-9) we can see that the Lord does the same to us! Because of His love for us, He purchased us, making us His slaves and accountable to His directions (Ephesians 6:5-8).
Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God front he heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him. - Ephesians 6:5-9
The only thing which I can see would NOT fit this illustration, which we understand that an illustration is just that and doesn't exactly prove a point in and of itself, is that the wife and the husband are equal in humanity and yet the wife is commanded to submit to the husband's leadership in order to keep the marriage bond pleasing to God (Ephesians 5:21) while we are not equal to God (Isaiah 55:8-9).
However, the Biblical teaching of the marriage bond being an illustration of how the Lord and His children interact is very strong, and for good reason. 1) He was willing to die for us, as I am to be willing to die for the wellbeing of my wife (Ephesians 5::25-27). 2) The church is treated as part of the Lord, as a husband and wife have become one flesh (Ephesians 5:28-30). 3) All other relationships are to be forsaken, making the relationship between husband and wife the most important next to that of Christian and God (Ephesians 5:31).
See, the man's love and care for his wife is a wonderful look into the love and care of the Divine for His people!
The Law of Biogenesis states that life originates from life after its own kind (Genesis 1:25). If that is the case, and it is, then it would go to say that the physical bond between father and son would be very strong. We understand this in that many of us look, sound, walk and even sometimes act the way our fathers do. But, it goes beyond the genetic similarities!
In Ephesians 6:1-4, Paul gives the commands to children to obey their parents but at the end of that passage (verse 4) he gives exhortation to the father, teaching him to rear his children in a godly way obviously in keeping with his own Christianity (for, a father not living the Christian life cannot effectively teach his child to do so).
In much the same way, the Lord propagates, or reproduces after his kind, Christians into a person built not only in the image of God, in that he has some of the characteristics of the Almighty, but in the very attitude of God!
It goes without saying that the Lord is our spiritual Father (1 Peter 2:9, Proverbs 3:11-12, Hebrews 12:5-11), but I'm afraid that sometimes we fail to recognize that the Lord is not simply commanding us to clean our spiritual rooms because He likes to keep a clean house (see what I did there?) but more than that, He wasn't us to be like Him!
There it is, the Lord purchased us to be His slaves because He loved us so much that He wanted to instill in us His attributes so that we can be like Him and be with Him eternally. He is, in fact, my LORD! I hope you can say that He is yours...