|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:5-9 The duty of servants is summed up in one word, obedience. The servants of old were generally slaves. The apostles were to teach servants and masters their duties, in doing which evils would be lessened, till slavery should be rooted out by the influence of Christianity. Servants are to reverence those over them. They are to be sincere; not pretending obedience when they mean to disobey, but serving faithfully. And they must serve their masters not only when their master's eye is upon them; but must be strict in the discharge of their duty, when he is absent and out of the way. Steady regard to the Lord Jesus Christ will make men faithful and sincere in every station, not grudgingly or by constraint, but from a principle of love to the masters and their concerns. This makes service easy to them, pleasing to their masters, and acceptable to the Lord Christ. God will reward even the meanest drudgery done from a sense of duty, and with a view to glorify him. Here is the duty of masters. Act after the same manner. Be just to servants, as you expect they should be to you; show the like good-will and concern for them, and be careful herein to approve yourselves to God. Be not tyrannical and overbearing. You have a Master to obey, and you and they are but fellow-servants in respect to Christ Jesus. If masters and servants would consider their duties to God, and the account they must shortly give to him, they would be more mindful of their duty to each other, and thus families would be more orderly and happy.
Verse 7. - With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men. Some join the last words of the preceding verse to this clause, "from the heart with good will," etc., on the ground that it is not needed for ver. 6, for if you do the will of God at all, you must do it from the heart. But one may do the will of God in a sense outwardly and formally, therefore the clause is not superfluous in ver. 6, whereas, if one does service with good will, one surely does it from the heart, so that the clause would be more superfluous here. Jesus is the Overlord of every earthly lord, and his follower has but to substitute him by faith for his earthly master to enable him to do service with good will.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
With good will doing service,.... To their masters; not grudgingly, with an ill will; no otherwise, nor longer than when they are forced to it; but of a ready mind, and with a cheerful spirit, taking delight in their work, and reckoning it a pleasure to serve their masters; as an Israelite that is not sold, who does his work "with his good will", and according to his own mind (b); doing what they do
as to the Lord, and not to men; not merely because it is the will of men, and they are commanded by them, and in order to please them, but because it is the will of the Lord, and is wellpleasing in his sight.
(b) Maimon. Hilchot Abadim, c. 1. sect. 7.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. good will—expressing his feeling towards his master; as "doing the will of God from the heart" expresses the source of that feeling (Col 3:23). "Good will" is stated by Xenophon [Economics] to be the principal virtue of a slave towards his master: a real regard to his master's interest as if his own, a good will which not even a master's severity can extinguish.
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