Ephesians 6:6
Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
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(6) Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers.—This verse is merely an expansion of the idea of singleness of heart. The word “eyeservice” (used here, and in Colossians 3:22) is peculiar to St. Paul, and to these passages; the word “menpleasers” is not found elsewhere in the New Testament, but is used in the LXX.; and the antithesis of “pleasing men” and “pleasing God “is not unfrequent with St. Paul. (See Galatians 1:10-11; 1Thessalonians 2:4.) To a slave, looking on his master’s authority as mere power imposed by the cruel laws of man, this “eyeservice” is found to be an all but irresistible temptation. It is only when he looks on himself as “the slave of Christ”—who Himself “took on Him the form of a slave” (Philippians 2:7) in order to work out the will of God in a sinful world, and to redeem all men from bondage—that he can possibly serve from the heart.

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.Nor with eye-service - That is, not with service rendered only under the eye of the master, or when his eye is fixed on you. The apostle has here adverted to one of the evils of involuntary servitude as it exists everywhere. It is, that the slave will usually obey only when the eye of the master is upon him. The freeman who agrees to labor for stipulated wages may be trusted when the master is out of sight; but not the slave. Hence the necessity where there are slaves of having "drivers" who shall attend them, and who shall compel them to work. This evil it is impossible to avoid, except where true religion prevails - and the extensive prevalence of true religion would set the slave at liberty. Yet as long as the relation exists, the apostle would enjoin on the servant the duty of performing his work conscientiously, as rendering service to the Lord. This direction, moreover, is one of great importance to all who are employed in the service of others. They are bound to perform their duty with as much fidelity as though the eye of the employer was always upon them, remembering that though the eye of man may be turned away, that of God never is.

As men-pleasers - As if it were the main object to please people. The object should be rather to please and honor God.

But as the servants of Christ - see the notes on 1 Corinthians 7:22.

Doing the will of God from the heart - That is, God requires industry, fidelity, conscientiousness, submission, and obedience in that rank of life. We render acceptable service to God when, from regard to his will, we perform the services which are demanded of us in the situation in life where we may be placed, however humble that may be.

6. (Col 3:22). Seeking to please their masters only so long as these have their eyes on them: as Gehazi was a very different man in his master's presence from what he was in his absence (2Ki 5:1-18).

men-pleasers—not Christ-pleasers (compare Ga 1:10; 1Th 2:4).

doing the will of God—the unseen but ever present Master: the best guarantee for your serving faithfully your earthly master alike when present and when absent.

from the heart—literally, soul (Ps 111:1; Ro 13:5).

Not with eyeservice; not merely having respect to your masters’ presence, and looking upon you in your work.

As men-pleasers; such as make it their only business to please their masters, right or wrong, and ingratiate themselves with them, though by offending God.

But as the servants of Christ; as becomes the servants of Christ, or as those that are the servants of Christ, and seek to please him.

Doing the will of God; performing obedience to your masters not barely as their will, but God’s will, who requires it, as Ephesians 6:5.

Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers,.... Doing nothing but when under the master's eye, and then pretending a great deal of diligence and industry, in order to ingratiate themselves into his affections, and neglecting his business when he is absent; whereas they ought to attend his service in his absence, as well as in his presence, and so seek to please him, which is commendable.

But as the servants of Christ; acting in like manner as the servants of Christ, who are not menpleasers; or as if they themselves were serving Christ, as indeed they are, when they are doing that which is the will of Christ:

doing the will of God from the heart; meaning not the will of God in a religious, but in a civil sense, yielding a cheerful and hearty obedience to their own masters.

Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, {9} doing the will of God from the heart;

(9) To cut off occasion of all pretences, he teaches us that it is God's will that some are either born or made servants, and therefore they must respect God's will although their service is ever so hard.

Ephesians 6:6-7. The ἐν ἁπλότητιΧριστῷ just spoken of is now more precisely described.

μὴ κατʼ ὀφθαλμ. ὡς ἀνθρ.] not after an eye-serving manner as men-pleasers. The word ὀφθαλμοδουλεία occurs nowhere else than here and Colossians 3:3, but its meaning is, from its composition, clear. Comp. ὀφθαλμόδουλος in the Constitt. Apost. iv. 12. 2. It is the service which is rendered to the eyes of the master, but in which the aim is merely to acquire the semblance of fidelity, inasmuch as one makes himself thus noticeable when seen by the master, but is in reality not such, acting, on the contrary, otherwise when his back is turned. Theodoret: τὴν οὐκ ἐξ εἰλικρινοῦς καρδίας προσφερομένην θεραπείαν, ἀλλὰ τῷ σχήματι κεχρωσμένην.

ἀνθρωπάρεσκοι] Comp. Psalm 53:5; Psalt. Sal. iv. 8. 10, in Fabric. Cod. Pseud, i. p. 929; and see Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 621. The men whom such slaves endeavour to please are just their masters, and the fault of this behaviour lies in the fact that such endeavour is not conditioned by the higher point of view of serving Christ and doing the will of God, but has as its aim simply human approbation. Even of slaves Matthew 6:24 holds good. Comp. Galatians 1:10.

ἀλλʼ ὡς δοῦλοι Χριστοῦ, ποιοῦντες τὸ θέλημα τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐκ ψυχῆς] but as slaves of Christ, in that ye do the will of God from the heart. The contrast lies in δοῦλοι Χριστοῦ (comp. Ephesians 6:7), and ποιοῦντες κ.τ.λ. is a modal definition of this their service, whereupon there follows in Ephesians 6:7 yet a second modal definition. Now to be a slave of Christ and not to do the will of God, and that indeed ex animo (from a genuine impulse of the soul), would be a contradiction, seeing that God is the Father of Christ, has sent Christ, and is the Head of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Corinthians 3:23). According to Rückert, ὡς δοῦλοι Χριστοῦ is subordinate, and ποιοῦντες τ. θέλ. τ. Θεοῦ ἐκ ψυχῆς forms the contrast: “but doing as Christ’s servants the will of God from the heart.” But after ἀνθρωπάρεσκοι, comp. with Ephesians 6:5, this subordination of ὡς δοῦλοι Χρ. is altogether arbitrary and opposed to the context. ἐκ ψυχῆς is no doubt attached to what follows by Syriac, Chrysostom, Jerome, Bengel, Koppe, Knapp, Lachmann, Harless, de Wette; but μετʼ εὐνοίας (comp. Xen. Oec. xii. 5. 7), since it expresses the well-meaning disposition, already in fact includes in itself the sense of ἐκ ψυχῆς (ex animi sententia, Colossians 3:23; Mark 12:30; Mark 12:33; Luke 10:27; Joseph. Antt. xvii. 6. 3; Xen. Anab. vii. 7. 43; Nicarch. epigr. 2; Theocr. Idyll, iii. 35); and it is arbitrary to assume, with Harless, that ἐκ ψ. expresses the relation of the true servant to his service, and μετʼ εὐνοίας his relation to his master.

ὡς τῷ κυρίῳ] sc. δουλεύοντες, as to the Lord, the true mode of regarding his service as rendered to Christ.

καὶ οὐκ ἀνθρ.] Comp. on Galatians 1:1.

Ephesians 6:6. μὴ κατʼ ὀφθαλμοδουλείαν: not in the way of eye-service. TWH prefer the form ὀφθαλμοδουλίαν. Negative explanation of what ἁπλότης τῆς καρδίας means. κατά points to the principle or rule of action. The noun occurs only here and in Colossians 3:22; but ὀφθαλμόδουλος is found also in the Constit. Apost., Ephesians 4:12. It is the service that is done only when one is under the master’s eye—an obedience to save appearances and gain undeserved favour, which is not rendered when the master is absent as it is when his scrutiny is on us.—ὡς ἀνθρωπάρεσκοι: as men-pleasers. ἀνθρωπάρεσκος is another non-classical word, occurring only in biblical and ecclesiastical Greek, and in the NT limited to this passage and Colossians 3:22; cf. Psalm 53:6, ὀστᾶ ἀνθρωπαρέσκων in LXX, and Ps. Salom., Ephesians 4:8; Ephesians 4:10.—ἀλλʼ ὡς δοῦλοι [τοῦ] Χριστοῦ: but as bond-servants of Christ. τοῦ is found in [740]3[741] [742], etc., but not in [743] [744] [745] [746]*[747], etc., and is omitted by LTTrWH. The contrast is with ἀνθρωπάρεσκοι, servants of Christ, not pleasers of men. The δοῦλοι Χριστοῦ, therefore, is a clause by itself, only explained by what follows. Some, mistaking this, make it one sentence with ποιοῦντες, etc.; in which case it loses its force, and the emphasis is on the ποιοῦντες.—ποιοῦντες τὸ θέλημα τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐκ ψυχῆς: doing the will of God from the heart. Statement of what is appropriate to the “bond-servants of Christ”. It belongs to the character (ὡς) of the bond-servant of Christ to do the will of God, the God and Father of Christ, in his condition in life, and to do that not grudgingly or formally, but ex animo, with hearty readiness—ἐκ ψυχῆς, lit, “from the soul,” cf. ἐξ ὅλης τῆς ψυχῆς σου “with all thy soul,” Mark 12:30. The ἐκ ψυχῆς is attached by not a few (Syr., Chrys., Jer., Beng., Harl., De Wette, Alf., Abb., WH) to the following clause. Tregelles, again, would attach both ἐκ ψυχῆς and μετʼ εὐνοίας to the ποιοῦντες τὸ θέλημα τοῦ Θεοῦ. But on the whole the simplest and most congruous connection is as it is given both in the AV and the RV. The addition of ἐκ ψυχῆς to the ποιοῦντες τὸ θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ is not superfluous; for to be true to the character of the bond-servant of Christ requires not merely the doing of God’s will, but the doing of that will ex animo. But such definition is enough, and there is no need of the further description μετʼ εὐνοίας. On the other hand the μετʼ εὐνοίας is as pertinent as an explanation of the δουλεύοντες as ἐκ ψυχῆς is as an explanation of the ποιοῦντες.

[740] Codex Claromontanus (sæc. vi.), a Græco-Latin MS. at Paris, edited by Tischendorf in 1852.

[741] Codex Mosquensis (sæc. ix.), edited by Matthæi in 1782.

[742] Codex Angelicus (sæc. ix.), at Rome, collated by Tischendorf and others.

[743] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[744] Codex Sinaiticus (sæc. iv.), now at St. Petersburg, published in facsimile type by its discoverer, Tischendorf, in 1862.

[745] Codex Alexandrinus (sæc. v.), at the British Museum, published in photographic facsimile by Sir E. M. Thompson (1879).

[746] Codex Claromontanus (sæc. vi.), a Græco-Latin MS. at Paris, edited by Tischendorf in 1852.

[747] Codex Augiensis (sæc. ix.), a Græco-Latin MS., at Trinity College, Cambridge, edited by Scrivener in 1859. Its Greek text is almost identical with that of G, and it is therefore not cited save where it differs from that MS. Its Latin version, f, presents the Vulgate text with some modifications.

6. eyeservice] The word is found elsewhere only Colossians 3:22, and was possibly coined by St Paul. It is the “service” which works for another only under the compulsion of inspection, and only in external action.

menpleasers] With no higher aim than the personal comfort of getting, anyhow, the master’s approval or indulgence. Cp. Galatians 1:10 for a close parallel. The underlying fact is that the earthly master can be “pleased” by a merely specious service, but that the Christian is really enslaved to One who sees infallibly whether the service rendered Him is service of the heart. This comes out in the following clauses.

the will of God] expressed in the present fact of your servile duty.

Thus did the Gospel dignify the lowest walk of human life, in the act of imposing the yoke of Christ on the whole being of the Christian.

“A servant with this clause

Makes drudgery divine;

Who sweeps a room as for Thy laws

Makes that and th’ action fine.”

Herbert, The Elixir.

the heart] Lit., the soul. So (Gr.) Colossians 3:23. A spring of innermost good-will, alike to the Heavenly Master and the earthly, must work within. Cp. 1 Timothy 6:1-2.

Ephesians 6:6. Ὡς ἀνθρωπάρεσκοι, as men-pleasers) The antithesis immediately follows, as the servants of Christ, doing, etc. Whom does he call the servants of Christ? Ans. Those who do the will of God. Such persons are anxious to please God (ἀρέσκουσι). We have the same antithesis, Colossians 3:22, where it is thus expressed, fearing God: for doing the will of God, in Eph., and fearing God, in Col., are parallel.—ἐκ ψυχῆς, from the heart [soul]) So ἐκ ψυχῆς, Colossians 3:23. So 1Ma 8:25; 1Ma 8:27, καρδίᾳ πλήρει and ἐκ ψυχῆς are parallel.

Verse 6. - Not in the spirit of eye-service, as men-pleasers; but as the bond-servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. Exegetical of the last exhortation, with a negative and a positive clause, according to the apostle's frequent practice (comp. Ephesians 2:8, 19; Ephesians 3:5; Ephesians 4:14, 15, 25, 28, 29; Ephesians 5:18, 27, 29; Ephesians 6:4). Eye-service and men-pleasing have reference only to what will pass muster in the world; Christians must go deeper, as bound to Christ's service by the great claim of redemption (1 Corinthians 6:20), and remembering that "man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7). The will of God is our great standard, and our daily prayer is, "Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven." In heaven it is done "from the heart." Ephesians 6:6Eye service - men-pleasers

See on Colossians 3:22.

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