2017 2nd Quarter
Lesson 4, April 15-21, Social Relationships
Monday, April 17
“Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.” KJV, 1 Peter 2:18-23, emphasis added.
“In dealing with unreasonable and wicked men, those who believe the truth are to be careful not to bring themselves down to the same level, where they will use the same Satanic weapons that their enemies use, by giving loose rein to strong personal feelings, and arousing against themselves and against the work the Lord has given them to do, passion and bitter enmity. Keep Jesus uplifted. We are laborers together with God. We are provided with spiritual weapons, mighty to the pulling down of the strongholds of the enemy. We must in no case misrepresent our faith by weaving unChristlike attributes into the work. We must exalt the law of God, as binding us up with Jesus Christ and all who love Him and keep His commandments. We are also to reveal a love for the souls for whom Christ has died. Our faith is to be demonstrated as a power of which Christ is the Author. And the Bible, His word, is to make us wise unto salvation.” (Ellen White, Manuscript 46, 1898, 11, as cited in Vol. 2, Manuscript Releases, 196, emphasis added.
“Some masters, more humane than others, were more indulgent toward their servants; but the vast majority of the wealthy and noble gave themselves up without restraint, to the indulgence of lust, passion, and appetite, and they made their slaves the wretched victims of caprice and tyranny. The tendency of the whole system was hopelessly degrading.
“It was not the apostle’s work to violently overturn the established order of society. Had he attempted this, he would have prevented the success of the gospel. But he taught principles that struck at the very foundation of slavery, and that, carried into effect, would surely undermine the whole system. ‘Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.’ The religion of Christ has a transforming power upon the receiver. The converted slave became a member of the body of Christ, and as such was to be loved and treated as a brother, a fellow-heir with his master of the blessings of God and the privileges of the gospel. In the same spirit were servants to perform their duties; ‘not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.’ Christianity makes a strong bond of union between master and slave, king and subject, the gospel minister and the most degraded sinner who has found in Christ relief from his burden of crime. They have been washed in the same blood, quickened by the same Spirit; they are made one in Christ Jesus.” (Ellen White, Sketches from the Life of Paul, 288, 289, emphasis added.)