6:5–8 Slaves follow the example of Christ through obedient submission (Phil. 2:1–11). All believers are called to share Christ’s humiliation and sufferings in this age, in order to be exalted and glorified with Him in the next (Rom. 8:17). Paul is not interested in making anyone’s share of suffering greater than it has to be (1 Cor. 7:21). He also does not pretend there is an easy route around it. As slaves serve the exalted Christ, and not merely an earthly master, they do so in the new reality inaugurated by Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). Paul would insist that being owned by Christ makes all other definitions of our personhood irrelevant: “You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men” (1 Cor. 7:23). By rendering ungrudging service to their true heavenly owner, slaves can work not for their value in the marketplace, but for their value to the One who poured out His own life for them.
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