There is a lot in this chapter to look at. It seems to me even though the theme stays the same, “How to Walk as Christ” the intensity of the walk, the steepness of the climb changes at 10. So I will address 1-9 first.
6 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth. Paul gives instruction to children, as we should, expecting them to follow through, as we should. Paul is speaking to children, so they are present at this teaching/instruction of how to walk as a Christian, not off in ‘children’s Church.’ “the first commandment with promise” referring to the 10 commandments God presented to Moses, and the Israelites. The Law. So from this comes The Law is something to still be considered, to still use as a tool, an example in the walk as a Christian. Paul would not have brought it up if it was not. He points out that this is the first commandment with a promise. Meaning the first ‘Do this and you will have a result, a positive consequence. I personally believe the ‘live long on the earth’ is as simple as ; If you obey your parents and do not run out in the street as they tell you , you will not be hit by a car and die. The Christy Petty Version. Our parents are/were there to guide and teach our obedience to them is necessary for our livelihood, our living to be adults ourselves. When we disobeyed our parents instructions we had consequences.
4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. Fathers, probably mothers too? But maybe just fathers, because they had the tendency to provoke? Don’t pick on them, nag them, on worldly selfish things but of the instruction for livelihood, as per instruction guiding from God. How many things do we ask of our children that have nothing to do with living Godly lives? How many things do we ask of our children that is to satisfy our own worldly ideals? It is the worldly instruction that causes the strife.
5 Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; 6 not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, No slaves today, so we usually apply this to our workplace,employee = slave. I don’t know if this is correct. I do think it gives us good instruction on the attitude to have to anyone we ‘serve’. Don’t serve begrudgingly serve with a giving heart, even though those we serve may not deserve such respect. BUT don’t have the attitude to do so as to get praise to get reward to get recognition from MAN, but do the job because you are actually working to please God. Just as submission to any.
8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. We receive the same good we do from the Lord. Here is the Give and receive, we hear in God’s word so often. The twist here though is, if we are doing anything in order to receive, then again we are not working for the right thing, we are working for the reward of our own, not for the gift of the serving itself. 9 And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also[b] is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him. Those that manage, master, employ, are to do so with a giving heart also, not mistreating. The example being God. God shows not partiality to us, so we are not to treat others thus…. Whoa, that one is tough.
So what do you think? Thus far Paul has explained to us/ believers how to walk as one in obedience in Christ. How we can emulate Jesus’ walk. By Paul giving instruction of ‘how to’ we know that this is a choice, something to be learned, and it does not ‘happen’ just because we are believers. We still have to battle the worldly old man in ourselves.