1 Let all who are under a yoke as slaves regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. 2Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved.Back in the days when this book was written slavery was part of the norm. So many of the early Christians would have been slaves.
When I read these verses I think, hmm...these should have been included in the previous chapter where Paul spent time talking about how we're to treat each other.
Paul reminds us here that we must treat others with respect. That our 'masters' are worthy of all honour. That we can't let our common faith cause us to lose respect for each other and our positions in life.
It would be easy for slaves, if they were believers and their masters were not, to have some feeling of being above their masters. After all, they knew the truth of God. Likewise, it would be easy for them to feel on the same level as believing masters. Paul wants to remind them, good service is key in the relationship here.
The gospel does not cancel out work relationships. What the gospel should do is enhance them. IF we work better for knowing the gospel we might cause our employer to say "hey, what makes this employee better?" and if our boss is already a believer, you are serving the family of God. Both promote the gospel of Christ. And that is what we're to do.