Editor’s Note: This is a transcript of a Sermon by Warren Zehrung and goes into a needed concept of how we live our lives within the Churches of God. There will be a link to the audio at the end of the written post.
I have been asked, by a number of people, to speak on submission. Through many years in the church, submission has taken on a connotation that people feel very, very strongly about.
What is submission? What does it mean? I will begin with the fact that the Bible does not teach the concept about submission meaning: Who is beating whom over the head with “submission.” I say that somewhat facetiously, but it took on that kind of a context in the church, and it was a forceful kind of a thing. But the Bible does not teach that. Today, we will look at the scriptures, and see what the Bible does teach. Unfortunately to some, it means an oppressive type of submission.
In this first phase of the sermon, let us start off with: An attitude and disposition of a proper respect for one another.
What is the purpose of submission? Why does God talk about submission? I might also pose the question, why does the concept of submission grate against our nerves? I feared titling this sermon “Submission,” because the reaction of many would be that they do not want to hear about submission. They feel, “I have been beat on the head enough, and I have had it with being told to submit, or heel like you would tell a dog.”
Submission, brethren, is not telling people where to get off. It is not saying to people, “I am in charge of you”. Submission is not saying, “It is my way or the highway.” It is not a proper approach to submission to say, “When I say jump, you say, ‘How high?’”.
I am going to look at one Greek word today that is translated “submission” most of the time as hupotasso (hoop-ot-as’-so) – Strong’s 5293. It is a word that means “to subordinate;” but do not think of it in terms of ‘I am in charge of you’. Just think about the proper order of things.
Hupotasso comes from a couple of other Greek words – “Hupo” meaning – under, beneath, and inferior. “Tasso” means to assign, dispose, and to place.
I Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder.
What does that mean, when Peter tells the young people to submit themselves unto those who are older?
Leviticus 19:32 Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.
Hupotasso has the connotation, brethren, of respect for your elders. That was something that we were raised with. It used to be that people stood when an older person came into the room. That respect is rare today. We used to do it for Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong. This was out of respect for his age, his experience, and the things that he had done. But it simply means here, “submit yourselves unto the elder” in a sort of, “May I assist you, can I be of any help?”
Do not read into this verse anything about senior rank authority over the younger’s free will, or rights, or dominion over his faith. Submission has to do with a proper decorum, and a proper way to respect people that are elderly. We are told that the ministry, especially, are not supposed to have dominion over your faith.
II Corinthians 1:24 Not for that we ministers [“servants”] have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.
When it says that the younger person submits to the elder person, it does not mean they have dominion over the faith of the younger person. That is not the meaning that you get out of submit. Simply understand, this verse means that when a young man comes into the presence of an older man, they have a proper respect for that person.
Do not read anything into this verse like: You crack the whip over others, or they should not speak unless spoken to. Let us read it this way: That there should be a proper respect for people of age and reputation, without the young person’s pride getting in the way. A young person does have a natural pride and he has strength, but he might be prone also to lack of acknowledgment for the years that the older person has lived on this earth. Sometimes, a young person can have a condescending attitude toward people. God is saying an elderly person does have value. I like to think of it this way, older people are like walking libraries, they remember all of the way back to Roosevelt. They remember things that the young people can only get one version of in the school books. An elderly person has a wealth of life experiences and lessons to share. Keep in mind that we are talking about the proper order of things within the plan of God, with what God is working out. We are not going to find this in the world. Today is the “me” generation, and the young people have no use for the elderly. The elderly are being set aside.
This is almost a contradiction by Paul, when he is giving instructions to Timothy. If we have a proper understanding of what submission means here, we will not think that there is any conflict in the scripture. The scriptures are not broken, they all work together. We have a little here and a little there to understand what God says.
Timothy is a young man, he is converted, he is sharp, and he is enthusiastic, and Paul had to stir him up a couple of times too. As being a young man somebody might look down on him when he is in his role of establishing the churches, setting up services and baptizing people. They may think that he just is a young whippersnapper, and he is still wet behind the ears, and does not know what is going on. So Paul gives Timothy this advice:
I Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
What happened when the young evangelist Timothy encountered an aged man?
Do you suppose that Timothy would go up to an elderly man and make him grovel, and say, “I am in charge?” Do you think that Timothy would tell the elderly man to do what he says, and not ask any questions, telling him to just hop to it? The answer is, no! Timothy would have had a proper respect for the elderly men. Paul is telling Timothy that in his job, there will be some that demean or despise his youth. But this was not in any way telling Timothy that he had the run of the road over the elderly men in the congregation.
So we have established that this concept of submitting yourselves to the elders is just simply a matter of proper respect and decorum. Paul wanted Timothy to understand, that in a peaceful happy congregation, there is due respect to those who are older. There is a proper respect between the older and the younger. It is the proper order of things that young people should defer naturally to the older. I use the word naturally, but “spiritually” in the Church of God.
The second phase of this sermon is: Being subject one to another.
I Peter 5:5 Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
Some have interpreted subjection to mean, who gets to call the shots, who is in charge, who has the authority. You will not get anywhere with a situation like that. But this verse very clearly says, “Be subject to one another.” Have proper respect for one another, have a proper understanding of what each other’s role is in the church, and the Kingdom of God. We are told a little bit about how to go about this.
Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another;
This connotes the same concept and thought that we see when Peter says, “be subject to one another, be kindly affectioned to one another.” We need to appreciate one another, and understand we are all in this together. When we say “Our Father” we are lumped in with all of the sinners, that is us. We are the people, and God is the great Almighty, Ancient of Days. We must make it work. This is the proper order of things.
Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem the other better than themselves.
This has to do with Christianity, and getting along with one another in the church. It may be that these last days are given to us, to come to an understanding of how to get along with our brother and sister in church. It is not a matter of let’s go to church and get everyone lined up from tallest to shortest, from the highest rank to the lowest rank. The Bible does not teach that, and unfortunately too much of that came into the Church of God. It should not be extant in the Church of God today. People cannot just exercise their authority bitterly, roughly, or harshly over other people. Are we willing to stoop that low, that we esteem others better than ourselves? We are told that we are to be subject one to another. What does the other person need, what are their desires, or what are the requirements for them to get along in life? Esteem them better than ourselves. Assume that they are not going to make it without our help.
In the Church of God some outranked the others, some were the big people in charge, and the other people were the serfs. It was this bad: “You are a nobody, who do you think that you are?” I have heard this in the Church of God. Well the answer is, “I am a child of God. I should be esteemed over the one that is doing the attacking.”
We have some instructions to Christians in Colossians:
Colossians 3:11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
Nobody is going to be better than the other one. One is the chosen people, and the other is not. Jesus Christ is the great equalizer.
The instruction continues:
Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Brethren, this is the way that we interpret this concept that we read in I Peter 5:5, about being subject one to another.
Colossians 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another,
We are subject one to another by making it work, and not ruling over each other in a harsh way.
I Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time:
We do not seek our self exaltation. We do not try to raise ourselves to the pinnacle, and we do not rise to the position of power. No, we humble ourselves. We have to read this in context of submission. This is what submission is all about. It is not being pushy, telling somebody what to do, and trying to get your way.
I Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
If God is looking out for us we do not need to worry about beating our own drum, or making sure that we have the highest seat. Christ tells us not to take the highest seats, because you might be embarrassed and be asked to go and sit close to the door.
Ephesians 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
It is saying, out of respect for God, submit yourselves one to another. This tells us very clearly, that this concept of submitting does not have anything to do with who gets to be the king pin, call all of the shots, rule over everybody else, or make somebody else grovel in the dust at your feet. The Bible is not teaching that kind of submitting. It is teaching us that we should be humble and lift others, raise others up, as the sons of God that they will be.
Just like we just saw in Romans 12:10, “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another;”
In the third phase of the sermon, we will talk about: Servants, or even slaves, submitting.
We know that when it talks about submission in the scriptures, it was oppressive and cruel.
Peter is giving the church instructions so that they can exist peaceably and in harmony. They need to be getting along with each other, serving each other, and growing in grace and knowledge. Peter is saying that when we do these things it is serving the plan and will of God. This is working toward the great order of things that we want to work out as the plan of God is fulfilled. We are talking about submission and the proper order of things.
I Peter 2:18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear…
We could also apply this to today, with employees.
But he is going to give us something here that only a true Christian could abide by. He is going to lay a heavy trip on us:
I Peter 2:18 …not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.
It is pretty easy to submit to somebody that is good and gentle, but he says we must also submit to a boss, or a master, who is a little heavy-handed. Paul is saying to us, as Christians, be subject even if your boss is a tough and hard task master.
Place ourselves in this, because we all work for somebody else.
Titus 2:9 Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again;
Remember that whoever the master is, he is also working for somebody else, and he also has to please his master. The clear instruction is to be obedient to your masters, and try to make it work out good.
Titus 2:10 Not purloining [ripping them off – gives a day’s work for a day’s pay], but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.
A Christian should go the extra mile. Give a little extra. We are ambassadors for Christ, and we represent Him. This is showing us how to submit to authority in the workplace.
Titus 2:11-12 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.
We are supposed to let our light shine. This is part of our submission to making things work out, and finding the proper order that God has established, so that the Kingdom of God can one day be here. We are not going to convert this world right now; it is going to go about being abusive and hard. But it has no place in the Church of God.
Colossians 3:22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:
We are all servants in one way or another. Paul says that you are in the carnal, fleshly, and worldly workplace, but you are not submitting yourself to your master, you are submitting yourself to God. Do not do it as “eye service or men pleasers” you are not just shining up to your boss, and trying to look good, and do better than everybody else. In singleness of heart, this is with a true desire, make your boss’s way work. Make it come to fruition, fearing God. We try to serve God by being the kind of people who submit, obey, and serve our bosses. Let me put a warning here, this is all within the Lord, and this is all within the Law. Do not break any of God’s laws.
The fourth phase of the sermon has to do with: Submission to civil authorities.
We are to submit to judges, mayors, governors, police, or other civil authorities. It is godly that all of us be in a mind and attitude of being submissive to a number of things. We are to submit to the elderly, to each other, servants to their masters, and now we are talking about people in the church submitting to the civil authorities. Keep in mind that this was the time when Rome was the ruler.
Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
There is a time for civil disobedience when the authorities are breaking the Law of God, and imposing it on people who are trying to serve God. What Paul is talking about right here is you have to submit to them. If the stop sign says stop, you stop. They watch for your lives. Civil authorities are responsible to God as well. The President will have to answer to God. Paul is saying “make it work, let’s have tranquility and peace”. Let us have social rest and not upheaval. If we have civil unrest, if we have riots, and those kind of provocations, that is not good for anybody. It is not good for business, it is not good for the community, and it is not good for the society at large. Do not go and be causing grief. Peter is going to reflect some of these same thoughts with respect to submitting to civil authority. The authority that the men have in our various countries is from God.
I Peter 2:13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
You see how it keeps coming back to the submission having to do with the proper order of things. We submit, we pay our taxes, and we do all of the things that the government tells us to do, for the Lord’s sake. God gave us our rulers to protect us, order things, guide things, and to make things work out.
I Peter 2:14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
The phrase that we would use for this today is law and order.
I Peter 2:15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
So do not get out there and cause social unrest.
I Peter 2:16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
We are doing it to maintain the proper order of things.
I Peter 2:17 Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
One of the things that we do as Christians is to thank God for the fact that we have peace, and we have had the opportunity to keep the Sabbath, and preach the gospel. Not only do we live under their rule, not only do we submit to their rule, but we pray for their rule. We are admonished, in fact we are told, and it is a sin if we do not pray for the President, for congress, the lawmakers, and those that have jurisdiction over us.
I Timothy 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
Who is he talking about when he says be prayerful and give thanks for all men?
I Timothy 2:2 For kings, [President, Congress, Governors] and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
Do we pray, offer up supplications, and give thanks for our leaders? We want a quiet and peaceful life. We want all things to be in their proper order. That serves the plan of God. Not that these people are called right now, they are not. But we do not want to cause civil upset, or disturbance that brings reproach on the name of God.
I Timothy 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior;
On your prayer list do you have the President’s name? Do we ask God to bless his decisions, to intervene and guide him?
I Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
Someday that member of congress is going to be called, and be in the Kingdom of God. We need to pray for the people on the Supreme Court. Pray that they make godly decisions, and that God would bless them. That changes our disposition toward the law and order that we have in this country, so that all men can come to a knowledge of the truth.
Paul is writing to the Romans, and they were very strong on law and order. They had the death penalty, and were not afraid to use it. They were hard task masters. Paul is giving the Romans instructions on how to get along, and submit to civil authorities. He was telling all Christians to have a proper respect for what is going on. Paul does not say that it is godly, and that they represent God in a religious sense, but he is saying that God allows these people to reign and to rule at God’s pleasure. One day God is going to change all of it, and He will put down all rule, and bring it all into submission. But right now, here is the way that it is:
Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Paul is saying that those people would not exist in those positions except for the fact that God is allowing it. This is one of the reasons that we do not vote, because we do not know the mind of God good enough to say that God wants a Democrat in power, or God wants a Republican in power. Maybe God is raising them up this year, and maybe He is bringing them down this year.
Romans 13:2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
We should not be rebel rousers, or trying to overthrow the government, that is not our job in the church. We are ambassadors for Christ, and our citizenship is in heaven.
Romans 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
He is saying that the rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. They put the snipers in jail, and they put the people who blow up women and children to death. He is saying to have respect for the civil authorities.
Romans 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
They are servants of God for you; they put in the sewers, and repair roads, etc. He is looking at even the Roman Empire, as we could look at the United States of America today, as being those who uphold the peace.
Romans 13:5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
Romans 13:6-7 For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.
You must be in submission not because you are going to get a heavy fine, or go to jail. Again, it comes right back to God establishing submission, and the proper order of things. God is working it all out. So we are supposed to pay our taxes, even if they do build something we do not want. We want all of our taxes to go to build good highways, hydro-electric plants, etc.
Paul is not a goody two shoes, saying, ‘This is the way that I have always done it. I have always had proper respect for authority, and I have always submitted the way that I was supposed to’. Paul clearly admits that he used to fly by the seat of his pants, and he was as carnal as anybody, maybe more so. This was before he was called to an understanding of what God is teaching. He did not understand that submission was necessary for the proper order of things.
Titus 3:1-3 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness unto all men. For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving diverse lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
Paul is admitting that he was disobedient to civil authorities, and he was just serving himself. He admits that he was hateful.
Titus 3:4-5 But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit;
Paul is saying that it was not because he was good that God showed him how to have a proper respect, love and submission to one another. It is just by the grace and the mercy of God that we can see this now.
Titus 3:6-7 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
That is how we are cleaned up, and how those foolish, deceived and disobedient things are taken care of. They are paid for, forgotten and wiped out.
Titus 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works…
Brethren, we should have our name by that. We should confirm constantly that we might be careful to maintain good works. Keep on doing good works. It is not a matter of thinking that just because you have been baptized and are converted, that it is all over with; ‘I will sit here and wait for God to come back’.
Titus 3:8 …These things are good and profitable unto men.
Doing these good works is how we grow into perfect, righteous, holy Godly character.
The fifth phase of the sermon is about: Wives being submissive.
And, this is the one everybody wants to hear about. When people say, “Please speak on submission,” they are talking about this one. Let us go to that well-read verse that is quoted so many times out of context. You can almost hear the whip snap, crack and pop in the background, when they say, “WIVES SUBMIT”.
Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
Brethren, in our time this is one of the most abused verses in the Bible.
But of course, this follows verse 21, where we just read and studied the meaning of submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Can we understand how God is directing us? He is directing us by telling us to be submissive in the right way. So when it says, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord,” we can’t take that out of the context of the fact that the husband is also submitting himself to the wife. Submitting yourselves one to another, that is not ruled out by this verse.
Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.
This one is used a lot too; I am the head, you are the tail. I am on top you are on the bottom. I have my foot on your neck. That is not what it is saying here at all.
Let us read verse 23 with an open mind, and ask God to help us to understand what is being said.
How is the husband the head of the wife? “…even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.” Now we get to see what the job of the husband is in this proper order of things. How did Christ deal with the church, and what did He do with the church? Did He abuse the church? Did He make the church wait on Him hand and foot? Did He leave the church in the dark, and without salvation? No, Jesus Christ is the savior of the body.
Suppose that the scriptures, and God, put converted church brethren on the same footing as Jesus Christ. We see that Christ is the head of the church, but let us remove that and say that Christ and the church are equal. God says that Christ is the Head of the church and that the church is subject to Him. But what if the church was exactly even with Christ? We might think, ‘Who is calling the shots, and who is serving whom?’ We know that Jesus Christ answers to God the Father. If the church could tell Christ that we are going to do it this way, things would get very confused.
Ephesians 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
We are given the clue here that just as the church is subject to Christ, let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. You have to have “own”, because believe it or not we were in a church, one time, and the minister taught that wives were to be submissive to every husband. He said that every husband ruled over every wife in the congregation.
Let us look at it this way. Jesus Christ has a responsibility to His Father. Jesus Christ was sent to this earth, and He now sits at the right hand of the Father. Jesus has a responsibility to His Father. If the church was able to say to Jesus, “Follow me,” Jesus would end up having two masters. He would have to do the will of His Father, but He would also have to do the will of His church. I do not know if you know brethren, but the great church on this earth at Rome does believe that it directs Jesus’ steps as to what to do instead of vice-versa. They say that it will be this way and Christ has to follow suit.
In the same way, in the proper order of things the bread-winning husband, the providing husband, is subject to his boss, his agreements and contracts, governmental regulations. A godly husband is subject to all of his responsibilities. The husband can’t pick up and move any old time he wants, to wherever he wants. He can’t walk away from unfulfilled contracts. He can’t say that he is not going to pay the taxes that have been imposed on him.
In God’s perfect order of things, the husband stands between the harsher realities and demands of the world on one hand, and his wife on the other hand. That is the way that it is supposed to be. The husband is the one that has to pay the piper, and he is the one that has to face his boss, and face the government. I know that in today’s world, in this end time, these lines are being terribly blurred. Imagine if you went to New York City, you would find that the women are the bread-winners. Even the homosexual community wants to blur the lines, by saying that there is no head of the family, we share it equally.
In the proper order of things, God has delineated who submits to whom, who has the responsibility and who doesn’t. I used to like to sail a boat. God has placed the wife in the leeward calm of her husband, the protected downwind side of the storm. That is where the wife is supposed to be. She does not have to face the mean and harsh boss. In a moment we will see that God has protected the wife as “the weaker vessel.”
It may seem to the wife and kids that the husband gets to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. He is the king and he can whatever he wants. But that is not the way that it is. The responsibility rests on the shoulders of the husband. A godly husband cannot just do whatever he wants. He never has the option or luxury of “opting out” of his responsibilities.
For example he cannot say:
“I’m not going to file an income tax form this year.”
“I am not going to go to work today.”
“I am not going to pay the bills.”
If he did, his little world would crash around his ears. He would soon be broke, he would be discredited, and his life would come apart. His wife wouldn’t have her home, and the kids wouldn’t get an education.
The husband is in the position of having to stand between this harsh world and making a protective place for his wife. His role, as a Godly husband and father, is to protect his wife from the ravages of this evil world, and to provide for her needs. The husband gives the wife a respectable name, puts her in a safe home with a roof over her head, and heat in her house. The godly husband provides her with a kitchen with a stove and food. He dresses her in very good clothes, as Christ does His wife.
You go back into Ezekiel 16, and see how Christ treats His wife. He cleans her up, He protects her, and He dresses her. He puts ornaments on her, and He puts furs on her. He dresses her very well. That is the way that Christ treats the church.
A godly husband will put fine shoes on her feet, and the kids as well. He will give her the spending money that she needs to run the household so that she can be a Proverbs 31 wife. How long has it been since you read Proverbs 31? We see here how the woman runs her household and her servants. She is very industrious, and she is honored and respected. That is what it means for a wife to submit to her husband. She understands the proper place where she can blossom, and be a glory to God, and work with her family, and everybody prospers. One of the jobs of a godly husband is to enable the wife to prosper, make her to succeed, and cause her to be fulfilled in every way. See if she can submit to that kind of a marriage, because that is what the scriptures mean by submission. It is the proper order of things, the way that God has it. And God is working out much, much greater purposes.
That old church mindset that taught that the husband was the king of his castle, they didn’t understand the purpose of godly submission.
Shame on that husband that thinks he has been given the godly prerogative to go home to his wife and demand that she fix him a steak dinner, when he has her living on a bean budget. That is not what godly submission is about!
Godly submission is about the proper order of things that leads to happiness and peace for all.
Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
Well it does when there is proper submission, when there is the proper order of things.
Colossians 3:16-18 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
That is not derogatory, that is God’s way of protecting, loving and serving the beloved women of the church in a godly way.
Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.
How did Christ love His wife? He died for the church, making it possible that they could live. That is the example and that is what submission is all about. Do not be bitter against your wife.
Colossians 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
The parents are not to be ruled by the children. If the parent had to say, “Yes Sir,” to the young son, then the whole system would soon be in shambles.
Colossians 3:21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
God wants for wives to develop, to grow spiritually and to mature to be deep thinkers and to understand the things of God. A woman that is brow-beaten, starved, mistreated, spoken to harshly, never loved, never taken care of, has a great deal of difficulty in seeing the beautiful things of God. They cannot see the proper order of things. Submission allows each of us, men, women and children to see the proper order of things, and how God is working things out. We learn by submitting. Jesus Christ learned by submitting.
I Peter 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own [unconverted, too] husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
God says that there is a proper order of things here. Even if the husband is not converted, the wife will be a living sacrifice, truly submitting and understanding her God-given role so that she can attain to and be everything that God intended her to be and can win over the husband by her conduct.
I Peter 3:2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
This is talking about a woman who is beautiful, pure, chaste, doing the things of God, coupled with fear and the proper respect.
I Peter 3:3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
This is referring to the way that she dresses, and the way that she handles herself.
I Peter 3:4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
God wants our women to be womanly, loveable, meek and having a kind and loving spirit.
I Peter 3:5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
They let their husbands protect them, look out for them, and provide for them. But they were also enablers for the husband. Because if the husband does not learn to do these things then the husband is not becoming a man of God, and he is not learning the proper meaning of submission. So the wife has an extremely important job to do. If the wife does not do her job of submission then the husband and the wife both crash and burn. If the husband does not rule in a proper way, then they both crash and burn.
I Peter 3:6 Even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
You should not live in fear in your marriage. But Sarah was able to say to Abraham, ‘You are the master, you are the one that is in charge. If you do this to me, if you let me go with one of these Pharaohs we are not going to prosper, the will of God is not going to prosper’. He tells Abraham that he is going to have to stand up and be counted. She said, ‘You are the master, and I have to submit to you, you are going to have to rise to the occasion, and so do I’. There is a lot in that verse 6.
Now we see the shoe on the other foot.
I Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
We go in together, husband and wife. If there is battling or fighting going on it disrupts the relationship of the prayers to God. You cannot say to God that you want to go to the Kingdom, and ask Him to smite your wife. Or the wife cannot say, ‘I want to be in the Kingdom of God, but I don’t even want to see this brute, that I am with, again’. We are heirs together of the grace of life.
Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
It is a terrible thing when anybody drinks too much wine. This is what the ladies should be doing.
Titus 2:4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
Tell them how to love their husbands. These are things that need to be taught.
Titus 2:5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
We are still talking about the submission of the wives. We see how it is ingrained with the submission of the husband. The husband is submitting to Christ, and He is doing what Christ says. He is making the family work, providing not just the income, but he is being the one that is the moral anchor of the family.
Ephesians 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Just like the husband is subject to Christ.
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
That says that the husband has to be willing to die, I mean there is nothing less than a full effort that is good enough. That is how the husband loves the wife. He is going to die trying, it is going to happen or he is going to give his life doing it.
Ephesians 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
That is what Christ did for us.
Ephesians 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Well, a husband presents his wife to himself as a glorious wife. That is what she is submitting to, being made into a glorious, spiritual and beautiful wife. The husband makes that possible in the marriage. Christ makes that possible in the church.
Ephesians 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
You do not beat your own body down, you do not abuse your own body and cause it to crash and fail. He that loves his wife loves himself. You take care of your wife and you are going to be happier. You serve your wife and she grows in grace and knowledge and the men will be able to grow in grace and knowledge.
The sixth phase of the sermon is: The proper order of things.
God has designed the structure and order of things so that we might be able to grow into His perfect righteous holy character. That is what we are doing right now. We are not ready to teach in the millennium.
Here is the point – we grow in Godly character while subjecting ourselves in a proper way. This is how we grow in character, we are subject to the law of God. Jesus Christ set us that example.
It seems backward to men to subject themselves to a higher order. There is just this carnality in us that men want to be self appointed religious leaders. There is something about carnality and the human mind. Men want to be king of the mountain, and not be subject to anyone. They want the baton. They claim the mantel of authority. They want the rule, they want to call the shots, but they do not want to be subject to anybody.
Jesus subjected Himself to the will of His Father. This is the proper order of things.
Jesus Christ, the Creator of mankind (at the direction of God the Father), the God of the Old Testament, the Ruler, the One who gave the Law to Moses, and the One who built this earth.
Jesus was born a little baby boy in the flesh. Did he say to His mother and His father, I am the King, I am the Master, I will rule the universe. I will tell you how to raise Me; I will tell you what to do. Joseph was a man who was responsible.
Luke 2:41-42 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.
How much do you know when you are just twelve years old?
Luke 2:43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.
Mary had quite a few children. These feasts were family reunions, and those of you think back to the larger Feasts, your kids went with their kids, and their kids come with you, and we are all one big happy family during the Feast.
Luke 2:44-46 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
Brethren, what does this have to do with submission? Jesus Christ is teaching us submission even now.
Luke 2:48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.
Luke 2:49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
Jesus Christ, at twelve years old, knew that He had a job and a commission to do.
Luke 2:50-51 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
Notice that Jesus grew, in perfect righteous holy Godly character, while being subject to his lowly, earthly parents.
Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
Jesus Christ was growing in perfect, righteous holy Godly character, while being submissive to His parents. It is not a terrible place to be, it is a safe place to be. It is the proper order of things, and it is where God intends every one of us to be. We are all subject to different responsibilities and different requirements.
God tells us not to get real excited about telling people what to do, being the one in charge, and having others submit to you. He gives us a good example here in Luke 10:
Luke 10:1 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.
Jesus Christ was laying some groundwork and he sent these seventy out. They had some power, they could heal. These men were given a big responsibility, and it felt good for those men to be the big cheese. They were given this go-ahead by Christ.
Christ told them, ‘If they don’t hear the messages you have, just kick the dust off your shoes and just keep on going’. But they got to feeling just a little too important.
Luke 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.
Notice what Christ said? Because this thing about subjection is not to look at who we can put our foot on, who we can put down, or who we can boss around. That is not what this submission is about. Let us see if we can gather from Christ’s words how we can view this thing.
Luke 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
Christ is referring all of the way back to the fall of Satan
Luke 10:19-20 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
He was telling them not to get all puffed up. That is not the right way to go about, saying I am in charge, I am the king almighty.
This is God’s plan that we are a part of, and there is no other salvation. This world will not submit to God, or the things of God.
Proper submission teaches us the lessons that we must learn to come into harmony with the workings of God.
The conversion process that we are going through is directed by God in the order of submission He has given to us.
Romans 8:5-7 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
We have to submit to the law of God. The carnal mind cannot do it.
Romans 8:8-9 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
If the spirit of God dwells in us then we can be subject to God,
The final phase (7) of the sermon: How is this concept of submission going to end up?
God wants us to understand the proper order of things, what God is doing, and how it is all going to work out. God has designed it for every one of us. There is no lowly position in submission. It is the godly order of things.
We know that Jesus will soon rule in the Kingdom of God, as King of Kings.
Remember that Jesus is still subject to His Father, and that is the right and proper order of things.
During the 1000 year millennium, Jesus Christ – and us too (if we learn the meaning of proper submission) will bring the entire earth into the proper order and submission of things.
I Corinthians 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.
Something really big is going to happen at the end of the thousand years:
I Corinthians 15:24-28 Then cometh the end, when he [Jesus Christ] shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that He [God the Father] is excepted, which did put all things under [hupo] him. And when all things shall be subdued [hupotasso = submit] unto Him [the Father], then shall the Son also himself be subject unto Him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
We are learning to be submissive to the plan of God. The proper order of things will be fulfilled.