“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
1) I Am Resolved: To Submit (Phillip E. Stuckey)
2) Sword Tips #11 (Joe R. Price)
I Am Resolved: To Submit
Phillip E. Stuckey
Synopsis: God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit all expect believers to exhibit a spirit of submission in relationships in this life—in our families, toward government, in the workplace, and especially in the church.
You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling (Ps. 2:9-11, ESV).
When it comes to our faith in Christ, many things about the gospel appeal to us. The mutual love, honesty, commitment, comfort, and encouragement that we get from one another sounds good to most people—but what about submission? This is something that children of God must do to be pleasing to God (Jas. 4:7; Eph. 5:21).
This concept is difficult for many to accept. Many people, even Christians, have a disdain for authority. They struggle with being told what they must do. Why should the Christian resolve to be submissive in his life, and what does a life of submission in service to God look like?
Submission to God
Long ago, Pharaoh asked, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice?” (Exod. 5:2). This same question is asked by many today, if not in words, then by the way they live. Every human being should submit to the authority of Almighty God.
God the Father, as Creator of all things, has the right to govern our lives (Rev. 4:11). He needs nothing from us, yet He graciously gives us all things. He pours out His love on all of creation, providing life and sustenance to all. He does this for all, whether we are good or evil (Matt. 5:45). Above all, He graciously offered His Son as a sacrifice for mankind to save us from our sins (John 3:16; Rom. 5:6-8). He has given us His word that tells us how to live and serve Him and how to enjoy the best life possible, both now and in eternity (Deut. 6:24; Jer. 32:39; 1 John 5:3). Even though He has the right to demand our obedience, He graciously allows us to choose whether we will or will not submit to Him. However, since we read in Scripture of His great power, might, and wrath as well as His goodness and severity, would it not be wise and prudent to willingly submit to Him now before it is too late (Matt. 10:28; Jas. 4:7; Rom. 2:1-11)?
Not only should we be submissive to God the Father, but we should be submissive to Jesus Christ. As the Lamb of God and Savior of all mankind, He is worthy of our obedience. He laid down His life for us, and we should lay down our lives in service to Him (2 Cor. 5:14-15). Even though He was with God, Jesus humbled Himself in obedience to the Father’s will (Luke 22:42; Heb. 5:7-8). Because of His submission to the Father’s will, God the Father has made Him King of kings and Lord of lords (Matt. 28:18; Rev. 17:14; 19:16). Like the Father, the Son does not force anyone to submit to Him but gently entreats each of us to surrender ourselves to His will (Matt. 11:28-30). Since we read in Scripture that He has also been given the authority to judge us, would it not be wise to submit to His will before it is too late (John 12:48; Acts 17:30-31)?
Submission to God also involves the Holy Spirit. When Jesus returned to the Father, He sent the Spirit to guide the apostles into all truth and to reveal the New Covenant unto man (John 16:12-13; 1 Cor. 2:10-13). Because of His gracious work, we know what sin is, we have learned the way of salvation and truth, and we know the wonders of God and the Lord’s love for us (John 16:8-11). His work brings the Christian comfort and peace as we fight the good fight of faith (Rom. 8:14-17). Why would we grieve or anger Him by refusing to yield to His teaching (Heb. 10:28-29; Eph. 4:30; 1 Thess. 5:19)?
Because of the Godhead’s power, might, grace, love, mercy, and wrath, the Christian and all humanity should live a life in submission to God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
Submission in the Church
Our submission to God should lead us to have a spirit of submission when it comes to our life in the church. After all, the Lord purchased the church with His own blood (Acts 20:28). For this reason, when it comes to the work, worship, and organization of the church, she must yield to the rule of Christ (Eph. 5:24; Col. 1:18).
What does a life of submission in His church mean? First and foremost, it means submitting to the Word, the will of Christ, in all we do (Jas. 1:22-25; Col. 3:17). Regardless of our feelings, opinions, or beliefs about how the church should function, Christ’s word is more important. He knows what is best for us both in our individual lives and our life together as His body.
It also means that we must learn to submit to one another (Eph. 5:21; 1 Cor. 16:15-16). Instead of being selfish and insisting on our way, we should yield to one another out of respect for Christ and in imitation of His example (Phil. 2:3-8). Our Lord was willing to lay down His life for us; therefore, we should be willing to do the same for one another (1 John 3:16; 4:11-17). Can you imagine what your local church would be like if everyone submitted like Jesus?
Submission in the church also means submitting to those whom the Spirit has qualified to watch over our souls (Heb. 13:17; 1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9). Such men are not serving themselves, but the church on behalf of the Chief Shepherd, who is Christ (1 Pet. 5:1-5). Instead of being willful and defiant, we should esteem, respect, and yield to those who imitate and follow the Lord and perform the work of shepherding the flock (1 Thess. 5:12-13).
Submission in the church is a part of God’s plan to help the body grow to maturity (Eph. 4:11-16). Defiance and division in the church are unwise and perilous (1 Cor. 3:16-17). Through reverence to God and Christ, we should submit to one another in the church (Eph. 5:21; cf. Rom. 15:1-7).
Submission in All of Life
Our submission to God not only affects our relationships in the church, but it should permeate our entire lives.
In the home, the Christian must exhibit a spirit of submission. Wives should submit to their husbands (Eph. 5:22-24; Col. 3:18). Children should submit to their parents (Eph. 6:1-3; Col. 3:20). The younger should submit to the older (1 Pet. 5:5; Titus 2:1-5). God also expects those who are in authority to lovingly lead and serve those under their care without abusing their authority (Eph. 5:25-33; 6:4).
In the workplace, the Christian must exhibit this same spirit of submission (Eph. 6:5-9; Col. 3:22-24). Even when it comes to the government, as long as we are expected not to violate God’s word, the Christian must submit to those who rule over them (1 Pet. 2:13-14; Rom. 13:1). Out of love and respect for God, the Christian must live a life of submission (Col. 3:17).
God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit all expect Christians to exhibit a spirit of submission in relationships in this life—family, government, workplace, and especially in the church. God is our loving Father and Creator who knows what is best for us (Heb. 12:9). Who are we to challenge Him or refuse Him (2 Chron. 20:6; Rom. 9:20)? Resolve not to be puffed up with arrogance, but to lovingly trust His judgment and submit to Him in all things before it is too late (Luke 14:31-33).
Author Bio: Phillip has worked with Robison Street church of Christ in Edna, TX for over four years. He and his wife, Beth, have three children. The church website is ednachurchofchrist.org. He can be reached at email@example.com.
— via Truth Magazine, Volume 63, No. 1, January 2019
“And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Eph. 6:17)
Sword Tips #11
Joe R. Price
Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing. (Psalm 107:21-22)
Thanksgiving is a national holiday assigned to pause from our daily routine to remember the Almighty as the giver of all good gifts and to thank him for his blessings on our nation.
Oh, that this nation would return to having a heart of thanksgiving! The gospel of Christ teaches us to give thanks in everything and at all times (1 Thess. 5:18). We know every day must be a day when we lift our voices heavenward and thank God for his goodness and his great works.
God’s goodness is absolute, and his works are wondrous! His redemptive work to save sinners in Christ Jesus, His Son, astonishes us and humbles us. Oh, what great blessings God’s goodness bestows on us!
Be thankful that God is good and rejoice in his great works. And tomorrow, do it all again. Let us honor our God with joyful thanksgiving every day.
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins. For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30). For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21). This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27). For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…
6) Continue in the faith by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday: 9 a.m. Bible Classes and 10 a.m. Worship Service. Congregational Song Service: 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.
Wednesday: 7 p.m. Bible Classes
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm (This is a link to the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)