Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
Submission – One to Another
We recently received this article as an e-mail from a man in Africa. He brings up a topic that is not favorably regarded by a lot of women -- especially in the Western world. However, it is part of YEHOVAH God's truth and way of life that He commands for the men and women He calls. We, as Christians, should take heed of this and bring our personal lives in line with the precepts of the Living God!
by Seth Ogwel
It is vitally important that we learn the real meaning of the Biblical concept of Submission. In the Church of God for many years, we have feared "submission," because it was so often used as a coercive way to control the brethren. Let's understand that Scriptural submission is the loving Godly way of happiness, peace and order. Every aspect of God's universe -- physical and spiritual -- has its right order in God's Plan. Godly submission is about the correct relationship of things that leads to happiness and peace for all. "Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful." (Colossians 3:15)
First of all, submission to one another dictates an attitude and disposition of proper respect for one another. "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another." (Romans 12:10) "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves." (Philippians 2:3)
Subjection goes both ways, "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God." (Ephesians 5:21) "...Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble." (1 Peter 5:5)
Servants and workers are to exercise due submission. We are all servants when you get right down to it -- everyone answers to someone else. "Servants [slaves], be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward." (1 Peter 2:18) "Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering [back] again." (Titus 2:9)
Christians exhibit right submission to civil authorities and the law of the land. "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." (Hebrews 13:17) "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors..." (1 Peter 2:13-14)
Another category of submission has to do with the family, starting with -- Wives (This is the one area where the Church of God has had difficulty understanding.) "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord." (Ephesians 5:22) Of course this follows, "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. [Can we understand how God is directing us -- a wife is not a slave to her husband. A master owns a slave -- a husband does not own his wife.] (Ephesians 5:21) "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." (Ephesians 5:23) God took Eve from Adam's side, not his foot, indicating that the wife is the husband's partner -- not a servant under his feet. "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it." (Ephesians 5:25)
Christ gave us the example of his love for the church -- his wife-to-be. Therefore, a Godly husband is subject to all of his responsibilities. The husband cannot walk away from unfulfilled contracts. He cannot skip taxes that have been imposed on him. In God’s perfect design of things, the husband stands between the harsher realities and demands of the world -- and his wife. They both must be submissive to their roles. "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them." (Colossians 3:18)
Correct submission teaches us the lessons we must learn to come into harmony with the Plan of God. God has designed the structure and purpose of things so that we may grow into His perfect, righteous, holy character. Here is the point -- we grow in Godly character while subjecting ourselves in a correct way. Again, Jesus set the perfect example for us -- even as a child! "And [Jesus] went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart." (Luke 2:51) Notice how Jesus grew in perfect, righteous, holy, Godly character while being subject to his lowly -- earthly parents.
In the end of God's Plan, all things will be in perfect submission -- in a right relationship to everything. "For [Jesus the Messiah] must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet... And when all things shall be subdued unto [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." (1 Corinthians 15:25-28) (Submission is shown three times in this verse.) The proper order of things will be fulfilled.
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