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Introduction

The Christian or the believer’s life is based on faith and the works that are expected to
come from faith. The basic of this faith is submission that comes from the various
understanding of the word of God.

When we talk of submission, we think of several words or action that defines the type of
submission that are expected from firm believers. I believe and understand that these
are the paramount prerequisite to any believers. Lacking any of these will greatly impact
any aspect of our life as a believer and we will be facing difficulties in walking in the
steps of Yeshua and obeying the commandments of YHWH. I am talking about
submission, acceptance and obedience.

Obedience: Act or instance of submitting to the restraint or command of an authority;


compliance with the demands or requests of someone or something over us.

Submission: An attitude of yielding and total surrender.

Acceptance: An act of accepting with approval (recognition)

The general words for obedience in both Hebrew and Greek refer to hearing or
hearkening to a superior authority. The Greek word for “obedience,” hupakoē, means
“to hear what someone in authority is requesting and then act upon it.”

Another major Greek word includes the idea of submission to authority in the sense
of arranging or ordering oneself under someone in a place of command. A third
Greek word suggests obedience that is a result more of persuasion than of
submission. The concept is also expressed as “keeping” or “observing” the
commandments (; ) and “walking” in God’s ways ().

Obedience to God and human authorities is an obligation stressed in both the OT


and NT. Abraham was additionally blessed on one occasion because he obeyed God in
offering Isaac on the altar (; ). God’s continued blessing upon Israel by virtue of the
Sinai covenant was contingent upon their obeying his voice and keeping his covenant
(). On the verge of entering Canaan, Moses placed before Israel a blessing and a curse,
the former if they listened to and obeyed the commandments of the Lord and the latter if
they did not ().

Deuteronomy warns that the penalty for stubborn and rebellious children is, first,
chastisement, and then death by stoning if they persistently refuse to listen ().
Deuteronomy warns that the penalty for stubborn and rebellious children is, first,
chastisement, and then death by stoning if they persistently refuse to listen ().

One evidence that a person is a child of God is continued obedience to the


commandments of God (). Jesus said that those who love him would keep his
commandments (). And Peter, speaking of Christians, calls them “obedient children” (;
see also ; ).

Christians are to render obedience to a variety of people:

Believers to the Lord (; ),

Wives to their own husbands (, ; ; ; , ),

Children to their parents (; ),

Citizens to their government officials (; ; , ),

Servants to their masters (; ; ; ).

In a more detailed & complete description, the following obedience is understood to be


the believer’s duty in their everyday / day to day lives:

Church members (sheep) to their Pastors (Shepherd)

Employees (servants) to their employers and immediate head (masters)

Believers to their direct elder (brothers & sisters)

Students to their teachers

Citizens to direct laws, authorities, and law enforcement people.

Importance of Obedience & Submission as


works of faith.
In both the OT and the NT obedience on the part of believers stands as the supreme
test of faith in God. Consequently, Samuel says to Saul after his disobedience in
sparing the king of Amalek and some animals, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt
offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better
than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of
divination, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry” (, )

James strongly emphasizes that faith without works is dead (). Jesus himself, on the
night of his betrayal, emphasized by repetition, that love for him is measured by
obedience to his commandments (, , , ; ). He underscored this by asserting that his own
love for the Father was evidenced by his obeying the Father’s commands (14:31).

The Bible mentions many people whose obedience to God comes from their faith
and love for him (see ), For example:

Abel believed God and offered a more excellent sacrifice ();

Noah put his faith in God’s word and prepared an ark (11:7); by faith

Abraham left Ur at God’s direction, not knowing his destination (11:8);

Moses put his faith in God and refused the privileges of being called Pharaoh’s son,
choosing rather to identify with Israel, God’s people (11:24, 25).

The greatest example of obedience based on trust in God is Jesus Christ himself. Paul
writes that Jesus emptied himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and “humbled
himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (, ).

Recognizing (Acceptance) God in


everything & in Every layer of Authority.
Believers should all understand and acknowledge that the word of God, is the ultimate
authority in their lives. When we read the scriptures, it is as if, God himself, is directly
speaking to us. As the author of Hebrews stated, “without faith it is impossible to please
God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he
rewards those who earnestly seek him., (). What motivates us to obey God? Obedience
springs from gratitude for grace received (). Christians obey God as an expression of
their spiritual freedom (; ). Jesus taught that our love for God motivates us to obey Him
(, ; ).

So the scriptures declares the following:

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that
which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. ()

“Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God,
the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.” (1 The 4:8)

"Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever
rejects me rejects him who sent me." ()

For God is not a God of disorder but of peace--as in all the congregations of the Lord's
people. ()
We must then understand and accept that any position of authority is indeed
provisioned by God, and our submission or obedience to these various forms of
authorities should come from our love & faith in God as a natural by product. Our
rejection or refusal to submit in any form to the said authorities, stem from a deep
misunderstanding of what God expects from us. We must realize that our refusal to
submit (obey) to these authorities as God commands, ultimately link to the following:

Failure to recognize that there is a God

Failure to understand and accept that God has established all and every form of
authorities (making God, Jesus & the Holy Spirit liars – for the revelation comes from
them)

Rejecting God & Yeshua as the Lord in our lives (stating that we do not need his
methods of reigning upon us in every aspect of our lives)

The Bible views disobedience as a failure to hear and do God’s Word (). Israel’s story
was one of a nation who failed to hear or to listen to God (; ). Jesus warned: “Anyone
who has ears should listen!” ( HCSB).

Obedience does affect one’s spiritual life. It is essential for worship (; ). The
obedience of faith brings about salvation (; ). Obedience secures God’s blessings (; ; ).
Spiritual insight is gained through obedience ().

True obedience means imitating God in holiness, humility, and love (; ; ). True disciples
do the will of God (). Facing clashing claims for one’s allegiance, the Christian obeys
God rather than other persons ().

Submission to God
Yeshua explains that to ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your
soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (), is the greatest commandment
of all. It’s the first of everything.

The first step to this is to accept (recognize) that God does exists. Hebrew 12:28 states
that the first step when approaching God in prayer is to believe that HE indeed Exists!
From there, we grow to understand who this God is, where He comes from and what his
plan is. As we start to discover more and more about Him, we get closer to him and we
start developing a closeness or intimacy with Him.

However, to be enabling to develop this intimacy, requires that we accept ad submit to


the various information that we learn.
Obedience and Submission

Introduction

We live in a permissive world, a world where the absolutes of God hold diminished influence.
This should not surprise us for the Bible tells us that lawlessness will characterize the days that
precede the Second Coming of Christ.

Believers in Christ are not governed by a world system. We walk to the beat of a different drum.
We are God’s children and that which characterizes our behavior – or at least it should - is our
absolute obedience to God

The Bible teaches six areas of obedience and submission that believers are called upon to
observe

First: Obedience to Parents.

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right." Ephesians 6:1

"Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord." Colossians 3:20

"Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD
your God is giving you." Exodus 20:12

One way by which we can understand the reason for these directives is by examining the
purpose of parental discipline.

"Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from
him." Proverbs 22:15

"My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son."
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by
his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are
illegitimate children and not true sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected
us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of
spirits and live? 10For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He
for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11Now no chastening seems to be joyful
for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness
to those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12: 5-11

Everyone struggles with the temptation to sin. Even the youngest child tends to disobey his
parents. Why? We are born with a sin nature that compels us to act “foolishly”. Life is full of
regrets. “If only I hadn’t acted so foolishly”, is the haunting memory held by almost everyone.
God’s cure for foolish behavior is discipline. The discipline we receive from our parents is
designed to drive away foolishness from our hearts. Without discipline we are not legitimate
children of God. A legitimate child is one who bears the image and likeness of his father. It
cannot be said that we are truly God’s sons and daughters if we bear the image of Adam, the
father of the human race who sinned. Through discipline we grow into the image and likeness of
Christ, our heavenly Father’s true and perfect son.

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Children who do not respect their parents who try to administer discipline, not only reject their
parents, they reject God. God works his purposes in the parent/child relationship.

What about parents who are abusive, cruel and ungodly? The principle to observe is this: Give
honor wherever and whenever it can truly be given. If obedience to parents means
disobedience to God, God comes first.

Second: Obedience in Marriage

"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord." Ephesians 5:22

"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord." Colossians 3:18

Submission is not about inferiority it is about roles. Women are not a lesser form of species than
men are. Husbands and wives are assigned specific roles in marriage that are intended to be
the same as the different roles seen in Christ’s relationship with the church. Jesus loved and
sacrificed himself for the church. The church submits to Christ on that basis. Husbands are to
love as Christ loved, sacrificially and unselfishly. Wives are to submit to their husbands on that
same basis.

If parents are submitted to each other and to Christ, rendering discipline of their children has the
best possible effect. Children see modeled in their parents the behavioral change discipline is
designed to produce. This is true correction.

Churches too must practice discipline amongst its members. Church members will model their
response after the submission pattern they observe in their leaders. If leaders themselves are
not submitted to the disciplines of God and practice them in their relationships, the church is
deprived of the example it needs to be true Disciples of Christ.

Just as parents who fail to discipline produce an illegitimate child, spiritual leaders who fail to
discipline produce an illegitimate church, one that does not truly bear the image of Christ.

SUBMISSION AND OBEDIENCE: THE ESSENCE OF OUR RELATIONSHIP


WITH CHRIST

The eleventh chapter of the first letter to the Corinthians reminds us all that the
essence of our relationship with Christ is submission and obedience. Just as our
Being is made manifest by conformity to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29), and
our Walk is by faith, so our Relationship is made manifest by submission and
obedience. Submission and obedience affect the way we live.

Prayer is one occasion where we consciously come before God in


submission. Thus, prayer in itself is symbolically an act of submission to Christ,
our great High Priest, sympathetic to our weaknesses. We submit in our
weaknesses to Him and obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need
(Hebrews 4:16). When we submit to Him we come under His protection and
receive the strength to engage in Doing, even to the point of resisting the devil so
he flees from us (James 4:7).

In approaching the Lord in prayer, particularly in the Assembly of God’s


people, we are asked to demonstrate our submission. For the male, this is an
uncovered head, and for the female, this is a covered head. Both submit to the
authority of Christ by symbolically enacting their respective roles as defined in
scripture (I Corinthians 11:7-12). The female represents humanity, for she is the
glory of man. Her head must be covered, for man’s glory must be veiled in
God’s presence. The male represents Christ, for he is the image and glory of
God. His head must be uncovered, for God’s glory must never be veiled. In so
enacting their respective roles for the benefit of the angelic audience, they both
symbolically submit to Christ.

Every act of obedience in our relationship with the Lord should be


preceded by a heart preparation. Jehoshaphat, one of the few godly kings in
Israel’s history, obeyed God because “he prepared his heart to seek Him” (II
Chronicles 19:3). During the exile, Ezra, a descendant of the priestly line,
determined in his heart to obey God’s law. God’s expectation of His priests is
that knowledge should be kept by their lips and people should seek the law from
their mouth (Malachi 2:7). He, therefore, first prepared his heart to Seek the law
of the Lord, to Do it, and to Teach it (Ezra 7:10).

Since coming to the Lord’s Supper is an act of obedience, we should come


to it with a prepared heart. We do so by self-examination before the Lord. This
is necessary because the Lord holds everyone at His table accountable, and
observing it unworthily has consequences (I Corinthians 11:27-29; II Chronicles
30:18-20).
When we partake of the emblems, we are acting in obedience. This
requires knowledge and clear understanding of what we are doing. In this
chapter, although the Corinthians were involved in an act of obedience, they
demonstrated lack of clear understanding. Throughout the Scripture God
spends a great deal of time explaining His mind to us. True obedience only
occurs when we do things His way. In Israel’s relationship with God, His delight
was always earned when they did as He commanded them (Exodus 39:43). To
make sure they knew what they were doing, Paul explained in full detail the
source and essence of the Lord’s Supper (I Corinthians 11:23-26).

The Lord’s Supper is centrally important to every believer because it


brings us back to the cross, the price that was paid for our redemption. Besides,
it is a command from the Lord (Luke 22:19; I Corinthians 11:23). Our
observation is a verbal reenactment of the death of Christ for our salvation. The
regular nature of this observance must never be the ground for familiarity and
contempt (I Corinthians 11:24-26). Rather, it should be the true expression of
our worship, in Spirit and in Truth. It is what God wants of us (John 4:23,24).

When we see the head uncovered and covered as the issue, per se, it robs
us of the meaning which these forms seek to teach us. The meanings of these
symbols (submission to the authority of Christ, and indirectly to His delegated
authority) are valuable lessons toward a submissive walk with the Lord if gladly
practiced. When we submit, God deals with us directly and intimately, as the
men and women in the Bible knew. This was captured beautifully in John H.
Sammis’ song,

When we walk with the Lord, In the light of His Word,

What a glory He sheds on our way.

While we do His good will He abides with us still,

And with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey for there’s no other way

To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.


Our confession is centered upon the fact that Christ is the essence of our
Being, faith the essence of our Walk, and submission and obedience the essence
of our Relationship. In our redemption we take on His life (I Corinthians
5:7). In our daily relationship with Him, we joyfully submit and obey. We allow
Him, the Truth, to guide us, for He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John
14:6).

Along with knowledge is the need to clearly understand that our response
is not a form of activity to service our relationship with Christ. It is an act of
loving response in submission and obedience. God asked David to provide the
blueprint and materials for the temple Solomon was to build. He responded willingly
far and above what he was asked to do (I Chronicles 29:2,3).

Obedience to the Lord provides a clear conscience to approach God in time of


need. “Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward
God. And whatever we ask, we receive of Him because we keep His
commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight” (I John 3:21,
22).

Dr. T. Cyprian Kia

January 26, 2002

Seed Thoughts

//Lynette Hagin

We have inspirational sayings that hang on our walls, and we have also
placed them on our desks and other furniture at home. Many of these are
scriptures that inspire us; some are the words of others that encourage us.
For instance, one of the sayings that my husband has on his desk is,
“When life gives you lemons—make lemonade.”
I have my favorite scripture plastered everywhere—Philippians 4:13: “I can
do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” My husband has his
favorite scripture in his office—Luke 18:27: “The things which are
impossible with men are possible with God.” I love to look at these every
day because they strengthen and encourage me for the tasks that lie
before me.

One saying that I used to see often on plaques in homes as well as stores
was, “Only one life, ’twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.
To me, to live is Christ.” It seemed that this was a standard plaque in
Christian homes. The words served as a reminder for keeping priorities in
the proper order.

As I began to think about that saying a few days ago, I realized that I no
longer see it in homes and I haven’t seen it in a store in years. It would be
wise to restore that statement in our homes. I am grieved that I see so
many people placing everything and everyone else above God in these
days. As I have often said in this column, my parents taught me as a young
child to keep my priorities in order.
The scripture that they drilled into my head and made sure that I
memorized was Matthew 6:33: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and
his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Nothing
else came above God in our home. It wasn’t, “Are we going to church
today?” It was, “What time are we leaving?” I have been to church more
than any other place in my life. However, I have never regretted it.

In fact, I am grateful that my parents emphasized so much that I needed to


make God the very center of my life. It has kept me focused on the proper
priorities. In every decision I have always come back to two questions: “Will
this glorify God? Or will it cause me to neglect God?” Answering these
questions has helped me, and it will certainly also help you in making
decisions.
We are at the end of another year. (These years seem to evaporate before
our very eyes!) As you look back on 2010, ask yourself, “What was my
priority this year? Did I neglect my relationship with the Lord?” I have often
heard people say, “I didn’t have time for this or that.” However, I have found
that whatever we value, we find the time for.

Some people value their favorite sport more than anything else. Therefore,
they find time for it. Some people spend a lot of time watching television or
enjoying other media. Others emphasize furthering their career. These
things in themselves are not wrong. And certainly it is important that we
devote the proper attention to our career. However, anything out of balance
will produce a life that is out of focus.

Water is certainly good for our bodies, but I read in the news a few years
back of a person dying as a result of drinking an excessive amount of
water. The person’s organs literally drowned.

You are the example that your children will follow as they become adults.
Your actions speak louder than your words in molding their lives. Establish
a routine of setting aside time in your home for family devotions. Your
children also need to see you having personal devotions. Two of my
grandsons saw my daughter highlighting words in her Bible during her
devotional time. They both grabbed their Bibles and yellow crayons and
asked if they could highlight too.

She said, “Of course you can.” Then they asked, “What do we highlight,
Mommy?” She replied, “Scriptures that mean a lot to you.” So they began
to read and highlight their favorite scriptures. She was teaching them by
example the importance of spending time with God.

I encourage you to reevaluate your priorities. Check up on what you are


placing first in your life. Remember, the accomplishments and successes
that you may achieve in this life are only temporal. What we do for Christ
will last for eternity.