Submission (Spiritual Disciplines Studay)

  1. Quotes about submission
    1. A.“A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none.  A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.” –Martin Luther
    2. B.“Make me a captive, Lord,
      And then I shall be free;
      Force me to render up my sword,
      And I shall conqueror be.
      I sink in life’s alarms
      When by myself I stand;
      Imprison me within Thine arms,
      And strong shall be my hand.”–George Matheson
    3. C.“To have no opinion of ourselves, and to think always well and highly of others, is great wisdom and perfection.”–Thomas a Kempis
  2. II.Submission: a mostly ignored or abused discipline
    1. A.“Most of us have been exposed to such a mutilated form of biblical submission that either we have embraced the deformity or we have rejected the discipline altogether.  To do the former leads to self-hatred; to do the latter leads to self-glorification.”–Richard Foster
    2. B.With this being an outward discipline, there is a danger in faking it as well
      1. 1.I Peter 2:18; “Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.” Why would Peter need to address slaves and tell them to submit?
      2. 2.Because we can outwardly act in submission but have a spirit of rebellion; and this is not true submission
    3. C.The third option is to find the true meaning of biblical submission and embrace it
      1. 1.Mark 8:34: “Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’”  Jesus tells us that to truly become a disciple, we must submit to him and deny himself.
      2. 2.In submission we are at last free to value other people.  Their dreams and plans become important to us.
      3. 3.Self-denial is something we draw back from.  We are more comfortable with self-fulfillment and self-actualization, but “In reality, Jesus’ teaching on self-denial is the only thing that will bring genuine self-fulfillment and self-actualization.”
    4. D.Self-denial does not mean the loss of our identity
      1. 1.Jesus, Paul and Peter did not lose their identity in self-denial; They found their identity in the act of self-denial. (Jesus and the cross, Peter and Jesus’ command to follow me and Paul and his obedience to Jesus’ command “I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name” (Acts 9:16)
      2. 2.Self-denial is not the same thing as self-contempt.  Self-contempt claims that we have no worth, and even if we do have worth, we should reject it.  Self-denial declares that we are of infinite worth and shows us how to realize it.
        1. a)Matthew 22:39; “Love your neighbor as yourself”
        2. b)Matthew 10:39; “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”
  3. III.Why Submission?
    1. A.Because Jesus commanded it and lived it as an example
      1. 1.Philippians 2:8 “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”
      2. 2.But note this; Christ not only died a cross-death, he lived a cross-life
      3. 3.He took women and children seriously in a society that did not
      4. 4.Matthew 23:8-10; “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah.”
      5. 5.Mark 9:35; “…Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
      6. 6.After washing his disciples feet…John 13:15; “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”  The cross-life is the life of voluntary submission.  The cross-life is the life of freely accepted servanthood.
    2. B.It is a concept taught heavily in the New Testament Letters
      1. 1.The book of Philemon
      2. 2.I Peter 2:21-23; “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.  He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.  When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”
      3. 3.Ephesians 5:21; “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
      4. 4.It is a posture obligatory upon all Christians:  men as well as women, fathers as well as children, masters as well as slaves.  We are commanded to live a life of submission because Jesus lived a life of submission, not because we are in a particular place or station in life.  Self-denial is a posture fitting for all those who follow the crucified Lord.
  4. IV.What this means for us
    1. A.Colossians 3:18-22; “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.  Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.  Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.  Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.  Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.
      1. 1.For a first-century husband, father or master to obey Paul’s injunction would make a dramatic difference in his behavior.  The first-century wife, child or slave would not need to change one whit to follow Paul’s command.  If anything, the sting of the teaching falls upon the dominant partner.
      2. 2.Look at page 119
      3. 3.The Epistles did not consecrate the existing hierarchical social structure.  By making the command to subordination universal they relativized and undercut it.  They called for Christians to live as citizens of a new order, and the most fundamental feature of this new order is universal subordination.
    2. B.Limits of Submission
      1. 1.The limits of submission are at the points at which it becomes destructive…They simply understood that submission reaches the end of its tether when it becomes destructive….120-121
    3. C.The Acts of Submission
      1. 1.God
      2. 2.Scripture
      3. 3.Family
      4. 4.Neighbors
      5. 5.Faith Family
      6. 6.Broken and Despised
      7. 7.World

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