The Church As It’s Supposed To Be: Submit to One Another
A continuation in our study of the One Anothers in the NT
Submit to One Another Ephesians 5:15-21
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time,because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Here is the ugly word no one wants to talk about in the bible; Submission. We Americans don’t like submitting to any authority, so submission is a problem for us all the time. These passages have created gender wars, and Paul has even been called a misogynist because of the words he writes in the verses following these verses. Submission in our culture brings up ugly images of minorities and women being subjugated by powerful men. This word has nothing to do with this kind of nonsense,and evil practice. The word he uses is the Hupotasso which literally means to align under. It’s a military term reflecting the military’s hierarchy of command, in order to keep order and finish the task well. Jesus Himself submits to the Father in 1 Corinthians 11, which demonstrates this word has nothing to do with inferiority, gender or intellectual inferiority. It simply is a command of God for us to do to one another. Philippians 2:3-9 come to mind here. We are all called to place our self under the other person, acting in humility, because our Lord did. In this passage we are all told to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Submission is an act of obedience because God says so, and it is an act of love that leads to that obedience, showing “Reverence” for Christ. It isn’t about subjugation and anyone having power over someone else. It is there, because God says it’s the best way to image Him in this world. We can only do this if we are filled by the Spirit of God (V. 18) rather than being intoxicated with every idol the world can throw at us. Both chauvinism and feminism are idols that demand personal rights over God’s word.
When we are filled with the Spirit we are able to address one another with “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This passage is loaded, but note that obedience to God comes from a Spirit filled heart who is not made to do these things
Questions For Study
- Why do we have such a hard time with submission?
- Are the current debates regarding gender roles due to biblical truth or social pressures?
- What is submission?
- What can you and Anchor do to improve in this area?