Powerful Truths about the Priority of Submission

September 9, 2016

Good Evening Church,

What a blessed treasure of truth we have in the inerrant, infallible, totally sufficient, and always applicable Word of God. The Psalmist understood this reality and that is why he declared that “The Law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces”.[1] I pray that you are seeking[2] this treasure that will not rust, fade, or disappoint[3] and that you are proactively storing up the treasure of God’s Word in your heart so that you might not sin against God.[4] One the greatest blessings of our church is the continual proclamation of and trust in the Scriptures as the foundation for all that we do in life and ministry.[5] Paul’s exhortation to young Timothy to unleash the Word of God upon the lives of God’s people in order that they might be encouraged, exhorted, edified, equipped, and transformed is one of the most critical commands for the church today.[6] Following this command will yield many blessings to the church including the important necessity of balance in what is taught and proclaimed

Thus, in our expositional journey of Colossians we have come to a portion of Scripture that exhorts and helps the home to be a place where Christ reigns over all. Therefore, we are focusing on what a home will look like when Christ is Lord. Most specifically we looked last week at why and how the Lordship of Jesus Christ will reveal a wife’s submission. This is a very critical command to the structure, security, sanity, and stability of the home as it lays the foundation for the role of a godly wife. Sadly, the use of the “S” word (submission) is one that makes most women cringe, and others to look crossed eyed, as many have misunderstood or misused the positive nature of this powerful command to follow Christ. Therefore, I would like to encourage you today with some powerful truths regarding the priority and positive nature of biblical submission in the life of a Christ-like wife and godly home.

Powerful Truths about the Priority of Submission


submission

There are many misunderstandings, and even more misappropriations, of the word “submit” in the marriage relationship. Sadly, far too many wives have been belittled, disrespected, and even abused by ungodly husbands who seek to use this command as some form of mastery over their spouse, and personal entitlement to their position as “man of the house.” Yet, this is never what God intended for marriage or for the divinely established role of the wife as helper.[7] Thus, let me make it as clear as I can:  the wife is called ultimately to submit to the Lord,[8] and her subsequent submission to her husband[9] is actually a byproduct of her complete surrender to her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.[10] Therefore men, never forget that your wife has one Lord, and that title and position is not yours![11] So, any sense of male superiority that comes from recognizing and following God’s design of the biblical, structural, and functional reality of authority and submission in the home is totally foreign to this Scriptural command and God’s design for marriage.[12] Below I have explained two more points of biblical clarification that will further aid both husbands and wives in their pursuit of joyfully living under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.[13]

  1. Submission is a command given to everyone in the Bible! One of the fundamental realities of God’s overarching plan for mankind,[14] and even a point of functional characteristic within the Godhead,[15] is the structural design of submission and authority. Without question God often moves, designs, and fulfills His will in and through the channel of God given authority and God honoring submission to the established order. This is why the command to submit is in many ways applicable to all people and has direct implications on all mankind. Thus, all people are to submit to governing authorities,[16] the Church is called to submit ultimately to Christ[17] while submitting to the godly elders over them,[18] children must submit as they obey their parents;[19] all Christians are called to submit to one another,[20] man submits to his head who is Christ, and Christ functionally, not ontologically, submits to His Head who is God.[21]

While not diminishing the specifics of a husband’s authority in the home,[22] and the command for a wife to willingly come under that order,[23] it is critical to know that the priority of submission goes way beyond the marriage relationship. Therefore, this command should never be used or understood from a perspective of either inequality or inability on the wife’s part, but rather as a mark of God’s orderly design of creation of which marriage is a primary part! Thus, a biblical understanding of submission in the home would be the voluntary choice of a wife to recognize the divinely established authority structure, and then willingly come under that rule in order to serve and support the role and responsibility given to a husband.

  1. Submission transforms marriages! Another point rarely considered in this tumultuous arena of godly submission within the home is the powerful truth that a submissive wife could be the very tool that God will use to transform, and sometimes redeem, an ungodly husband. This fact becomes very clear when Peter instructs his audience on the priority of submission even during difficulty and hardship as he devotes over 20 verses to this topic.[24] This is huge because this pushes biblical submission beyond the bounds of circumstantial compliance when life is good. Thus, Christians were called to submit to the emperor,[25] no matter the king’s spiritual condition. Slaves were called to submit to their masters, whether they were good and fair or even unjust,[26] and wives were called to submit to their husbands, whether they were a Christian husband or not.[27] Obviously, this does not mean that a wife submits to a man that asks her to sin and go against God or the clear commands of Scripture, as she must always obey God rather than man.[28] That is why submission in the context of marriage is usually spoken of biblically within the context of the home being marked by a loving husband![29] Yet, this passage points to the precious nature of godly submission while living with an ungodly husband as God will sometimes use the gentle and quite spirit of a wife to break the hard heart of a husband.[30] As a matter of fact, God calls this kind of submission beautiful in His sight[31] and something that follows in the footsteps of the godly women of old.[32] What a blessing!

I look forward to worshipping with you on Sunday as we seek to grow further in our understanding of how the centrality and Lordship of Christ shapes and steers the home. This week we will be specifically looking at the role of the husband and considering what it means to biblically love your wife. This is a most critical command not only for the benefits that come upon the wife, but also those that fall upon the children as they learn of what real love looks like. One of the major issues facing our culture is the rebellion and unchecked nature of wicked young men living unloving and reckless lives. This is often the result, in part, of the failure of their fathers to love the child’s mother. Furthermore, the impact of an unloving father also directly and most assuredly weakens the church. Hear me when I say that one of biggest problems with our churches today is a lack of loving husbands in the home. You see, leadership in the church always begins with, and flows through, the home.[33] There is an inseparable link between the strength of the church and the strength of the home, but that is another sermon for another day! May the Lord bless you and keep you as you live for Him this weekend. See you Sunday, Lord willing!

Humbly,

Pastor Matt

 

[1] Ps 119:72

[2] Prov 2:1-15

[3] Mt 6:19-24; 13:44

[4] Ps 19:7-11; 119:11

[5] 2 Tim 3:14-4:5

[6] 2 Tim 3:14-4:5

[7] Gen 2:18; 1 Cor 11:3,7-9

[8] Col 3:1-4, 18; Eph 5:21-24

[9] Col 3:18

[10] Col 3:5-17

[11] 1 Cor 8:6

[12] 1 Pet 3:7

[13] Col 3:24

[14] Gen 1:1; 1:26-31

[15] 1 Cor 11:3

[16] Rom 13:1-5; Tit 3:1

[17] Eph 5:24

[18] Heb 13:17

[19] Lk 2:51; Col 3:20

[20] Eph 5:21

[21] 1 Cor 11:3

[22] 1 Cor 11:7-12; Eph 5:23

[23] Eph 5:22, 33

[24] 1 Pet 2:13-3:7

[25] 1 Pet 2:13

[26] 1 Pet 2:18

[27] 1 Pet 3:1

[28] Acts 5:29

[29] Eph 5:23; Col 3:19

[30] 1 Pet 3:1-2

[31] 1Pet 3:3-4

[32] 1 Pet 3:5-6

[33] 1 Tim 3:1-7

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