What is the Will of God? Principle 8: Submission

5229962132_99876f98ba_z

After we follow all the principles we are to submit ourselves to God’s Providence. Even though God grants us great liberty in making any decision we want (as long as it conforms to His Word), we need to recognise that sometimes our decisions are not actually God’s will. What must we do then? We are not to fight or resist it, but rather we are to submit ourselves to God’s will. This is illustrated by what we read in . Continue reading What is the Will of God? Principle 8: Submission

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

The Christian and Government

Parliament

What is a Christian’s responsibility to their governing authorities? In we will observe three realities regarding the Christian and the Government. When it comes to this relationship, the Christian has an obligation to display the behaviour of one who is being transformed by the renewing of their mind ().

This passage begins with a clear-cut command, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities” (13:1a). There is no qualification regarding the political persuasion, equity or even competence attached to this command. At the time of writing this, Paul’s governing authority was the Roman Empire. It is possible for a Christian to disobey when it comes to matters that go against the Word of God (cf. ). However, on such occasions this is to be done in such a manner that the attitude of submission is still evident (cf. 13:7). Let us now consider the three realities regarding the Christian and the Government.

The Source of the Government’s Authority (13:1b-2)
Why should we submit to the government? Because governing authorities are placed in the position of authority by God (13:1b-2). The fact that God has ordained and instituted governing authorities doesn’t mean that every authority is morally good or economically sensible. In His sovereign plan there will be varying reasons for their appointment – whether it be blessing or judgment. Regardless of the authority, the duty of the citizen remains the same. 

The Sphere of the Government’s Authority (13:3-4)
How far does the government’s authority extend and what is their duty granted by God? God has appointed government to reward good and restrain evil. The reward is seen in protection and the promotion of peace, whereas the restraining of evil is seen in the application of just punishment.

The Submission of the Government’s Subjects (13:5-7)
As citizen’s that are commanded by God, it is our duty to subject ourselves to the authorities. This is displayed by our attitude and actions. Paul provides the specific example of willingly paying taxes (13:6). Christian’s may not agree with the amount required in taxation nor may they agree with the government’s use of taxes. Nonetheless, the Christian is to “Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed” (13:7).

Government is an institution ordained by God and for this reason the Christian is to willingly submit. Such conduct is a reflection of an individual that is not conforming to this world but being transformed by the Word of God.

Here are some questions to carefully consider:

  1. Why should a Christian willingly obey the government? When should a Christian disobey the government? See ; ;
  1. If an occasion arises in which a Christian out of necessity must disobey the government (provide some examples), in what manner should this be done?
  1. What are some benefits of governing authorities?
  1. How can we pray effectively for our government? See also

13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.

17 But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live.

12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.

2:1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.

Implications of the Deity of Christ

Jesus is God

When it comes to the identity of Jesus there have been much debate and controversy throughout history. Even at the time of His earthly ministry there were many views and suggestions concerning who He was (). Debates have raged throughout the centuries and even today people continue to hold to various understandings and views. Who is Jesus Christ? The Scriptures make plain that He is the eternal Son of God (; ; ; ). Last Sunday morning at Hills Bible Church, in our exposition of the Gospel according to John, we considered . In that passage we noted the Lord’s unmistakable claim that He is Divine.

Knowing then that this is the clear teaching of Scripture, what are the implications of Jesus Christ being God? Whatever Jesus says He came to do is indeed true and is therefore necessary for us to embrace.

He is the Sufficient Saviour
In preparation for the eternal Son of God’s arrival on earth, the angle of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said concerning Mary, “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (). Here it is made clear, Jesus is going to be a Saviour. This truth is again repeated soon after Jesus was born when an angel declared to the shepherds, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (). Jesus Himself understood that this is who He was and why he was on earth (). Since He is the Sufficienct Saviour, He alone is able to make the exclusive means of salvation when He said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but through Me” ().

He is Worthy of Worship
In the Scriptures, the concept of worship carries the idea of serving God by means of an attitude of fear and adoration. What is worship? Worship for the believer is the act of recognizing God’s worth and responding to that in service to Him. Worship is to be exclusively offered unto the Lord (Exodus 20:3; Deut. 5:7; 6:13; Matt. 4:10; Luke 4:8; Acts 10:26; 14:15; Col. 2:18; Rev. 19:10; 22:8). Because Jesus is God He is worthy of our adoration. It is the duty and delight of God’s people to love Christ () and faithfully follow Him. Concerning Jesus Christ we read,

“God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” ().

The day is coming when all will worship Him. However, for some this will be as a result of God’s saving grace in which it is their delight. However, for others it will be a duty that comes by means of their final submission to the Lord despite the fact that they are under eternal condemnation.

Jesus is God and this has serious implications. By God’s grace, embrace these implications and give the glory to the Lord!

14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 20:28

28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.

For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,

13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”

18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. 22 The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.

21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The Roles in Marriage: Wives

Husband Wife Conversation(1)

In his letter to the Colossians Paul simply said, “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord” (). Despite the rise of the feminist movement, the Bible remains clear and authoritative on the role of women in marriage. This biblical command is not a demand that all women in general need to submit to any man they come across. Sadly, some men believe that this ought to occur. That is not what this text says. He is addressing wives which indicates that it is a reference to married women.

The evangelical feminist will try to redefine this, making it refer to mutual submission (Click here for an excellent article by Wayne Grudem). What does it mean to “submit“? It means for the wife to line up under the leadership of her husband. This is done in such a way that she has an attitude of respect () and the action of obedience (). It is the recognition of the one in whom God has placed the responsibility and authority of leadership. This kind of submission flows from a desire that wants to honour Christ. A submissive woman is Continue reading The Roles in Marriage: Wives

18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.