Faithlife Sermons

Submission & Obedience in the believer’s Life

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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.

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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.
What does it mean to “Love God”, with all our hearts, with all our souls, with all our mind and with all our strength?
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.
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