Today we will begin to look at what it means to submit. It is not easy, but something we are called to do.
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
The Greek word for ‘submit’ is ‘hypotasso’. It means “to place under in an orderly fashion. In the New Testament, the verb does not immediately carry with it the thought of obedience.” It is a “Christological statement, with Christ having supreme rule.” The entire concept of submission here is related to Christ.
The reason for believers to submit to each other is “out of reverence for Christ”. The Greek word for ‘reverence’ is ‘phobos’. It means “fear, terror, reverence, respect, honor”. It is having reverence, respect and honor “in a sense of deep and reverential awareness of accountability to God or Christ.” Again, submitting to one another is directly tied to how accountable we feel we are to the Lord.
According to the study notes from the ESV Study Bible, submitting to one another means “submitting to others according to the authority and order established by God.” There is order and structure in most organizations, including the church. Christ is the head of the church. Those who are in leadership within the church fall under the authority of Christ. Those who attend and serve within the church fall under the leadership of the church and the authority of Christ.
Submit, just the word alone has negative connotations in the world today. However, it is submission to those in authority and knowing that Christ has the ultimate authority and is the ultimate judge. It is hard for us to submit because we live in a culture that tells us to assert ourselves, fight for what we want and do whatever it takes to make ourselves happy. Christ, however, wants us to submit to Him because He knows when we do we will be able to live our lives to the fullest.
What do you think when you hear the word submit? How hard is it for you to submit to the authority of others? How well do you submit to the authority within your church? Are you a member who serves with the thought that ultimately how you serve is important to Christ and you are accountable to Him in all you do? Seek the Lord and see if there are areas of your life where you need to submit to Him. Allow Him to reveal to you if there are areas where your service needs to be in submission to the authority of others, and ultimately, His authority.