As Christians, we are called to live a life of submission. This means putting God first in our lives and following His will, even when it may not align with our own desires. The Bible provides us with numerous examples of submission, from the obedience of Abraham to the submission of Jesus Christ on the cross. In this blog post, we will explore five examples of submission in the Bible and what we can learn from them.
Submission is a word that is often misunderstood in our modern society. It is often associated with weakness or oppression, but in the Bible, submission is a virtue that is highly valued. The Greek word for submission, “hypotassō,” is used in the New Testament to describe the submission of Jesus to God the Father (1 Corinthians 15:28) and the submission of believers to one another (Ephesians 5:21).
The concept of submission is not limited to the New Testament, however. In the Old Testament, we see examples of submission in the lives of Abraham, Moses, and others. In this blog post, we will look at five examples of submission in the Bible and what we can learn from them.
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- Example 1: Abraham's Submission to God
- Example 2: Moses' Submission to God's Calling
- Example 3: David's Submission to King Saul
- Example 4: Jesus' Submission to the Father
- Example 5: Wives' Submission to Husbands
- Example 6: Paul's Submission to God's Calling
- Example 7: Children's Submission to Parents
Example 1: Abraham’s Submission to God
In Genesis 22:1-18, we read the story of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac as an offering to God. This story illustrates Abraham’s complete trust and submission to God. Even though the command to sacrifice his son was difficult, Abraham obeyed without hesitation.
Abraham’s submission was not blind obedience, but rather a result of his faith in God. Hebrews 11:17-19 tells us, “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called,’ concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.”
Abraham’s example teaches us that true submission requires faith and trust in God, even when we don’t understand His plans.
Example 2: Moses’ Submission to God’s Calling
In Exodus 3-4, we read about God’s call to Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses initially resists God’s call, but eventually submits to His will. Moses’ submission to God’s calling was not without difficulty, but he trusted in God to provide him with the strength and guidance he needed.
Moses’ example teaches us that submission to God’s will often requires us to step out of our comfort zones and rely on Him for strength and guidance.
Example 3: David’s Submission to King Saul
In 1 Samuel 24, we read about David’s encounter with King Saul in a cave. Saul was seeking to kill David, but David chose not to take revenge and instead submitted to God’s will. David recognized that God had appointed Saul as king, and he refused to take matters into his own hands.
David’s example teaches us that submission requires humility and a willingness to trust in God’s sovereignty, even when we don’t understand His ways.
Example 4: Jesus’ Submission to the Father
In Philippians 2:5-8, we read about Jesus’ submission to the Father. Jesus, who was equal with God, humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death on the cross. Jesus’ submission to the Father was not forced upon Him, but rather a result of His love for God and His desire to fulfill God’s plan for salvation.
Jesus’ example teaches us that true submission requires humility and a willingness to lay down our own desires for the sake of God’s will. As Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, “Not my will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
Example 5: Wives’ Submission to Husbands
In Ephesians 5:22-24, we read about the submission of wives to their husbands. This passage has been the subject of much debate and controversy, but at its core, it teaches us about the mutual submission that should exist within a marriage.
The passage begins with “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22). This does not mean that wives are inferior to their husbands or should be subservient to them. Rather, it means that wives should respect and honor their husbands as the head of the household, just as Christ is the head of the church.
The passage goes on to say, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her” (Ephesians 5:25). This teaches us that husbands are called to sacrificially love and serve their wives, just as Christ loved and served the church.
In this passage, we see a beautiful example of mutual submission within marriage, where both husband and wife are called to lay down their own desires and serve one another in love.
Example 6: Paul’s Submission to God’s Calling
In Acts 9:1-22, we read about the conversion of Saul, who later became known as Paul. Saul was a zealous persecutor of Christians, but he was transformed by an encounter with the risen Christ. After his conversion, Paul submitted himself to God’s calling and became one of the greatest apostles of the early church.
Paul’s example teaches us that submission to God’s will requires us to let go of our own plans and desires, and to trust in His plan for our lives. As Paul wrote in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
Example 7: Children’s Submission to Parents
In Colossians 3:20, we read about the submission of children to their parents. This passage teaches us that children are called to obey and honor their parents, just as Christ obeyed and honored His earthly parents (Luke 2:51).
The obedience of children to their parents is not only a matter of respect and honor, but also of obedience to God’s commandments. As Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:1-3, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother,’ which is the first commandment with promise: ‘that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.'”
Submission is a virtue that is highly valued in the Bible. Through the examples of Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus, wives in marriage, Paul, and children, we see that true submission requires faith, trust, humility, and a willingness to lay down our own desires for the sake of God’s will.
As Christians, we are called to submit to God’s will in all areas of our lives. This means putting God first, even when it is difficult, and trusting in His plan for our lives. We are also called to submit to one another in love, just as Christ submitted Himself to the Father and served His disciples.
May we learn from the examples of submission in the Bible and strive to live a life of humble obedience and service to God and others. Let us remember that true submission is not a sign of weakness or oppression, but rather a sign of strength and faith. As Jesus said in Matthew 11:29, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”