Normally, I will be the first one to say that Submit does not carry a positive connotation. When I was a little boy, I used to watch wrestling on channel 17. There were many wrestlers who had submission holds to make their opponents give up or conceded. As a student in school, I had several teacher who used to say we should submit to their authority or control. Not! They were bossy ladies who were more concerned about their control than us. When I look back over things, most authorities appear to be more concerned with their power than the people, so no wonder that the word Submit carries such a negative connotation.

Despite that, I am here to encourage you to Submit. Submit to whom? Well, this is where it might get a little sketchy for you. Hear me, no, hear God clearly on the matter. Let’s go to 1 Peter 3

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For,

“Whoever would love life
    and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
    and their lips from deceitful speech.
11 They must turn from evil and do good;
    they must seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
    and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19 After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

As a practice, I don’t usually present that much biblical text, but this is a special occasion. We need to see the context of submitting to other people through the proper lense because we deem many as not worthy of us lowering or submitting ourselves. Submit is defined by as “to give over or yield to the power or authority of another“. The word for Submit in 1 Peter 3 is hypotassō (hü-po-tä’s-sō) which means to:

  • to arrange under, to subordinate

  • to subject, put in subjection

  • to subject one’s self, obey

  • to submit to one’s control

  • to yield to one’s admonition or advice

  • to obey, be subject

In the passage, God, through Peter, calls for us to Submit a wide variety of people out of reverence for Christ, out of following Christ’s example. This is the heart of the matter. If we call ourselves Christians, we must do as Christ did. Christ, who Himself is God, took on flesh to be subjected to those whom He had created. Imagine that – the Creator subjecting Himself to those whom He had created. Did Jesus have to Submit in order to execute the plan of God to redeem man to Himself? YES!!! Jesus gave up more than we will ever understand, but we know it was a lot. Now, He is asking us to do the same.

Whether with a husband, a wife, a boss, a policeman, a guard, a mayor, councilman, governor or an adversary, we have been charged with ‘not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but to repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.‘ We are called to revere Christ as Lord in our hearts. Submit, I say yes.

Yes, today, there will be someone who clearly does not out rank you or deserve you to Submit to them but do so out of reverence for Jesus, do so out of your desire to honor Him and reflect Him in a dying world. Submit!


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