Today’s readings are from Ezekiel 36:1-21 and 1 Peter 2:13-3:7
I read a while ago about the state of Florida deciding to make significant changes to their legislation. They were not addressing the social or racial injustice which exists, or the frightening level of crime on their streets, but this new law requires that all legislation in Florida be purged of any sexist language. The goal was to expunge male words from the laws of that state. The bill was passed almost unanimously.
Imagine if these verses of Peter’s were to have all “male” references removed. Most of the text would have to be deleted! Yet, we know, that when these words are put into practice, lives can be radically changed for the better, even social issues improved.
Christian submission comes from the heart. It is the key to unity and harmony in all relationships, putting someone else’s needs before our own.
Peter is encouraging us to practise submission in all aspects of our life, in our work life, in marriage, in church life. Philippians 2:1-4 reminds us: If therefore there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not [merely] look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
Submission is at the core of our relationship with God. This truth goes right back to the Garden of Eden, man was to submit to God, trusting in His Word and keeping His commandment. (Notice there was only 1 commandment!) Adam and Eve’s sin was a revolt against God, a refusal to submit to Him. Satan is still acting independently from God, watching for ways to distract us, encouraging us to go our own way.
Submission and sin are almost direct opposites. Salvation is the solution to man’s sin. As people of God, saved by faith in Christ and believing the authority of his word, we are submitting to God’s authority.
May we daily be spurred on by our Lord and Saviour who modelled submission perfectly for us! May we learn to put other’s needs before our own and see the fruits which come from those actions. Imagine the changes we would see if everyone at FAC submitted to the needs of other people, both in our church and especially in the community around us.
For it is by God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 1 Peter 2:15.