June 21, 2011

Called to Submission

1 Peter 2:13-17

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority.
1 Peter 2:13


Are you willing to submit to people in authority over you? Your answer may reveal whether you are content to live as one of God’s chosen people in the world.

The Bible teaches that submission is the appropriate demeanor for God’s children. In his writings Peter teaches that the child of God is to submit to “every authority,” whether in government, in employment, in marriage, in community, or in the church. These examples make a critical point. Since the Lord instituted authorities, to disobey them is to disobey him.

What does it mean to submit? Like a car yielding to the flow of traffic, submission means blending into the flow of God’s kingdom work. It sounds simple enough, but most of us dislike the idea of submitting. Some even suggest it is the enemy of freedom. The truth, though, is that God provides grace and freedom through submission. Sin compels a person to live in an ever-shrinking universe called “me.” Submission is the grace that frees us from sin’s personal blinders by calling us to live within a community. The kingdom gospel is a world- embracing gospel, and I am to accept my civic responsibility in order to give expression to it.

So “submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority.”

Dear Lord, by your Holy Spirit give me courage to exercise the privilege of submission—to you, your Word, your call, and to all authority that you have established. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Calvin Hoogendoorn

Rev. Calvin Hoogendoorn serves as senior pastor of First Christian Reformed Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Previously he served two churches in Illinois. He and his wife, Carla, have three daughters.

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