Category Archives: Discipline and Submission

What Do You Mean…Discipline and SUBMISSION?!?! (Part 11)

Submission in Prayer (Part 2)

Prayer consists of several parts.  There is no set way of praying and, if you look in the Bible, you will see that there are different kinds of prayers by different ones.  Some are short and some are long.  It’s important to realize that if you are praying in public, not every time should you pray a long prayer.  When you are praying privately, you should realize that you ALWAYS have an attitude of prayer!  It is quite succinct in 1 Thess 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” At no time throughout the day should we be lacking in prayer!  Let’s discuss some of the parts of prayer.

One of the ways of prayer is through meditation.  As I’ve said previously, this is not contemplative mysticism.  We are not thinking one word, a litany of words or even a sentence until some kind of inspiration hits us.  We don’t go to the Bible for the lucky dip method and wherever we open the Bible to that’s what we think the Lord is telling us to do.  We don’t see a sign in front of us and say that the Lord has given us a sign to do something.  The Lord does NOT work in that manner.  He no longer gives extra prophecies since His Word is completed.  All we have comes from the Word of God not from visions, signs and wonders, overwhelming feelings, etc. etc. etc.!  The meditation I am speaking of is meditating on God’s Word which means to murmur, speak, utter, talk, ponder, or study.  It is important that we ponder God’s Word and even talk to ourselves throughout the day to remind us of what we have learned or are learning.  Here are a few ways we can meditate on Scripture:

  1. Thinking on ScripturePs. 1:1-3, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” (See also Josh. 1:8.)  It is so important for us to delight in God’s law but we will not do it if we don’t keep thinking on Scripture continuously.  Our minds will be filled with the filth of this world instead of keeping it on those things that are true, pure, lovely, etc. as it says in Phil. 4:8.  Keep the Word of God constantly in your mind.
  2. Bible MemorizationPs. 119:11, Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (See also Ps. 37:31; 40:8; 119:16, 24, 47,92; 2 Cor. 3:3.)  This is very important because we must needs remember the Word of God so we won’t sin against the God of the Bible!  The best way of doing it is to memorize it so when you are away from any place where you would have a Bible then you can repeat it to yourself and keep yourself from sinning!
  3. Listening to ScriptureEcc. 5:1, Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.” (See also Jn. 10:25-28; Acts 8:35;  Rom. 4:3;  10:11; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:20.)  All these verses (and more) tell us by the apostles and others what the Scripture says.  They heard the Scripture, memorized it, meditated on it to have known!  Let us follow their example!

Do you make a regular practice of meditating on Scripture?  If not, then seek to do so and delight yourself in the Lord through meditation of Scripture — God’s way!

Another part of prayer is confession.  Ps. 32:5, “I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.”

We should be willing to confess our sins as soon as they are committed or as soon as we know we’ve committed the sin.  This is normally immediately!  Ps. 66:18, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:”

Prov. 28:13, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”

Confession of sin should be continually.  1 Jn. 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Ps. 51:2-10, “Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.  For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.  Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.  Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.  Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.  Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Ps. 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Confession must also be done privately and within the fellowship of the church in 3 different areas:

  1. In thought
  2. In word
  3. In deed

Jms. 5:16, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

Ps. 10:17, “LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:”

Ps. 34:15, “The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.”

Pr. 15:29, “The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.”

Pr. 4:3, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

Mk. 7:21-23, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,  Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:   All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”

Rom. 3:10-17 tells how we are wicked in our thoughts, words and deeds  but it’s important that we keep that wickedness under control through seeking forgiveness.

“Ahh, I have you there!” you are probably thinking.  “God looks on us with the righteousness of Christ covering us!”  Yes, I admit that He does and I am so thankful that He does as are every true believer.  However when we sin, even the Bible mentions that we once again put Christ to death so it’s important that we seek forgiveness for those sins.  There is also something else that has an effect on us when we sin.  Our relationship to the Father is broken and it’s important for us to seek forgiveness so that relationship would be completely restored!  It’s similar to the parent/child relationship.  When one of our children disobey or do something that they know is wrong, their relationship with us is no longer right.  They begin doing more and more things that cause us, as parents, grief and heartache.  When the situation is corrected, they have sought forgiveness, and our relationship is restored then they can look us in the eye again and truly mean it when they say they love us!  Let us remember this when we have sinned and it is time to confess those sins!

To be continued…

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What Do You Mean…Discipline and SUBMISSION?!?! (Part 10)

Submission in Prayer (Part 1)

What are some reasons you pray?  Is it simply because you want something from God?  Do you only pray when there’s a dire emergency and you want God to get you out of a predicament?  Or do you pray so that you can become more submissive to God’s will and less to your own?  Let’s find out what the Bible has to say about this matter of prayer.

First of all, prayer bends our wills to God’s will.  Rom. 8:26-27, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. “ How willing are you to grow in prayer?  Do you desire to bend God’s will to your own?  Or do you seek to bend your will to God’s will?  It is so interesting to listen to those people pray that all they can say is, “Gimme, gimme, gimme.  I want this, Lord!  Please provide this for me.”   This is what the health, wealth and prosperity people do.  They demand things from God and believe that God will instantly gratify their demands.

Many years ago, I met a woman who told me that she would pray and be patient for a long time but when she didn’t get what she wanted, she would stomp her foot and demand that God give whatever it was to her.  Her comment was something to the effect that God has a sense of humour and waits for us to throw that tantrum before He will give us what we want.  How sad that she still behaves like a toddler and expects God to give in to her demands just because she threw a tantrum.  What’s even sadder is that we, too, act like toddlers so many times!  It is important for us to realize that prayer is a way of bending our hearts and wills to do what the Lord would have us to do.  It’s better for us not to get something we desire if it’s against the Lord’s will than for us to keep demanding it until we finally get it!

Second, prayer is our source of power.  We grow spiritually through prayer.  Philippians 4:6-8, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Notice, we are not supposed to be anxious over anything!  Even in the midst of hard times it is important for us to realize that discipline is just as important in our lives as what the blessings are.  We don’t learn as much when we are blessed but we learn a lot when we are disciplined.  In these times we must earnestly pray  and make request with a thankful heart no matter what the answer ends up being!

The peace of God then keeps our hearts and minds through Christ and it is important that are thoughts are totally on the Lord Jesus Christ!  Rom. 13;14, “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” Interesting how we are supposed to PUT ON the Lord Jesus Christ in Rom. 13:14 while in Phil. 4:8 we are supposed to keep our thoughts on everything that is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, whatever is virtuous, and whatever is praiseworthy.  Who alone is all those things?  The Lord Jesus Christ alone is praiseworthy and all the things that we should be keeping our minds on!  This week let us seek to clothe ourselves in the Lord Jesus Christ and make NO provisions of the flesh to fulfill those lusts!

To be continued…

What Do You Mean…Discipline and SUBMISSION?!?! (Part 9)

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

In the previous two posts we saw that there were two viewpoints of submission, that is the worldly viewpoint and the biblical viewpoint.  We talked about who we were supposed to be submissive toward, according to the Word of God.  We discussed why we were supposed to submit and now the question needs to be asked, “How do we submit?”  Let us apply what we have learned or already knew!

First, we cannot do things on our own and it must be the Lord who is doing it through us.  We have to realize that we must abide in Christ continuously.  Jn. 15:1-5, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.  Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” Here are some areas that “help” us to abide in Christ.  Our hearts must be right before the Lord for us to be able to abide in Christ the way that we should otherwise it simply becomes legalism and we are “DOING” to gain merit with God!

We spend time with the Lord through prayer, Bible reading and study, Bible memorization, meditation of Scripture, obedience to His word, and fellowship with other believers through exhortation, rebuke, encouragement, and accountability.  Let me explain these things a little more thoroughly so there is NO misunderstanding.

  1. Prayer – This is where we talk with the Lord.  We don’t demand that He give us everything we think we want.  Prayer is not a “gimme” talk with the Lord.  Prayer is submitting our will to the Lord’s and being willing to go any direction the Lord would have for us!  Jms. 5:16-18, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.  And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.” (See also Jn. 9:31; Rom. 12:12; Eph. 6:18; Col. 4:2; 1 Thess. 5:16, 17; 1 Jn. 3:22.)
  2. Bible reading and study – Just reading your Bible without paying attention to what you are reading will get you nowhere!  We can’t expect to pick up our Bibles, read a little bit and say, “There, I’m done reading!  Now bless me, Lord, because I’ve done my reading for the day!”  It is important that we study and ask the Lord to direct our hearts to understand His word!  Jn. 15:3-7, “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.   If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” (See also Jn. 17:17; Eph. 5:26; Col. 1:23; 2:7; 1 Tim. 4:13; 2 Tim. 2:15; 2 Tim. 3:16.)
  3. Meditation of Scripture – This is an integral part of reading and studying Scripture.  What we have read and studied needs to be chewed on continuously.  This is not the same kind of meditation as the contemplative mysticism.  Contemplative mysticism is the same thing as the “New Age Movement”.  It’s part of the eastern religion and should NOT be allowed in our lives!  (More on that later.)  Let’s see what the Bible says about meditating.  Ps. 1:1-3, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.   But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” The word “meditate” means to imagine, meditate, mourn, mutter, roar,  speak, study, talk.  Joshua 1:8, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” If you notice in both these verses it is commanded and expected for us to meditate on God’s Word.  This is not saying one word over and over again until you feel like something is speaking to you.  This is making God’s Word to be such that it completely rules every area of life.  In this way will we become prosperous (profitable) and have good success (consider, expert, instruct, prosper, (deal) prudent(-ly), (give) skill(-ful), have good success, teach, (have, make to) understand(-ing), wisdom, (be, behave self, consider, make) wise(- ly), guide wittingly.)  Interesting that God considers good success to have wisdom and to be able to guide someone wittingly.  If you are not able to teach someone properly because of lack of wisdom and/or understanding of God’s Word then there should be a desire on your part to find out why that is.  No, not everyone will be a teacher in the sense that they stand before a group of people but EVERYONE will be a teacher in the sense that they should know enough and have enough wisdom through study of Scripture to be able to teach their children, younger women, one-on-one discipleship, or someone who is not as advanced spiritually as what they are!  If you cannot do that with anyone then you should find someone to teach you and begin to learn how to teach someone else!  (See also Deut. 17:18-19; Joshua 1:7; Ps. 119:97-98)
  4. Obedience to His Word – Just reading and studying will not help if there is no obedience.  It is through obedience to His Word that helps us to take the next step in our daily walk with the Lord.   Rom. 6:11-22, “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.  Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.  What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.  Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?  But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.   Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.  I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.  For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.  What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.  But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” How important it is to obey God in every area of life because obedience leads to fruit within our lives.  Obedience also leads to a holy life according to the Word of God.  God says, “Be ye holy, for I am holy!”  If we are to look like the Lord Jesus Christ in our lives then we MUST lead a holy life…not a holier than thou attitude but a life that is truly holy before the world!  (See also Ps. 119; Mt. 6:24; 2 Tim. 1:13.)
  5. Memorization of Scripture We must memorize Scripture to keep us from sin during temptation!  Ps. 119:11, Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” How slack we are concerning memorization of Scripture and how many times have we fallen into temptation because we are not constantly going over Scripture?  May we all learn to delight in the Lord in every area of our lives!  (See also Deut. 6:6; Ps. 37:31; 40:8; Is. 51:7; Ez. 11:19; 36:26-27; 2 Cor. 3:3.)
  6. Fellowship with other believers through exhortation, rebuke, encouragement and accountability Rom. 15:23-24, But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you;  Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company.” What a responsibility and joy to be able to fellowship with other believers.  I have to wonder about a person’s salvation if they never want to spend time with other true believers.  If you see someone who truly desires to serve the Lord then take time out to become friends with them, seek them out constantly and ask them to help you in your Christian walk.  Learn from them and make the effort to knit your heart with their heart!  When you see someone living a holy life and following the Lord then take time to be refreshed in their presence by discussing the things of the Lord.  Ladies, it is a shame to see “Christian” women getting together and discussing everything under the sun instead of discussing the things of the Lord.  There is nothing wrong with discussing the physical aspect of our life but even more important than that is that we become more like the Lord Jesus Christ in every area of life!  (See also Acts 15:3; Rom. 1:11; 15:29, 32.)

We choose daily those things that please the Lord instead of ourselves.  The only way we can know what He wants is by reading and meditating on the Word of God.   Jn. 14:15, If ye love me, keep my commandments.” We have to know what the Lord wants and daily seek out the meat of the word so we can keep the commandments of the Lord!  (See also Jn. 14:21, 23; 15:10, 14; 1 Jn. 5:3.)  Think about these questions and ask someone who knows you well and who is desirous of helping you spiritually.

  • How would you classify yourself?  Rebellious against those who are in authority over you?  Desiring to submit your will to the Lord’s will?
  • If you are rebellious against the authority in your life what do you need to do to correct your heart attitude?
  • Are you willing to take whatever steps to continue following the path that the Lord would have you take?
  • Will you seek to be accountable to someone who will help you to become more like the Lord Jesus Christ?

What Do You Mean…Discipline and SUBMISSION?!?! (Part 8)

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

We saw in Part 7 that there were 2 viewpoints of submission…the worldly viewpoint and the Biblical viewpoint.  We also discussed who we are supposed to submit ourselves to:

A. To the Lord, and

B. To our own husbands.  Let me stress this, Ladies!  Our husbands are our covering and if we are not willing to submit to him then we are in total rebellion against God.  God cannot bless us and to say that He is when we are following our own path is to make God a liar.  Sometimes, when we get our own way it is NOT blessing but a curse to us and our family.  Be positive that you are being obedient to the Lord by obeying your own husband!

Third, we are supposed to submit ourselves to the godly leadership.  Heb. 13:7, 17, Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.  Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”

Acts 20:28, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”

1 Thess. 5:12-13, “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;  And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.”

1 Tim. 5:17, “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.”

These verses are talking about true men of God that follow Him in word and practice, who seek to do what is right in all aspects of life.  It is important that we follow the godly leadership of the church!

Fourth, submit yourselves to one another.  Eph. 5:20-21, “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;   Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”

Php. 2:3, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”

Heb. 3:12-13, “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.  But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”

1 Pt. 5:5, “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”

This seems to be difficult for many of today’s church going people.  Sadly, most of the people that go to church do NOT want to be told that they are in sin.  They expect everyone to leave them alone and they leave everyone else alone.  The wife doesn’t want to be told she’s in rebellion against her husband by not submitting, the daughter doesn’t want to be told she’s in rebellion against her parents by disobeying them and following her own path.  No one seems to see anything wrong with this picture!  If a godly woman goes to them and shares that there are things in their lives that needs changing suddenly the charge becomes, “Who are you to judge?  Doesn’t the Bible say, Judge not that you be not judged?  You’re judging me and you are wrong!”  They little realize that they are the ones who have just judged because they are in sin and refuse to do what is right.  They are the ones with the log in their eye judging the godly lady with a little speck in her eye!  How sad that we have come to this point.

We are REQUIRED to submit to one another as to the Lord whether we like it or not!

Fifth, we are to submit to the laws of the land.  Rom. 13:1-6, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.  Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.  For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:  For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.  Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.  For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.”

Tit. 3:1, “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,”

1 Pt. 2:13-17, “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.  For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:  As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.  Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.”

As long as the laws of the land do not go contrary to the Word of God, we MUST obey them as the laws are there for our good and our protection!

So why must we submit to those who are in authority over us?

First, when we don’t submit we are in rebellion to the Lord.  According to the Word of God, rebellion is the same thing as worshiping Satan and stubbornness is the same as idolatry!  1 Sam. 15:23, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.”
Prov. 17:11, “An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.”

2 Tim. 3:8, “Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.”

Tit. 1:16, “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.”

Second, we submit because we want to follow Christ’s example.   Mt. 26:39, “And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”

Jn. 4:34, “Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.”

Jn. 5:19, 30, “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.  I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”

Jn. 6:38, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.”

Jn. 8:27-30, “Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.   I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.   They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.  Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.    And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.  As he spake these words, many believed on him.”

Jn. 9:4, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”

Jn. 12:49, “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.”

Jn. 14:10, “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.”

Jn. 17:4, “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.”

Finally, we submit because we love the Lord Jesus Christ and want to be obedient in ALL things.  Jn. 14:15, 21, 23, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.  He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.  Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. “

Jn. 15:10, 14, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”

1 Jn. 2:5, “But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.”

1 Jn. 5:3, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”

2 Jn. 1:6, “And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.”

Notice, the importance that is placed on obedience! If we love the Lord Jesus Christ we will be obedient in all things.  When we are disobedient it shows three things in our lives:

  1. We are worshiping ourselves instead of the Lord,
  2. We think that Jesus Christ is not important enough to obey,
  3. We do NOT love the Lord Jesus Christ with all our heart, soul, strength and mind!

Shame on us for not being obedient to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!  Who are we to think that we know more than God does?  We should all be hanging our heads low at this point and seeking forgiveness for not being obedient to Him in every area of life!

Lord, we ask that you would forgive us, your church, for not always obeying you in every area of life.  We are so thankful that You told us that if we confess our sins You are faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  How glorious You are and deserving of all praise in all things!  You are God over all and none can say, “What are you doing!”  Thank you, Lord, that You do whatever You please in the heavens and in the earth.  Keep us faithful to You!  In the name of our precious Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, we ask these things!  Amen!

To be continued…

What Do You Mean…Discipline and SUBMISSION?!?! (Part 7)

Learning to Submit (Part 1)

When you hear the word “submission” what is the first thing that comes to mind?  Do you think “slavery”?  What about, “Having to obey someone you don’t want to”?  What does the Bible have to say about submission?  Let’s take a look and see.

There are two opposite viewpoints of submission.  First, you have the worldly viewpoint.  Women are slaves to men and must do what they can to throw off the bands of submission.  This has to be done so women can do or say anything they want to without having to answer to anyone.  In other words…rebellion!  The women that look at submission through this viewpoint are strongly against other women staying at home and taking care of their family.  They look down on the women who stay at home and even insist that they should be working.  This viewpoint has crept into the church and even women within the church have a hard time wanting to stay at home.  They feel that they MUST have a career to make it in life!

The second is the Biblical viewpoint.  This viewpoint states that the woman places herself willingly under the authority of those who are over her.  What does submission have to do with being a godly woman?  What is that authority that is over the woman?

First, we have the Lord.  The Lord should always be the first authority that a godly woman is willing to submit herself to.  In other words…Ladies, submit to the Lord!

James 4:7, “Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Col. 3:23-24, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”

Eph. 6:6-8, “Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;  With good will doing service; as to the Lord, and not to men:  Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.”

Verses 6-8 is very clear that we should be doing everything not just with someone watching over us so we can court their praise; but as the servants of Christ doing everything we can to please Him with our very best.  We will do it all with kindness and benevolence because we are doing it for the Lord.

Second, wives are supposed to be submitting themselves to their OWN husbands.

Eph. 5:22, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”

Col. 3:18, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.”

It is important to realize that we don’t submit to all the other husbands around but to our own husband.  If we are to follow the Biblical principle set forth in doing everything as to the Lord, then that would include our submission to our husband.  It is important that we, not only, submit to our husband but we do it cheerfully and with kindness.  Many times, the usual thing around most homes is to get upset whenever the husband wants the wife to do something.  She might do, it but it will be with an attitude.  Other times, she simply refuses to do anything that the husband wants her to do.  She just ignores him and goes about her own business!

I remember watching a commercial where they showed the wife was putting up finishing touches around the house and chatting to her husband about some kind of deal at a car lot.  She was telling him that they needed to get a particular red one because they would receive a gift in return.  The husband (who they never showed) was in a different room and told her, he didn’t think they could afford it.  The wife got a “cat that ate the mouse” smirk on her face and the camera panned to the window where they showed the very car that she had talked about.  They turned the camera back to the wife and she was fussing over the gifts that had been given her for buying the car.  “Too late,” she responded to the husband and that was the end of the commercial.

This is NOT acceptable practice according to the Word of God.  We should submit to our husbands and show respect for him.  There will be times when he makes the wrong decision!  We are not called upon to make the final decision and will not answer to God for that decision; however, we are called upon to submit to his authority with a good attitude as if God had personally asked us to do it.  Some wives have unbelieving husbands who ask them to do something contrary to the Word of God.  It is important that we always follow the Lord first and foremost.  We cannot go against the Lord because we (as true believers) belong to Him!  The attitude, though is very important at this time so even if you cannot go against what the Bible says, it is necessary that you decline with a gentle and quiet spirit.  Declining in the wrong way is just as wrong as not being submissive to your husband or the Lord!  May the Lord remind us about this continuously!

To be continued…

What Do You Mean…Discipline and SUBMISSION?!?! (Part 6)

The Gospel…Does it really work?  Part 2

Let us go to the gospel.  First of all the gospel is God’s gospel…it isn’t yours or mine.  We must understand that God is the one that originated the gospel and therefore it is important that when we spread the gospel, we do it the right way…God’s way!  Gal. 3:8, 22, “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.  But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” Rom. 11:32-36, “For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.  O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!  For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?  Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?  For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” God’s gospel is about what God has done NOT what man needs or thinks he needs!  We hear a lot these days that go something like this, “I don’t care what the Bible says, I know what I’ve experienced (what I’ve felt, what I’ve heard, what I’ve seen, what I want…fill in the blank with whatever it is that people have said).”  Ironically, people really don’t care what the Bible says but God doesn’t care what people think!  Eph. 2:8-10, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.   For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Just let this verse humble your heart when you realize that we were created in Christ Jesus unto good works and God foreordained that we should walk in them.

The gospel is about Christ crucified!  First of all, though, we need to set the stage.  In the beginning, when God created the world, everything was perfect!  God looked at everything at the end of creation and the Bible says, “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. ”  (Gen. 1:31).  God commanded Adam to take care of everything and that it was all good for his consumption except…the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  If he partook of the fruit from off that tree, he would die.  Once God created Eve, Satan, disguised as a serpent began tempting her until she gave in.  She noticed that the tree was pleasant to the eyes, good to look on, and good for food.  She changed God’s Word around and said that if she even touched it they would die!  This is NOT what God had said but nonetheless what she understood.  She eventually partook of the fruit then gave some of it to Adam.  At the point of Adam eating the food both Adam and Eve died spiritually and began dying physically.  God came looking for them (as He normally did) and found them hiding after having sewn fig leaves to cover their nakedness.

God asked them what had happened and Adam spoke up.  “It’s that woman you gave me, God, she gave the fruit to me.”  So started the first blameshifting from Adam.  He blamed God for creating Eve and blamed Eve for giving him the fruit.  Next, God turned to Eve and asked about her part of it.  Here was Eve’s response, “It’s that serpent that you created, God.  He tempted me and I ate.”  The second blameshifting came from Eve.  It was now God’s fault for creating the serpent, and the serpent’s fault for tempting her.  The ground was cursed and man would now have to work by the sweat of his brow to make ends meet.  The woman was cursed in childbearing and there would be problems between husband and wife.  The serpent was cursed to go on it’s belly and eat of the dust of the earth then Satan was cursed and one day his head would be crushed by the woman’s seed.  So began mankind and the children did no better.  Anyone that came from Adam would have a sin nature and be what is called, “dead in their trespasses and sin.”  Man is not a sinner because he sins but man sins because he is a sinner by his very nature.

Eventually, the children of Israel were chosen by God to be the nation where the Messiah would eventually come from.  God gave the children of Israel the blood sacrifice, which was the forerunner of the Messiah, a partial picture of what the Messiah would do completely one day!  The sacrifice (normally a spotless lamb or a turtledove, for the poor) was killed on the altar and the blood shed signifying that atonement was made for the year.  The sin was not taken away but only covered for that year.  This went on until the Messiah finally arrived!  His name was Jesus and He came to earth to save His people from their sins!

Jesus lived about 33 years and spent only about 3 years in His public ministry.  He fulfilled all prophecy and was absolutely perfect.  He never sinned and couldn’t sin but was tempted in all points throughout His ministry.  He was the perfect Lamb of God!  The day came for Him to be sacrificed and all His followers abandoned Him.  He paid the price for the sins of all true believers and the wrath of God was completely poured out upon Him!  He died, was buried and rose again, the third day, according to the Scriptures.

1 Cor. 15:1-4, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;  By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”

Whatever promises in the Bible that pertained to the Messiah, Jesus fulfilled.

Gen. 3:15, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

Lk. 24:24-27, “And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.  Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:  Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” (See also Gen. 22:18;  26:4;  Num. 21:9;  Deut. 18:15;  Ps. 16:9-10;  22:1-31;  Is. 7:14;  9:6;  50:6;  53:1-12;  Jn. 1:45.)

2 Cor. 1:20, “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.”

We can’t work for our salvation.  No matter how hard we try, our righteousness will not get us to heaven. 

Is. 64:6, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Rom. 3:10-18)

We can only believe through the faith that the Lord gives us as we cannot work it up on our own.  Eph. 2:8-10, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Everything we have comes from God and it behooves us to remember that even the very faith we have is a gift from God.

The Gospel is everything and we must remember these three things:

  1. The Gospel defines us. Humans are made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27) but sin entered into the picture and we have no hope (Gen. 3;  Is. 53:6; Rom. 3:10-18, 23;  Eph. 2:1-3).  Whosoever will can be saved from God’s wrath (Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:3-9) and adopted into God’s family (Mk. 3:31-35; Jn. 1:12;  3:5-8;  Eph. 1:5).
  2. The Gospel motivates us. We have purpose in life through the gospel and it is part of EVERY aspect of our lives  (1 Cor. 10:31; Col. 2:7;  3:17).  It is the foundation of our very lives  (1 Cor. 3:5-11).
  3. It satisfies us and gives us everything we need for life and godliness (Jn. 4:13-14;  7:37-38;  2 Pt. 1:3).

How can we show the world that the gospel is the answer for everything in our lives?

What specifically do YOU need to work on in your life that will show others that the gospel is the answer?

What Do You Mean…Discipline and SUBMISSION?!?! (Part 5)

The Gospel…Does it really work?

What is the gospel all about?  Why would we want to share the gospel with others if it is meaningless in our lives?  How can we be sure that our lives are even changing?  So many people have no idea what the gospel is really about.  There are so many different things that people say you need to do to have the gospel in your life.  What exactly is the gospel? a lot of people wonder but never get an answer.  The gospel means “good news” but the good news of the Bible is what?  If you had to write it down, what would you say it is?  A lot of people would say it’s being able to live with the Lord forever, it’s having a better life, it’s being able to have your dreams fulfilled, it’s getting saved, etc.   Is this really the good news of the Bible?

The actual good news of the Bible is the death, the burial and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.  If it was not for HIS substitutionery death on the cross for the sins of the elect then there would be NO good news.  It is important to realize that we are “dead in our trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1; Col. 2:13).  Nothing we can do will bring us to God.  We have no divine spark within us that would actually allow us to bridge the gap to God.  Before the foundations of the world, it was foreordained by the Father that Jesus, the Son, would be born in a manger as a man.  He would be 100% God and 100% man.  Around the age of 30 He would begin His ministry.  During this ministry, He would eventually be rejected by all to spend 3 days and 3 nights upon a cross.  At the end, the wrath of God the Father was poured out upon Him so that He could show forth His grace to the elect!  What wonderfully good news this is to all of us!  The sad thing is that because we are dead in our trespasses and sins…we hate God and do NOT want to be reconciled to Him!  So just because we know about the good news does not mean that we will accept it, in fact we cannot accept it because it is not in us to accept it.  Having said that, there is more good news!  Jesus Christ sent the Holy Spirit to draw the “whosoever wills” to Himself so that they would be saved!  This also is wonderfully good news but what separates the “whosoever wills” from those who don’t want to hear or the “whosoever won’ts”?  The Bible tells us that we will know those people who don’t want to hear the Word of God because they won’t change and they will LOVE the world.  Let us look at all these things and see how it fits together.  Let us take a look at two types of  “Christians”.

A.   The false “Christian” — thinks she has it all together and is doing God a favour!

  1. “Christianity” is just one part of their busy lives.  They have their secular work, their social life, their family life–oh, and their ‘spiritual life’ that is good for Sunday only, of course!
  2. These people just have their “Christian life” as an experience to look back on.  It’s just “the day I said ‘THE’ prayer” or “walked the aisle” or “joined the church.”  These people also do not allow anything to affect their daily living.
  3. These people only look for a “ticket to heaven.”  They want the assurance that they will go to heaven but are not serious enough to want it to be life changing.
  4. These people only want a nice Sunday package for their family.  They want a wholesome atmosphere, good moral teaching, occasional meal times together as a church, and possibly a Ladies’ meeting every now and then IF they’re not to busy, thank you very much!  All these things are not wrong or bad in and of themselves but if there is no change within their lives and they are depending on these things to get them to heaven then they are dependent on the wrong things.  These things will NOT get anyone to heaven!

B.  True Believers — knows herself to be wretched in God’s eyes before she was accepted in God’s sight!

  1. She knows she has a lot of baggage or sin in her life that only the Lord can change. Rom. 7:9-25, “For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.  For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.  Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.  Was that then which is good made death unto me?  God forbid.  But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.  For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.  For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.  If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.  Now then it is I no longer that do that, but sin that dwelleth in me.  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.  I find then a law, that , when I would do good, evil is present with me.  For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into the captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.  O wretched man that I am!  Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. (See also Rom. 8:6-7, 13; Gal. 5:17; 6:8)  She realizes that no matter how hard she tries to do what is right, it is only the Lord working through her to do what is right so her dependence must be totally on God and not herself.
  2. She seeks to spend time with the Lord. John 15:4-6, 9-10, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.   If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.  As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.   If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” (See also John 14:15, 21, 23; 1 Jn. 2:5; 5:3; 2 Jn. 1:6.)  She realizes that the more time she spends with the Lord, the more like the Lord Jesus she will become.  She does this because she loves Him not because it is required of her to do so.
  3. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit produces a life of fruit in her life that becomes obvious to the world. Gal. 5:22-24, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (See also John 15:2; Rom. 8:4-5; 13:14; Gal. 2:20; 5:16; Eph. 5:9; Col. 3:12; Jms 3:17.)  As she loves the Lord and seeks to follow Him in every area of life, there is an evidence in her life of fruit to the world.  It may not be quite so evident to her as she sees how she fails the Lord continuously.
  4. There is a time of pruning within her life. Jn. 15:1-3, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.   Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” The end result of this pruning should produce the peaceable fruit of righteousness. Heb. 12:5-11, “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.   If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.  Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?  For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”
  5. She realizes she is not above the Master and there will be times of persecution in her life when she stands for God’s truth! Jn 15:18-25, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.  Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.  But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.  If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.  He that hateth me hateth my Father also.  If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.  But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.” (See also 1 Pt. 3:13-17.)
  6. She realizes the importance of seeking to build a relationship with other believers on the truth of God’s Word in love. Jn. 15:12-17, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.  Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.  Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.  These things I command you, that ye love one another.” (See also 1 Pt. 3:8-12.)   She realizes how important it is when people, who don’t show forth the fruit of a believer, try to get her to unify with false doctrine.  She takes a stand because she believes it is important to glorify God first and foremost in her life! 1 Cor. 10:31, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do; do all to the glory of God.”
  7. She realizes that every area in her life will begin to change because the gospel changes her very soul. 2 Cor. 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

Take a moment and think about these things.  Ask yourself these questions.

  • Which one of these two types of Christians would you consider yourself?  Why?
  • Is there something in your life that would give forth a testimony that you are different from the world?
  • Could someone pick you out as a Christian by your “walk”?
  • Could you be convicted as a Christian by the way you live your life?
  • What could you do differently by the grace and help of God?