Week Five - Submit To Every Authority
The churches of Christ Greet You (Romans )
This week you will study one of the keys to the Christian life. It is totally opposed to worldly wisdom, but it is something we see perfectly in Jesus and He wants to see it in us. It is the principle of submission.
1. Already you have learned that Jesus Christ has all authority today (Matt 28:18). However, God has set up certain orders in society. These maintain order and teach us to be submissive and obedient in spirit so we can ultimately and basically submit to and obey Jesus Christ.
2. To follow Jesus Christ one must have an obedient spirit, thus, willing to submit to another's authority. Read 1 Peter 1:2, 14 to see what kind of children God wants.
3. Read Ephesians 2:1-2. To what kind of spirit is God opposed?
4. Read Hebrews 5:8-9. Notice the important statement about Our Example, Jesus Christ. What did He learn? How was it learned? What does God want us to learn? How will it be learned?
1. Yesterday we learned that God wants obedient children. Now read 1 Peter 2:11-17. Verse 11 describes our "old self" with its sinful desires. The "old self" does not want to obey - it wants to do things its own way. It doesnít like to be told what to do! Read Matthew 16:24. Do you now understand why Jesus commands us to "deny self"?
2. Write down the reason given in 1 Peter 2:13 for submitting to every ordinance of man. List all the authorities that are in your life (meaning all the people that are in some role where they can tell you what to do or strongly expect you to do what they ask). What is your attitude toward these authorities?
1. What if the authorities in your life ask you to do something which is wrong - must you submit to them in that case? What do you think the mind of Christ would say?
2. Read 1 Peter 2:18-23. What does this passage say to contribute to the question above? Peter is teaching that Christians should have a submissive and obedient attitude at all times. We should always be ready to obey those whom God has put over us. HOWEVER...
3. Read Acts -20. This is a clear example that the time may come when we cannot obey! When a command of some authority constitutes a clear violation of Scripture, we must not obey that authority. Our attitude should not become rebellious, but we should lovingly and with respect for their authority decline to submit in that area (but not in all others).
1. Read Hebrews 13:17. This passage is speaking about elders or overseers in the body of Christ, and those who have been given special jobs by the elders.
2. How can you specifically make the elders or other leaderís work a joy and not a burden? Does the above passage say we have to agree with everything a leader does before we can submit to him and obey him?
1. Read Ephesians 5:21-6:4. Most likely you are in some kind of family relationship. In this relationship you can show the love of God - the kind of love that is willing to lay down its life for others in the family.
2. Remember, your ultimate concern is that your family members come to know the living God through your life in a deeper way. If your family members have not been seeing in you the things described in the above passage, then a confession to them could open up many new possibilities in your ministry to them.
1. Read Romans 13:1-14. List at least seven clear teachings from this passage.
2. Is there anything wrong with a bitter, complaining attitude about the government one lives under? Again, when you must say "NO" to government, always keep the proper attitude.
1. Read Philippians 2:1-11. Look carefully at the deeper teaching on submission. What happens to those who submit (vs. 9)?
2. In what ways can you "empty yourself" or make yourself of no reputation (vs. 7)? In what ways can you take the form of a servant to your brethren and to the lost?