Be Subject to One Another (Ephesians 5:21)
Pastor Chris Liu • April 10, 2016
In today’s world, the word submission or to be subject to one another may have a negative connotation. People see it as being oppressed, being a doormat, or putting people under your control. But, the Biblical idea of submission is not those things.
The Greek word, ὑποτάσσω (hupotassó), combines two words, ὑπο (hupo) and τάσσω (tasso) which can be translated as “under” and the other “order.” From the book, Sittser writes, “to be subject to one another implies that we choose to order our lives under the circumstances, relationships and roles in which we find ourselves… In essence, to be subject to one another implies that we acknowledge the necessity of social order, accept our place within it, and transform the social order through the power of radical obedience and sacrificial love” (pg. 40).
First, we have to understand that God has made everyone equal, but we have different roles and positions that we are in. God has placed some people in positions of leadership and authority and it is important for us to submit to those in authority. In the Bible, the Apostle Paul writes about three different relationships that have this dynamic: husbands and wives, parents and children, masters (bosses) and slaves (workers).
Another thing to remember is that the call of submission is for everyone. Both those in the leadership position and those in the follower position need to submit to one another. However, those who are in the “higher” leadership position have greater responsibilities. Husbands, parents, and bosses have more expectations placed on them to be the leaders God intends for them to be.
Finally, the last reminder is that we submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. For those who are in a leadership position, remember that Christ, who is God, humbled Himself and became man to serve and die for us. In the same way, we are also to humble ourselves and serve and love others in the same way. For those in the follower position, remember that ultimately, Christ is the one who we serve and not just our earthly leaders. He reigns over all and we can trust in Him and obey and follow Him.