Godly Submission tothe Higher Authority

Author: Voice Of God Ministry  //  Category: Fundamental Truth

Christians are called to submit to authority. Everyonewho born in the world is to be submitted him to the Human Authorityas well as God’s Authority. Moreover submission to the human authority itself is the Law given by the God; God’s laws were given by the Lord which we cannot alteror compromise for any cost in anywhere.

Itis like the two sides of the coin one represent the God side whereas another for Human side, Both sides are equally importance for any value coin,Even if that authority is unjust, how much more can God then trust us to submit to His perfect and just authority?God has recorded for us in Godly submission to authority.How then do we submit to ruler ship that is not honourable, whether it’s governmental leaders, parents, a boss, or men and women who are supposed to be representing Christ? God has placed authority in the world around us. He’s in charge of it all.

He rules overall and He’s more interested in, I believe, how we will behave under bad ruler ship as much as how we will behave under good ruler ship. If we can behave right under bad ruler ship then how much easier is it going to be to behave properly under good ruler ship? This is one of the effects of being filled with the Spirit, humility is present and a willingness to allow others to speak even to correct us.

But we cannot submit to those we cannot trust. Trust is proven by ones actions not just words.Respecting People in Authority
For the Lord’s sake, respect all human authority—whether the king as head of state, or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those are do wrong and to honour those who do right. It is God’s will that your honourable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you.

For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters. Fear God, and respect the king. 1 Peter2.13-17

Authority is to Responsibility.

Authority is the power to give orders and get it obeyed or in other words it is the power to take decisions.Responsibility means state of being accountable or answerable for any obligation, trust, debt or something or in other words it means obligation to complete a job assigned on time and in best way.

Authority and responsibility are closely related and this principle states that these two must go hand in hand. It means that proper authority should be delegated to meet the responsibilities.Authority without responsibility is yieldingnothing;Sin is disobedience to God’s authority. Salvation is only available to those who confess and do the will of God.

Grace is the power of God to obey him. All authority is instituted by God. God establishes his rule in the church through people he has delegated to be his authority.The5-foldministry (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) represents God’s authority on earth. Obedience to the Lord requires obedience to God’s delegated authorities (employers, church leaders, civil authorities)

Submitting ourselves to Him daily is a gift of grace

And also, Rebellion against God’s delegated authority is rebellion against God. Rebellion to authority opens one up to the demonic realm resulting in deception. People should live by the principle of obedience rather than reason. People should always obey authority unless they are clearly instructed to violate scripture. The line of authority extends in the home where the father holds the highest authority.

Spiritual authority and blessing are flows to those who suffer under authority. God does not judge people on the fruit of their life but also on how faithfully they followed authority. Those outside the local church and the covering of its leaders are at serious risk of spiritual attack,God does not require us to submit because He is a tyrant, but because He is a loving Father and He knows what is best for us. The blessings and peace that we gain from humbly surrendering and submitting ourselves to Him daily are a gift of grace that nothing in this world can compare to this. In Hebrews 12 Apostle Paul advised,

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfected of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Hebrews 12 .1-3.Many of us are familiar with ministers, deacons, even lay members who have misused a position of authority. This is not a modern phenomenon by any means. The Disciples of Christ argued about who would have the greatest authority in the kingdom, not once but twice as recorded in accounts. I suspect there was even more. If it was on their minds that much it was probably even more often than that. We have Christ’s admonishment for a Christian to be a servant.

We’ll read one of those verses in a moment. But how does that fit in with the general topic of Godly submission to authority in other positions of responsibility?

Authority is given by the Almighty.

The Bible speaks very clearly about the relationship between the believer and the government. We are to obey governmental authorities, and the government is to treat us justly and fairly. Even when the government does not live up to its role, we are still to live up to ours. Finally, when the government asks us to do something that is in direct disobedience to God’s Word, we are to disobey the government in faithful confidence of the Lord’s power to protect us.

We must remember that God created the authorities ruling over us just as He created us. As Paul wrote to the Romans, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves” (Romans 13:1-2).“Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. John 19:11.” Peter wrote, “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right” (1 Peter 2:13-14).

Both Peter and Paul also remind slaves repeatedly to be obedient to their masters for the same reasons (Ephesians 6:5-8; Colossians 3:22-25; 1Timothy 6:1-2; 1 Peter 2:18-20; Titus 2:9-11).

The instructions to government “masters” are just as clear and just as numerous. Jesus modelled the behaviour and attitude every leader or authority should take. “Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many’” (Matthew 20:25-28). A government or authority exists to serve those governed.
Many times, however, a government will stray from its purpose and become oppressive. When that happens, we are still to live in obedience. “Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God”. (1 Peter 2:18-19). Both Jesus and Paul used taxes as a way to illustrate this.

The Roman government taxed the Jews unjustly and many of the tax collectors were thieves. When asked about this dilemma, Jesus took a coin and said, “‘whose portrait is this? And whose inscription is this?’ ‘Caesar’s,’ they replied. Then he said to them, ‘Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s’” (Matthew 22:20-21). Evidently, the believers in Rome were still asking the same question because Paul instructed them on the matter. “This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing” (Romans 13:6).

Romans 13:1- Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

Today how many pastor, preachers or Christian organisation obey this command and submitted income tax file honestly.  In Matthew 25 Jesus illustrated that “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to him to account for his money. The man to whom he had entrusted the $5,000 brought him $10,000. “His master praised him for good work. ‘You have been faithful in handling this small amount,’ he told him, ‘so now I will give you many more responsibilities.

Begin the joyous tasks I have assigned to you.’ Matthew 25.21-23 .For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended

 Godly Submission of Abraham: The Friend of God

‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ And he was called” the friend of God.” (James 2:23)Abraham is called the father of the faithful (Gal. 3:16-29; Rom. 4:11) He is an example to us in many ways; therefore, it is always good to study him and learn from that which the Bible reveals to us about him. “God regarded Abraham as his friend because he was ever faithful to God and always submitted his will to God’s.” In his faithfulness and obedience, Abraham demonstrated several characteristics that we would do well to emulate so that we too might become friends of God.

Abraham’s devotion to God

Nearly every action in Abraham’s life shows his great faith in God. He left his country and countrymen never to return (Heb. 11:8-16). He believed the promise of a son though such a birth was naturally impossible (Rom. 4:18-21). He cast out a son, Ishmael when Sarah and God commanded it (Gen. 21:9-14). He was even willing to offer Isaac, the son of promise, when God demanded it (Heb. 11:17-19).

Because of his great faith, he enjoyed the victory of faith (Gen. 22:12).Whatever God wanted Abraham to do, he did. Whether it was leaving his homeland, casting out one son or sacrificing another, he obeyed God without question or qualm. In Genesis 18:19, God states one of the reason that He was able to bless Abraham so abundantly and regard him as His friend.

He said, “For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.” Abraham’s devotion to God not only caused him to walk obediently but also allowed him to influence others, especially those in his own house, to do the same.

In situations where strife could have occurred and then escalated, Abraham seemed able to defuse them (Gen. 13:1-13). There was one key trait in his character that caused him to be able to be such a peacemaker — he regarded others better than self. This is a quality that the Christian is to possess today. Philippians 2:3-4 states, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. “His unselfish nature is not only seen in giving his nephew Lot first choice of land in which to pasture his flocks and herds (Gen. 13:9) but also in his willingness to intercede for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 18:22-23). Even though they were wicked, Abraham was concerned for them and did what he could to spare them from the judgment which came upon them.

The hospitality he gives to three men, who are angels of God, in Genesis 18:1-8 also shows his regard for others. Though he does not know these men, he generously provides for their needs. Since Christians are to be “given to hospitality” (Rom. 12:13), the writer of the book of Hebrews uses this incident in the life of Abraham to emphasize this responsibility: “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels” (13:2).

Christians are to be pilgrims and sojourners in this life, living in the world but not being of the world (John 15:19; I John 2:15-17). Again, Abraham is their example. “By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Heb. 11:9-10). As he looked “for a city,” we must ever be looking to heaven and the things that are above (Col. 3:1-3) realizing that, even now, our real citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20).

Because Abraham lived as a friend of God while on earth, he now lives in Paradise (Luke 16:23-31). Since God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34-35), we can have that same hope if we will live the same life. Let us all follow the example of Abraham and do what is necessary to be those who can be called friends of God.Did you know that Abraham also obeyed Sara calling her “ruler”?
God himself changed her name from Sarai (contentious) to Sarah (ruler)… which means that every time Abraham addressed his wife by name, he called her “ruler” and he would have been very much aware of that. (So it’s only fair that she addressed him as lord- like a queen calling her husband king and vice versa) It is the Godly submission of each other start from our own family

Godly Submission of Daniel:
In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim (606 BC), Daniel and his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were among the young Jewish nobility carried off to Babylon. The four were chosen for their intellect and beauty to be trained as advisers to the Babylonian court (Daniel 1). Daniel was given the name Belteshazzar, i.e. prince of Bel or Bel protect the king, not to be confused with the neo-Babylonian king Belshazzar.

Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were given the Babylonian names Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego respectively.[2]
In the Old Testament, Daniel is a model we should use when it comes to our relationship with government. The Babylonians were given authority over the Jews because of the Jews’ disobedience. Daniel worked himself into the highest levels of this pagan and unbelieving government. Although the rulers respected Daniel’s God, their lives and actions show they did not believe.

Daniel served the king as a true servant when he requested the wise men not be executed for failing to interpret the king’s dream. Instead, he asked for the key to interpret the dream from God and saved those, including himself, who would have been executed. While Daniel was in the royal court, his three friends refused to bow to the idol erected by King Nebuchadnezzar and were sentenced to death in the furnace (Daniel 3:12-15).

Their response was confident faith. They did not defend themselves, but instead told the king their God would save them, adding that even if He didn’t, they still would not worship or serve Nebuchadnezzar’s gods (Daniel 3:16-18).After the Medes conquered Babylon, Daniel continued to serve faithfully and to rise in power within the government.

Here, Daniel faced the same dilemma when the governors and satraps tricked the king into signing a decree “…that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions” (Daniel 6:7). Daniel responded by directly, and in full view of everyone, disobeying the order. “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home.

And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days” (Daniel 6:10). Daniel was completely loyal to any ruler placed over him until that ruler ordered him to disobey God.

Daniel answered the king and said “God sent his angel to close the lions’ mouths. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king. “At that moment, when a choice had to be made between the world and God, Daniel chose God.

We have to follow these steps. The king writes a letter to all his people telling them that the God whom Daniel served is the true and living God. Then King Darius wrote a letter to tell all the people in his kingdom to fear; to respect and to honour the God of Daniel. “For he is the living God…; he rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. So Daniel prospered while Darius was king and Daniel also prospered while Cyrus was king.Daniel was a man that had trusted in his God and submitted who delivered him from the mouths of the lions.

Godly Submission of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego

In Daniel 3:14.Nebuchadnezzar spike and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.Daniel 3:16.Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.Daniel 3:19

And he commanded the mightiest men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.Daniel 3:20.Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent and the furnace exceeding hot, the flames of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.Daniel 3:22And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.Daniel 3:23

Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the highest God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire.Daniel 3:26.Then Nebuchadnezzar spike, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.Daniel 3:28

Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.Daniel 3:29

Godly life of Youth and it’s submissions to the higher Authority

Let’s go back to Ephesians chapter 6 where Paul instructs children even, a responsibility to submit to authority.Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. And then he quotes the fifth commandment: – “Honour your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise:that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”Eph: 6:1 –3There’s a promise in there. Now he doesn’t say to honour your father and mother only if they’re obeying God, only if they make you happy, only if you agree with what they’re saying. There is a responsibility for us to honour our parents.

The admonition again in verse 4 is that the parents, specifically the father in this respect, do not provoke the children to wrath, that is do not give them a reason not to honouryou. One of the huge differences in how God views authority and how the world views authority is that the world thinks there is no accountability, no responsibility downward. God makes it very clear that there is. If I as a father am instructing my children, I have a responsibility to do it in a Godly fashion. Part of that as Paul talks about in verse 4 is to not provoke them, whatever fashion that is.

If we go back to chapter 5 verse 25, just up a little bit depending on your Bible, Eph:5:25 – Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church…There’s a responsibility to the husband that he should behave in this fashion so that each one can function properly. Then in verse 33 – Nevertheless, let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

This submission to authority, this proper use of authority God shows us in scripture that there is proper structure and there is authority in the family through the husband too and with the wife and through both of them to the children. We are all in a family serving the role God gave to us. The submission that should be there should bring harmony, peace and strength.

Church Authorities in General

In 1 Corinthians chapter 12, Paul talked about this to a great degree as well.All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church:first are apostles,second are prophets, third are teachers, then those who do miracles, those who have the gift of healing, those who can help others, those who have the gift of leadership, and those who speak in unknown languages. Are we all apostles? Are we all prophets? Are we all teachers? Do we all have the power to do miracles? Do we all have the gift of healing? Do we all have the ability to speak in unknown languages? Do we all have the ability to interpret unknown languages? Of course not! So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts.But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all.1 Corinthians..12.27-31.).

The Apostle Peter writes, “Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble’” (1 Peter 5:5).

The theme here is one of humility. One cannot submit to God without humility. Obedience requires us to humble ourselves to surrender to the authority of another, and we are told that God resists pride—the opposite of humility—and the arrogance that fosters that pride. If we move to 1 Peter chapter 5, Peter again touches on this point of submission being a critical role that we within the church especially and how we should view authority.1 Pet: 5:5 – where he says, Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. That’s all of you, not just a generational thing. Paul’s not picking on a group. He says all of us shouldbe submissive to one another, clothed in humility, and again, that’s a huge component of this submission, this aspect of humility, submitting to everyone.

We are to submit those who rule over us in the faith. Younger Christians are to submit to the elders and to one another as well, even as we submit to God.What would be the downside if we truly practiced that – as a family, as a church, as a nation – what would be the downside if we submitted to each other, truly? Can you imagine all the strife and contention that would go away, the cooperation of being able to pass laws that would truly benefit people, instead of just a select group, the harmony that would come along? The positive ripple effect I think would truly astound us if we saw this in action.

In Hebrews 13, if you want to write this one down, Hebrews 13 verse 17, Paul says, Obey those who have the rule over you. Now I’m not talking about just being a dumb sheep. We’ll get to that in just a moment. Before we move on I’d like to touch on various aspects.

In John 15 we have an example of Christ setting aside, if you will, various ones. In John chapter 15 and verse 16 where he says, You did not choose me. He’s speaking to the disciples. You didn’t select me as your leader. I chose you. Now we’re switching a little bit from a more worldly perspective to a perspective within the church, but he says, I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should remain.

Part of what God sees and the authority that He gives is this very thing. Whether we’re talking about nations, whether we’re talking about governments, whether we’re talking about leaders on any level, it is God’s intention that it should bear true fruit, proper fruit.In some respects we are all equals in the body of Christ, in other respects we have leadership. but the submission does only go one way.

Not all pastors act as servants, what happens when a shepherd is acting more like pharaoh? His position of authority is abused and the church then becomes like a cult. Jesus always gave people choices and did not force them or coerce them to do what is right. He would explain what is right so they understood why he did what He did. This did not involve blind obedience.

Eph 5:18-21: “Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, v.21 submitting to one another in the fear of God

As we read at the beginning in Matthew that leadership should operate out of a perspective of service, first and foremost. Christ here is reminding them of a perspective that he didn’t want them to lose. They didn’t earn this, they couldn’t demand it, it was not anything they had accomplished on their own.

We see this elaborated on in Christ’s own life in Mark chapter 14. As much as Christ understood what he was going to have to go through in his lifetime, he was still fully submissive to the Father. We can say that, we can hear it, we can understand it on one level but I don’t know that we can fully appreciate what that means. It was not just the death that he was going to face, it was the responsibility to not trip at the last moment.

I will serve the way You ask me to. That’s a powerful statement to consider because he knew what this meant. Roman crucifixions were designed to keep someone on the verge of dying, to create the most pain for the longest period of time.
We read in Colossians 8 another reference that he’s the head of the body. If we’re going to submit to authority in the church, it has to be first and foremost through Christ. Yet he himself was not respected. We have plenty of examples of the Pharisees questioning his validity, speaking down to him and even cursing him in some cases. So let’s look at some cautions then, look at some overall scriptures just briefly to look at how God views authority, how we are to submit to that authority. What are some of the cautions?

The interesting thing for me, from a Christian perspective, is that God does not say that we are only to respect, only to submit to authority when that authority behaves with respect. He never says that. We read some of those verses that say even if they don’t, you need to do this; you need to respect them, that office. So how then do we submit to ruler ship that is not honourable, whether governmental leaders, or parents or boss or men and women who are supposed to be leading and representing the life of Christ?We are also told to submit ourselves to God (James 4:7). In Ephesians we read the wife is to submit to her husband as unto the Lord and the husband is to “love” his wife (Ephesians 5:22-25). The Apostle Peter writes, “Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble’” (1 Peter 5:5). The theme here is one of humility. One cannot submit to God without humility. Obedience requires us to humble ourselves to surrender to the authority of another, and we are told that God resists pride—the opposite of humility—and the arrogance that fosters that pride.


Therefore, having a humble and submissive heart is a choice we make. That means as born-again believers we daily make a choice to submit ourselves to God for the work that the Holy Spirit does in us to “conform us to the image of Christ.” God will use the situations of our lives to bring us the opportunity to submit to Him (Romans 8:28-29). The believer then accepts His grace and provision to walk in the Spirit and not after the manner of the old nature. That work is accomplished by choosing to apply ourselves to the Word of God and to learning about the provisions that God has made for us in Christ Jesus. From the moment we are born again, we have all the provisions we need, in Christ, to become a mature believer, but we have to make the choice to learn about those provisions through study of the Word and to apply those provisions to our daily walk.

We have to choose to submit to God for the process of learning in order to grow spiritually. It is a process begun at salvation and on-going with each and every choice that we make to submit ourselves to God. This process will continue until the Lord comes again or He calls us home. The wonderful thing about this is that, as the Apostle Paul so aptly states, “But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies. Give honour to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage.

God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery. Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear.What can mere people do to me? Hebrews 13.1-6 Amen.

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