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About-Him.Com Devotional 08-06-2011
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Expository Study of Colossians 3:18 - 4:2
Godly Order Calls For Submission

Out text today deals with various areas of submission. We live in the land of the free and many of us have an opinion on everything and are quick to freely express it.  Submission is not usually part of our vocabulary. Nevertheless, it is an essential part of God’s order. God is a God of order. Just as He set the sun, moon and stars in the heavens in precise unvarying order, He demands order in our daily Christian walk. The various areas of submission are: One to another - Wife to husband - Child to parent - to civil authorities - to employers - to church authorities and to the public in general. 

Text: Colossians 3:18 ¶  Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
19  Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.
 

The first order of submission that the apostle deals with is that of the wife to the husband and his thoughts are more fully expressed in Ephesians 5:21-32, which are summarized here. 

We are all to be submitted one to another in the fear of God. We read in Luke 2:51-52 that Jesus returned with His parents to Nazareth and was subject to them. As He submitted, He increased in wisdom and stature and found favor with God and man. This is a perfect example of God's order. Everybody is to be in submission to somebody else. Another example set by Jesus is when He washed the feet of His argumentative disciples (Jn. 13:4-12). The wife is to submit herself to her own husband, as unto the Lord. The Colossian text says, “ As it is fit in the Lord.” The apostle here is assuming that the husband is walking in close communion with his Lord and fulfilling his own godly role. Obviously the wife cannot respect or obey the husband who is walking otherwise or who asks something contrary to God’s word and will. In God’s order, the husband is the head of the wife, just as Christ is the head of the church (1Cor. 11:3). Jesus loved us so much, that He gave His life for us. The husband is commanded to love and nourish his wife in like manner. There’s no, “Me Tarzan you Jane” in that. Men have a greater responsibility to fulfill their ordained godly role in loving their wives as Christ loved the church. 

Text: Colossians 3:20  Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
21  Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
 

I must confess that in raising my children, I sometimes forgot the admonition to not provoke them to wrath. Certainly discipline is necessary, but to nurture the child in the fear and admonition of the Lord should certainly be our first approach. If we do this first, a lot of punishment will be unnecessary. Long life is promised to the child who respects and obeys his/hers parents. God will hold the parent responsible who fails to instruct their children in proper decorum. Most of us as children thought that we knew everything.  As we grew older, we realized that our parents knew a thing of two. It’s good to let the child express their thoughts, at the proper time and place, which the parent can consider and then add a godly perspective for the child‘s instruction. 

Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
2. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
 

Text: Colossians 3:22  Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:
23  And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
24  Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
25  But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.
 

It's rather sad to see Christians who don't do a full day's work. Not a very good testimony. Here again, submission works both ways. The employee should do his best to see his employer succeed. The Christian employer is obligated to have the welfare of his employees as one of his utmost concerns. I remember a particular low paid job that I had during a period of recession. Quite often, the scripture was impressed on my mind that I was not just to do right when the boss was looking, but at all times as if the Lord Himself was writing my paycheck, which in fact He was. I would grumble some and then remember and thank the Lord for the job that He had given me, when many others were out of work. Marie and I have followed a simple rule in our work lives that I’m confident we have passed on to our children, which is: "Give 110% and make yourself indispensable to your employer."   

Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do [it] with thy might; for [there is] no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. 

Text: Colossians 4:1 ¶  Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven. 

The Christian employer is also accountable to the Lord to pay a decent wage and provide proper working conditions (Ja. 5:1-4).
 

We are also required of the Lord to be submissive to  civil authorities: It's not much of a testimony when Christians wink at the law, whether it be speed laws or tax laws or whatever. 

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

1 Peter 2:13. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 

Romans 13:2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
 

We are  required of the Lord to be submissive to  church authority.   We all have overseers and none of us should walk free from accountability. I believe it is incumbent upon the church leadership to not forget that they are also to be in submission. Many sit back when their sheep are hurting, waiting for a call or the proper show of respect. When the Good Shepherd went searching for the lost sheep, He didn't check to see how submissive he had been. The Shepherd simply went out searching until He found the lost sheep (Mt. 18:12). We are also enjoined to feed the church of God which He purchased with His own blood (Ac. 20:28). 

Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 

Ephesians 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. 

Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2. With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
 

We are to submit to the older generation: I may be paranoid, but as I get older I sense that some of the younger generation feel that if you're over 50, you've had your day. I hope that is not the case and nobody really feels like that, but now that I’m 76.……… 
1 Peter 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. 

Text: Colossians 4:2 ¶  Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
3  Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:
4  That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.
5 ¶  Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
6  Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
 

We must exhibit holiness in our public life. It is important to show the same face to the world that we present at church. The world expects to hear godly speech and wisdom from the saint of God. If we do so, our example can lead them to Christ. If we show anything contrary, they are very quick to notice, and we will be held accountable. 

This concludes our expository study of the book of Colossians. You can find all of the past installment at here.

Somebody Has Said
 
God cannot change for the better, for He is already perfect; and being perfect, He cannot change for the worse. - A. W. Pink    


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Don and Marie Spooner
About Him! Ministries


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