A Commission of Submission
7 Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law [a]has dominion over a man as long as he lives? 2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. 4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. 6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.
Judaism’s relationship with the Law of Moses began in a solemn covenant-ceremony performed at Mt. Sinai. Large sections of the Torah record the terms of this covenant. So for a Jew to walk away from the Torah was to violate the sacred vow they had made with God as a people. The result of that violation would be to bring upon themselves the curses contained in the covenant. No observant Jew could just decide to stop following the Law. To do so would make them nothing less than an infidel. This is the underlying issue Paul is addressing here. He wants his Jewish readers to see that following Christ is not a breach of the covenant, and the way he does this is to compare the covenant made at Sinai with a marriage covenant. The central point of the argument is this: the vows of a marriage covenant cease to be in force when one of the parties dies, and the same thing is true of the vows made at Sinai. He has just shown us that the person who puts their faith in Christ is counted in the spiritual world as having died with Him. (this was preached 2 weeks ago) As far as God and the Law are concerned that person has died and therefore is released from obligation to the Law. They are free from their vows, and its power to curse them has ended. The ultimate demand of the Law is death, and that demand has been met.
A woman who has entered into a marriage covenant cannot leave a faithful husband. Marriage is a solid, binding agreement that cannot be broken without bringing God’s judgment, unless the spouse dies. Paul explains that just as death releases a spouse to remarry, the spiritual death that takes place when a believer dies with Christ frees a Jew from their obligation to the Law. Our death with Christ is not just a mere figure of speech, but rises to the level of our own actual physical death. Nothing less than death could free a Jew from the authority of the Law, and that death took place when by faith we joined Christ in the grave.
So Paul tells these Jews, because they died with Christ the covenant made at Mt. Sinai lost its power to hold them and they are free to enter a new marriage. Their new groom is the resurrected Messiah. And just as marriage produces the fruit of children, so a believer’s marriage-like covenant will produce fruit for God. They now enter an entirely new relationship with the Law. They no longer have to fulfill it down to the smallest detail, fearing the curse it threatened. The radical change which took place in their own spirits set them free to fulfill the true intent of the law. Being married to Christ, they have the power to successfully serve and obey God. While we are not under Mosaic Law, we are not lawless.
1 Corinthians 9:20-21 and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the [a]law, that I might win those who are under the law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law (not being without [b]law toward God, but under [c]law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law;
We are in fact under law towards Christ- in a new covenant with a new authority and a lawfully wedded husband.
“For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:2-3 ESV
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:22-24 Skip ahead
“This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” Ephesians 5:32 NKJV
As a woman, my role in this life is to submit to my husband. I think a lot of people, men and women do not understand submission. It is not just actions, but it is a heart condition to love, honor and obey my husband.
Submit- Greek hupotasso (hoop-ot-as-so) from two words meaning “appointed, ordained” and “subordination” So the new word means “appointed and ordained to be under obedience and put oneself in subjection to”
For the husband is the head of the wife — subjection lies in honor and reverence and in obedience; women should think well of their husbands, speak becomingly to them, and respectfully of them; the wife should take care of the family, and family affairs, according to the husband’s will; should imitate him in what is good, and bear with that in him which is not so good; she should help and assist in caring and providing for the family; and should abide with him in prosperity and adversity, and do nothing without his will and consent: and this subjection is only to her husband; not to any other man, nor to her children, or her parents. This submission should be easy, voluntary, and cheerful.
Christ’s authority over the church, HIS BRIDE is exhibited in the husband’s authority over his wife.
Submission is voluntary. Ps Matt does not make me submit to him- I choose to submit myself. Now, it does make it easier because he loves me so well. But I do not always like it. Does this mean it is always easy? No. Submission is simple, but disobedience is complicated. Does this mean I don’t ever respond back? No. But I have resolved myself to submit to his leadership and I have given up the right to having my own way.
This is what it means for you to submit to Jesus. Tonight, I want to talk about areas that require our submission to Jesus our Lord. It is through this submission that we bear fruit for Him:
Submit my will- The will is very strong. I think its funny that people will say, “I have a strong-willed child”. I have never met a child that is not strong willed. We want our way. I am probably like most people, I want what I want. But I have learned in my marriage to die to having my own way and allow my husband to lead me. I know that when I submit to his authority, I am under his protection. This is the same as our submission to Jesus. When we submit to His authority in our lives, we fall under His protection.
The will is a strong force in our lives and it will lead us astray if it is not in subjection to the Lord. I think a lot of people do not understand the Biblical concept of “Jesus is LORD”
Romans 10:9 Holman Christian Standard Bible
9 If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
This is the most accurate translation. During the time of the Roman Empire, you were allowed to worship any god/idol you wanted. It was a pagan society. They didn’t care what god you worshipped. But to confess, “Jesus is Lord” was to go against Caesar, who had authority over the empire. BY confessing this, you were proclaiming there was only One who had the authority over your life, and it was not Caesar. By confessing this, you were proclaiming on yourself a death sentence. You were saying that your will, your desires, your actions, your words, your body were under the authority of Jesus.
And the will must be brought into subjection, willingly.
Jeremiah 10:23 23 O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.
Paul quotes Jeremiah, telling us the same:
1 Corinthians 6:19Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
Our will to go our own way and do our own thing, is idolatry of self. Just as when I usurp my will over my husband’s will I operate outside the marriage covenant; so it is the same in the church. There is a huge idol in the church: ministry of self-will. “My ministry”, “my purpose”, “my work”. When your will is self-promotion, then you speak as the antichrist:
Isaiah 14:13-14 13 For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’
God’s will for me is:
1 Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality;
God’s will for my life is sanctification- this means that His will is to make me holy as He is holy. And unless you submit to the authority of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, you will continue to operate in rebellion. You will never be sanctified.
Just submit your will to the Lord and let Him lead you. You do not have to have your way. Have you recognized yet that your will is the path to destruction? If you reckon yourself dead, then Christ is your new Lord and Master. You are safe and secure. Trust the Spirit to lead you and guide you.
Submit the words of my mouth- I do not talk bad about my husband. My words are submitted to him. I speak highly of him for good and never for evil. I do not nag him. I do not dishonor him to others. Is your mouth submitted to the Lord? People may not talk bad about Jesus, but they talk bad about His bride. They may not mock Him, but they mock His bride. They may not persecute Him, but they persecute His bride. And in doing so, they are doing it to Him.
Acts 9:4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
Matthew 25:40And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
Do not think that you are going to be friends with my husband and talk bad about his bride. It ain’t happening. The opposite is also true. Ask anyone, I have never said a bad thing about my hubby. We are one flesh. EX: Thanksgiving trip–I told a family member that hurled an accusation at my husband that if he was not accepted that I was not accepted.
I love Jesus and therefore I love what He loves. You cannot love Jesus without loving His bride. How are you talking about your brethren in Christ? How are you talking about other pastors? I have found that those who speak the truth get the most hate. Shame on you for attacking someone telling you the truth. Do you think Christ is pleased? He is not. Submit your mouth.
Ephesians 4:29-32 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary [a]edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, [b]clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
I know this is challenging, but your mouth must be submitted. We will answer for our idle and foolish words. Think before you speak. Think before you write it on FB. Not everyone needs to know your opinion. Spouses: start speaking highly of your spouse. Stop talking negative about each other and especially to others. God is not pleased. Get your mouth in check and you will talk highly of God’s holy church. Speak the words of life over yourself and others. Speak edification and not destruction. Speak things that are good, right, pure and true! Speak the truth in love. If your heart is bitter, keep your lips zipped.
Submit my body- I think this is a part of submission that people do not like to talk about. Just as I submit my physical body to my husband in the marriage covenant:
1 Corinthians 7:4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
And this is not just in the bedroom- I wear the clothes my husband likes me to wear and do not wear things he does not like. I wear makeup because my husband likes it. I do my hair the way my husband likes it. (I have told women the stories of my red hair—women’s retreat they all splashed me with red paint) I do not get any more tatoos because my husband does not like them on me. So, in the same way, we are to submit our physical body to the Lord Jesus- He says what I wear, or do not wear; what I put on my body or put in my body. There are things I do not eat or drink because the Holy Spirit has told me “NO” and I am submitted to His authority over my body:
“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.”
I Corinthians 3:16-17 NKJV
Paul goes on to say “Let no one deceive himself”. We deceive ourselves when we do not willingly submit to Christ’s authority over our lives and do what we want to do with our bodies. What part of “you are not your own, you were bought with a price” do you not understand? I do not take any medication unless I pray about it first- Paxil
Why? Because my body belongs to the Lord. Do you ask the Lord before you put things in or on your body? Do you listen when the Spirit is telling you to not wear something? Or to no eat or drink something? Or do you say, “I am free to do all my will”?? This is not submission.
Isaiah 4:1And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying,
“We will eat our own food and wear our own apparel; Only let us be called by your name, To take away our reproach.”
I preached a whole sermon on this Scripture- it is a reference to the end time, lukewarm church as it fits no other period in Israel’s history. We want to maintain our own autonomy and be called by His name at the same time. This is not possible. Wives- surrender your body to your husband and stop using it as a tool. Church- surrender your body to the Lord. It is a holy and beautiful temple for the Holy Spirit. Begin seeing your body as a holy temple and it will change the way you do things. You are not your own
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