The ability to submit is vital to our eternal salvation. Surely all serious Bible students understand the essential need to “submit yourselves therefore to God” (James 4:7). Rebellion against Him will certainly lead to damnation.
But there is another area where submission is also necessary – in our relationships with one another. In fact, this willingness to submit to each other is an indirect form of submission to God (Colossians 3:22-24). Sadly, too many Christians fail in this crucial area.
Understand, of course, that we are not discussing areas where truth and righteousness are involved. In those matters we ought not to yield or compromise at all. When Paul was confronted by false teachers he “gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour” (Galatians 2:5). Thus, the only area wherein submission to one another is possible and necessary is in judgment, opinion, and expediency.
But in these judgment matters, unfortunately, some are determined to have their way – and at all cost! It seems that it does not register on their ‘radar’ that their stubborn argumentation and consistent griping and complaining is so terribly detrimental to peace and unity. They are doggedly insistent on things being done their way and to their liking – or else!!! Many congregations have been torn asunder by these folks. They may not realize it, but their conduct puts them squarely in the corner of their forerunner Diotrephes (3 John 9,10).
A consistent plea throughout the restoration movement was: “In matters of faith, unity; in matters of opinion, liberty; in all things, love.” That statement clearly sets forth the worthy principles of devotion and commitment to truth, and humble submission in matters of opinion and judgment. Let us all observe these godly concepts. And let us be especially mindful of the need for submission. Think!
– by Greg Gwin