Summary: Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority. - 1 Peter 2:13 There is an interesting parallel in societies when they lose respect for leaders or the system of government other levels ..
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority. - 1 Peter 2:13
There is an interesting parallel in societies when they lose respect for leaders or the system of government other levels of authority are also not respected. Family structure at times can not be respected or authorities in other areas of life including spiritual authorities in the Church. Jesus lived a life as an example of how we can respect authorities and submit to them while still doing the will of God. He also set the precedent in the New Covenant of submission to leadership in the body of Christ. The Apostles were not on an equal footing with Jesus but rather submitted to him as their teacher and master. In the same way the Apostles became spiritual leaders and fathers to other believers in the Church. And where there were new believers their laid hands on new leaders, Deacons and Overseers. In the days of Jesus there was great respect and submission in the family structure. This carried over to secular and religious life as well. In the early Church believers submitted to and followed the Apostolic leaders. Though the disciples did not always agree with choices Jesus made they still submitted and obeyed his directions. Jesus did not just teach his Disciples but he guided them in life decisions as they lived with him constantly traveling.
In modern thinking and societies to have complete independent thinking apart from any authority is esteemed and considered right. To place oneself under authority is almost considered archaic and limiting in one's life. Lack of respect and commitment for marriage, membership in a Church body, and even secular leadership are markers of the spirit of rebellion and unsubmission. Doing it my way without anyone telling me what I should do, is not freedom but actually bondage. The way of wisdom and life is to seek counsel, to be under spiritual authority which cares and loves for your soul. Many believers feel they can do things themselves, they can self-medicate themselves, and try and by-pass the need for true shepherds and spiritual oversight in their life. We place ourselves in a dangerous place when we see no need for others in the body of Christ, especially those God has gifted to be Overseers in the Church. We can at times not agree with a spiritual leader, and even see wrong characteristics in them, or worse yet be hurt in some way. One is not required to be submitted to authority that is abused and does not seek the good of those it is caring for. We do have to have a measure of trust in God's leaders who are called to serve the body of Christ, no leader is perfect and all will make mistakes in trying to help care for the Church. So whether it is secular, familial, or the Church, may God give us grace to submit ourselves for the Lord's sake.