Summary: A series of sermons from Richard Foster’s book "Celebration of Discipline." A top 10 book for any Christian!
CELEBRATION OF DISCIPLINE: SUBMISSION
The purpose of any spiritual discipline is freedom. The discipline is a tool to aid us in our spiritual lives. Each discipline has value only when we keep God in perspective… and each discipline brings freedom. I want to stress that the disciplines bring freedom because the discipline we speak about this morning is often seen as the opposite of freedom.
READ MATTHEW 5:44
READ MATTHEW 5:39
READ MARK 8:34
I. THE FREEDOM OF SUBMISSION
You may be asking, what freedom comes with submission? It is the ability to lay down
the terrible burden of always needing to get our own way. The obsession to demand our own way is one of the greatest of bondages in society today. It frees you from stewing alone and keeping grudges. Submission is giving into one another. Submission means allowing others to have the advantage at times. It means, “turning the other cheek.” It means, “denying yourself and taking up the cross.” Submission is the ability to say, “it’s no big deal.”
The Bible and its teachings on submission focus on the spirit with which we view other people. The Bible teaches an inner attitude of mutual subordination. [repeat] It is with this inner spirit of submission that we are free to value other people and love them. We are free to give up our own rights for the good of others. You are free to “pray for those who persecute you.” You are free to “turn the other cheek.”
II. THE DEFINTION OF “SUBMISSION”
The cornerstone for the biblical understanding of submission comes from Jesus’
statement in Mark 8:34. Self-denial is not something we want to do. Self-denial gives us images of groveling on our knees in tears or self-hatred. Jesus means self-denial not in a self-hating way, but in a manner in which we come to understand we do not have to have our own way. Our happiness is not dependent on getting what we want. I want to say again that this attitude of submission frees us to give towards others.
Jesus was the ultimate example and pattern for us when it comes to submission. He gave us a pattern for submission in all of our relationships. Submission is not just something for husbands and wives, but for all our relationships. We, as Christians, are to follow Christ’s example and submit to one another in love for the betterment of each person. He prayed in the Garden of Eden, “not My will, but Your will.” That is submission. Jesus submitted Himself to torture and death on a cross for you and for me. That is submission.
ILLUSTRATION… Robert C. Shannon in James W. Cox, The Minister’s Manual, 1995, p. 347
Celsus was the first great skeptic. He once asked, "What has Jesus given to the world that that no one else has given?" Someone answered, "Himself!" Yes, that’s Jesus’ magnificent, stunning gift to the world. He gave himself! He gave himself not only in submission upon the cross but also in power in the resurrection.
III. AREAS OF SUBMISSION
A. TO GOD
1) We should live our lives yielding to God and say in our hearts, “As you will, what you will, when you will it” (a Kempis).