The Story: We don’t much cotton to the notion of “submission” these days, but it is a resoundingly Biblical idea. Paul insists that submitting to one another in love is an indication of the filling of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5.18-21). When elders shepherd the flock of God so as to equip church members for ministry, the people should respond by being available to learn, grow, and serve under their leadership. All must be done with humility, not with any sense of “throwing our weight around” or trying to impress others. All believers are to be “clothed” with humility, making this a characteristic trait of the followers of Jesus. Thus the leaders of the Body of Christ and the Body as a whole put flesh on the humble example of the Lord Jesus Himself (Phil. 2.5-11), and demonstrate to the watching world that Jesus truly is alive from the dead.
The Structure: Humility is the natural posture of one ready to serve, as Jesus demonstrated in the upper room when He washed the disciples’ feet (Jn. 13.1-15). Do you suppose Peter may have had that embarrassing (for him) situation in mind as he penned these words? The world knows how to respond to what it regards as the arrogance, aloofness, and hypocrisy of the Christian community. What would it do if it ever observed us acting in true love, humility, and mutual submission toward one another?
With whom are you engaged in a relationship of mutual submission and service?
Each week’s studies in our Scriptorium column are available in a free PDF form, suitable for personal or group use. For this week’s study, “Living the Glory: 1 Peter 5,” simply click here
T. M. Moore
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.