How are we to obey those who rule over us?
In the church there is organized leadership that is marked by servanthood.
“Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you” (Hebrews 13:17). This means those who lead, govern or guide, we are to respect and honor and serve them as they are appointed to serve us. They are to give an account to God for how they serve us so we should do whatever we can to make it pleasant.
In some respects we are all equals in the body of Christ, in other respects we have leadership. but the submission does only go one way.
1 Peter 5:5: “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility…” (Also Ephesians 5:21 and 1 Thessalonians 5:13).
Not all pastors act as servants,what happens when a shepherd is acting more like pharaoh? His position of authority is abused and the church then becomes like a cult. Jesus always gave people choices and did not force them or coerce them to do what is right. He would explain what is right so they understood why he did what He did. this did not involve blind obedience.
Eph 5:18-21: “Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, v.21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.”
This is one of the affects of being filled with the Spirit, humility is present and a willingness to allow others to speak even to correct us. But we cannot submit to those we cannot trust. Trust is proven by ones actions not just words.
1 Cor. 11:3 A positional hierarchy in the family; the same as Eph 5:22 the subjection of the wife to her husband
Ephesians 5:22 states, “Wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife as also Christ is the head of the Church and He is Savior of the body. Therefore just as the Church is subject to Christ so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.”
Scripture says, We are to submit to one another - Eph 5:21 We are to submit those who rule over us in the faith. Younger Christians are to submit to the elders, and to one another as well, even as we submit to God - 1 Pet. 5:5-7.
Submission is an integral part of Christianity, if one does not submit to the higher authorities how can they submit to those lesser authorities. If one does not submit to authority it may show they are in rebellion, Submission is directly linked to humility.
Phil. 2:5-8 Jesus submitted to his higher authority - the Father and to his lower authority- his parents while he was in a submissive state as a man on earth he still obeyed them.
Heb. 13:17 We are to submit to the ordinances of government - 1 Pet. 2:13-15; Unless they go against God’s authority.
Most importantly is our submission to the word, whether we are in full time ministry or not at all.