Showing Submission


I.         We have spent a good deal of time showing the fact that Christians are to be in submission to various authorities.

            A.        Some of these relationships are voluntary, some are involuntary, but in all cases submission must be shown.

            B.        However, how is submission shown? How do place yourself in submission?

II.        Submission is obedience without grumbling

            A.        Jesus learned obedience - Phil 2:5-8

            B.        Slaves were told to obey their masters - Col 3:22

            C.        Resistance to government is resistance towards God - Rom 13:2

            D.        This is why Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” - John 14:15

            E.        But what if he asks me to do something wrong?

                        1.         To follow would be to disobey God. You would not be in subjection to God.

                        2.         Everyone in authority has one over him who reigns supreme. We must recognize that chain of command, even if those immediately above us do not. - Acts 5:29

            F.        What if I don’t like what is asked?

                        1.         Then you are not in submission.

                        2.         Did Paul like the Roman government?

                        3.         Do slaves like harsh masters?

III.       Submission is shown by giving honor

            A.        I Pet 3:6 - Sarah called Abraham Lord.

            B.        Pray for our kings - I Tim 2:1-3

                        1.         I want you to notice how Paul concludes this idea of praying for rulers in verse 8 – without discussion (no arguments).

            C.        Honor the king - I Pet 2:17

IV.      Submission is shown by meekness and quietness

            A.        Jesus did not speak against his abusers - I Pet 2:21

            B.        Paul’s instruction towards rulers - Tit 3:1-2

            C.        Women are to learn with quietness - I Tim 2:11-12, I Cor. 14:34

V.        Submission is even shown by dress

            A.        When talking about submission, notice Paul’s instructions - I Tim 2:9-10

            B.        How a person dress often reveals the character of their heart

                        1.         (Illustration) Which man is submissive, meek, obedient?

                        2.         Preacher – you can’t tell me how to dress! Perhaps, but can you not see the lack of submission in such a statement?

                        3.         Which man is the upstanding citizen who gives honor to the governor, the mayor, or the police officer?

                        4.         Paul talked about women, but the principles apply to men as well.

                        5.         A woman dressed to snare the eyes of other men is not in submission to her husband.

                        6.         A woman dressed provocatively does not give the impression she is obedient to God.

VI.      The item of dress that upsets women today - I Cor 11:3-16

            A.        Men

                        1.         Wearing anything on the head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head (Christ) - vs 4

                        2.         A man ought not to have his head covered - vs 7

                        3.         It is a dishonor for a man to have long hair - vs 14

            B.        Women

                        1.         Having her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head (man) - vs 5

                        2.         Let her cover her head - vs 6

                        3.         It is improper for a woman to pray uncovered - vs 13

                        4.         Long hair is a woman’s glory - Vs 16

            C.        Two items are under consideration which indicate subjection

                        1.         Length of hair

                        2.         A covering while praying and prophesying

            D.        Objections and their answer

                        1.         It a woman has long hair, then that is her covering

                                    a.         This does not match the Greek where the word for covering means an artificial covering

                                    b.         Even in English translations, if you try to substitute long hair for covering, you get nonsensical statements, such as verse 6: For if a woman does not have long hair, let her also have her hair cut off, but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her have long hair.

                                                (1)       If you don’t have long hair, then you should have short hair??

                                    c.         The idea in these verses is some thing that was put on when praying and prophesying and could be put off when not. This cannot be done with one’s length of hair.

                                    d.         What about verse 15?

                                                (1)       The word for covering here is a different Greek word from the previous verses which literally means clothing. (See also Hebrews 11:12)

                                                (2)       Long hair is a woman’s natural covering and Paul is arguing that therefore women ought to accept the artificial covering.

                        2.         It was limited to the times of miracles

                                    a.         The problem is prayer is not a miraculous gift.

                                    b.         Also, none of Paul’s arguments for the head covering involve miracles.

                        3.         It was a local custom.

                                    a.         The question is whose custom?

                                    b.         Too many look at modern Moslems and assume this has always been the practice in that region.

                                    c.         The Greek practice was for men and women to worship their gods with their heads uncovered. See the example from a plate.

                                                (1)       Robertson: “The Greeks (both men and women) remained bareheaded in public prayer . . .”

                                                (2)       The Life and Epistles of St. Paul : “It is true that the Greek practice was to keep the head uncovered at their religious rites (as Grotius and Wetstein have remarked). . .”

                                    d.         The Roman practice was for men and women to worship their gods with their heads covered. See the examples from friezes.

                                                (1)       Virgil in the Aenid: “And our heads are shrouded before the altar with a Phrygian vestment.”

                                    e.         The Jewish practice was for men (and women?) to be covered while worshiping God.

                                                (1)       The Life and Epistles of St. Paul : “On their [the Jews] entrance into the building, the four-cornered Tallith was first place like a veil over the head, or like a scarf over the shoulders.”

                                                (2)       Vine: “Among the Jews the heads of the men were covered in the synagogue.”

                                                (3)       II Cor 3:14-15 - The Jews veiled themselves when reading the Law.

                                    f.         Paul’s command for men to be uncovered and women to be covered did not match any practice of that time.

                                                (1)       Expositor’s Greek Testament: “Paul’s instructions do not agree precisely with current practice. Jewish men covered their heads; amongst the Greeks both sexes worshiped with uncovered heads.”

                                                (2)       Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges: “In the remarkable fact that the practice here enjoined is neither Jewish, which required men to be veiled in prayer, nor Greek, which required both men and women to be unveiled, but particularly to Christians.”

                        4.         What about verse 16?

                                    a.         Paul spends a great deal of effort defending the practice of women wearing a covering

                                                (1)       It is no greater than a woman’s long hair (vs. 6, 15)

                                                (2)       It is a sign of the birth order (vs. 8)

                                                (3)       It is a sign of the purpose of women (vs. 9)

                                                (4)       It is a sign of authority (vs. 10)

                                    b.         Given all of this, Paul issues a challenge: “Is it proper for a woman to pray with her head uncovered?” (Vs. 13)

                                    c.         If anyone is contentious (fond of strife), we have no other (no such, no such-like) custom

                                                (1)       Some see Paul saying, “if you don’t like it, no one else practices it anyway”

                                                            (a)       Then Paul’s reasoning was worthless.

                                                            (b)       It would be the first time Paul yielded to the contentious.

                                                (2)       The only proper way to read this is Paul is saying we don’t have any alternative practice. This is the way all the churches practice prayer and prophecy.

            E.        History

                        1.         History is not proof, but it does show us what Christians had believed.

                        2.         See various paintings from the Roman catacombs of early Christians. The lifted hands indicates prayer as in I Timothy 2:8

VII.     Submission is not just a claim, but it is something shown

            A.        Like faith - James 2:18

            B.        Show your submission by the things you do, so all the world may know you are a follower of God.

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