Four Myths About Submission In The Christian Life
- Saturday, July 01, 2006
I remember years ago hearing the motivational speaker Zig Ziglar. I like him. He is from Mississippi and used to be a salesman. He gives sage advice, especially to salesmen. When I was a manager for Ashland Chemical, I took my salesmen to hear him. He said a lot of good things that really helped us, but the thing I remember most was his introduction of himself. He said, “Hi, I am Mrs. Ziglar’s happy husband!” I have since used that line many times. “I am just Mae Milton’s happy husband.” “I am John Michael Milton’s happy daddy.” Why say that? You know why: Love. Love delights in assuming the identity of the one loved, in marriage, in friendship, even in work.
My friend, giving your life to the Lord Jesus Christ will not be a loss of identity. Submission is a sweet surrender that brings sonship.
Hi, I am the forgiven sinner, the slave set free, the happy child of the One I love.
Myth 3 — Submission Is a Loss of Purpose
“For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him” (John 17:2).
Jesus has a very narrow purpose. He is the Mediator of the Covenant. He is the High Priest, holy and unblemished, to go before the Father to present us righteous. He is the Lamb of God to be slain for the sins of His people. “You shall call His name Jesus for He shall save His people from their sins.”6 This is a very limiting role. Paul’s letter to the Philippians speaks about how He submitted to His Father’s will:
And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:8-11).
Submission to God the Father caused Jesus to realize His purpose.
Jesus tells us that when we are crucified to self, we live. He tells us that whoever saves his life will lose it and whoever loses his life for Jesus’ sake finds it. Thus, A.W. Tozer wrote,
People who are crucified with Christ have three distinct marks:
1. they are facing only one direction,
2. they can never turn back, and
3. they no longer have plans of their own.7
And Bonhoeffer rightly said, “When Christ calls a man, He bids Him come and die.”8
But to die to sin, to the old self, is not to lose your purpose for life. It is to find it.
If you ever get tired of my six sermons on John 17, please remember that Martyn Lloyd-Jones has four volumes on John 17! This man, Lloyd-Jones, is one of the most fascinating figures in twentieth century church history. This man from humble beginnings in South Wales was trained as a physician at St. Bartholomew’s in London, a noted medical school and training ground for world-class doctors. He became a surgeon and was, in fact, an official surgeon to the British monarchy. His wife was also a physician. But God called Him to the ministry. He left St. Bartholomew’s and the staff of the Queen to preach the gospel to coal miners in South Wales.
The London Times ran a feature story on this. The whole angle was: How could a prominent young London physician possibly leave all the money and trappings and respect and honor of his position to give his years to poor coal miners in Wales? His answer? “I gave up nothing. I gain all. It is an honor to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
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