God is a GARDENER who desires that his vineyard produces fruit.
What is the fruit God wishes to produce? (Gal 5:23-25, Eph 4:13, Col 1:27-29)
We are the BRANCHES from which the fruit buds and is displayed.
Jesus is the VINE which gives the eternal life to produce the fruit; we must remain in Jesus to have the life that produces God’s fruit.
Each of us MUST DECIDE: Do we want what God wants for us! Do we want, more than anything, to bear his fruit? Is maturity in Christ our goal, or are we simply “going to church” to get something else?
How do we Remain in CHRIST?
What is the first word we think of when we consider Jesus and his love? For how many of us is the word submission the first to come to mind? And yet, Jesus’ love was very much a submissive love. He submitted to the Father, yes; but he also submitted to lesser human beings for the sake of God’s eternal plan and out of concern for those he sought to save.
HEBREWS 5:7-8 – Jesus was reverently submissive to God and bore fruit.
LUKE 2:41-52, John 2:1-12 > As a son, Jesus submitted to imperfect parents.
MATTHEW 14:13-14 > Jesus submitted to the needs of people even when emotional.
MATTHEW 26:57-68 > Jesus submitted to sinful men in authority.
PHILIPPIANS 2:5-11 > Jesus submitted out of trust in God’s plan.
JOHN 14:31 – Jesus submitted to his Father out of love for his Father.
JOHN 14:15, 21, 23-24 – Submission to Jesus is evidence of love for Jesus.
JOHN 15:9-11 – Submission to the Father is how Jesus remained in the Father. Likewise, we remain in Jesus through obedience to him. How do we remain in Christ? By remaining under his lordship… by submission to his teachings, his example, his will. In whatever situation or circumstance we find ourselves, we remain in Jesus when we keep Jesus as Lord!
Are we remaining in Christ when it comes to biblical teachings on submission?
What is Submission? Submission is the willful decision to yield one’s own will to that of another, for the purposes of God’s glory, the church’s edification, and the spiritual welfare of the one to whom one chooses to submit.
What does Submission look like? Submission manifests as an attitude of heart and mind that says, “Pleasing the Lord, advancing his kingdom, and building up the church body is far, far more important than anything else I would want.” Therefore, one refuses to let his/her own pride, selfishness, or sense of entitlement undermine God’s greater purpose.
How do you recognize submission? When you are submissive…
You don’t just deny self, you embrace the crucified life! What’s the difference?
You will give up rights to protect unity and the spirituality of others (Romans 14:1-23; Galatians 5:13-14).
You think more about what others need than about what you want.
You feel a huge sense of responsibility, and no sense of entitlement.
You put up with leaders who make mistakes in order to protect God’s eternal plan.
You forgive people who hurt you in order to protect God’s eternal plan.
You make yourself as low and humble as necessary in order to protect and fulfill God’s eternal plan.
What does “submission out of reverence to Christ” mean? When we choose to submit to one another, to whom are we really submitting? When we refuse to submit to one another, to whom are we really saying “no, I will not submit to you”?
How are you doing when it comes to embracing the teaching to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ? Is this an area where you are remaining in Jesus, or have you chosen to cut yourself off from the vine? What fruit is coming from your willingness to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ?
Examine the “submission” dynamic in verses 5:22-6:9 (read Col 3:18-24)
How are you doing submitting to your spouse out of reverence for Christ?
Teens, middle schoolers, kids… how are you doing submitting to your parents?
Parents, how are you doing submitting your needs and desires to meet the needs (physical, emotional, spiritual) of your kids? Keep in mind, sometimes we have to submit our desire to have our kids like us in order to meet the need of what is best for them.
How are you doing submitting to legitimate (biblically ordained) authorities? Church leaders, government leaders, community leaders, organizational leaders, teachers, coaches, employers/bosses, etc? (2 Peter 2:9-10)
Matthew 20:25-28 > How should leaders in the church submit to followers?
Hebrews 13:7, 17 > How should followers in the church submit to leaders?
Rom 13:1-7, Acts 23:1-5 > How should disciples view and submit to government and other human authorities?
Numbers 14:1-38 > Who did the people consider themselves to be grumbling against? Who did God consider them to be grumbling against? What lesson might be learned from this?
Make no mistake, our willingness to submit to God is revealed by our willingness to submit to those to whom he commands we submit (one another).