Submission is not a dirty word.
JULY 20, 2022
Submission is not a dirty word. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
This is Key Life here to let Christians know that God isn’t mad at them. Keep listening and you’ll hear that because of what Jesus has done, you’re welcomed home into the family of God because of his radical grace, free from the penalties of sin and never alone in your suffering.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible open to the 15th chapter of Acts. We’re spending a good deal of time here cause this is an important chapter. This is the first meeting, the universal meeting, the general assembly or the convention, the national convention, the first one in the history of the church. And some things were decided that were very important. That would change the church, forever. And by looking at what was happening there and how it happened, we’re learning some things about church government, and we’re learning some things about a church meeting. We have seen a number of things. We have seen, for instance, the necessity of arbitration, the necessity of everyone being valued and heard, the necessity of a Biblical norm. I’ve said it before. Our norm is not Robert’s Rules of Order, it is the Old and New Testament. The necessity of a strong leader, I wrote a book one time, I wrote it for pastors, but the publishers decided that I needed to make it broader in it’s market, so it would sell more books. The book was called No More Mr. Nice Guy. And it was published in some other languages, when they published it in England, they called it, they titled it, Don’t Let Them Sit on You. And the cover had an elephant sitting on this little guy, but at any rate, I wrote it for pastors. And the importance of boldness for all Christians, of standing up and speaking truth. And that’s been a lot of years ago, shortly after I wrote that book, I was doing the Spurgeon lectures at a seminary in Denver. And my friend Haddon Robinson was the president. And, I was speaking at a luncheon for pastors and I’d said to them, you know, you’ve got to lead. God doesn’t lead by committees, he leads with anointed leaders. And then I talked about that for a long time, about in the middle of my speech, Haddon Robinson walked in the back, he had been in another meeting and he said, Steve, could I say something? And I said, of course, you’re the president, say whatever you want. He came up, and I thought he was just going to cut my legs off. I should have known better, Haddon never did that. But he stood before all these pastors and he said, listen to me, I spend my life going to churches all over this country. And you listen to what Steve is saying. God leads through leaders. And if you’re called to lead, for God’s sake lead. Leaders are really important. And then, right along with that, there’s a necessity of submission. And you go, oh no, not that. Well, it’s a different kind of submission. Just as when the Scripture talks about wives submitting to husbands, is different than what you think. Submission in the church, is different than what a lot of people think. In Ephesians, when Paul is teaching about marriage, he says.
Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church.
How did Christ love the church? He gave his life. He went to the cross for the church. And until you’re willing to give your life. And to go to the cross for the people to whom God has called you, then you’re not a leader. And that puts a whole new spin on it. And leaders need to lead, but they also need to explain and to talk and to make sure that people know exactly where they’re going and that people know that they can trust the leader and follow the leader. George Buttrick, who was the famous pastor at University Church, early years ago, there was a book written called Sermons from a University Church. And George Buttrick was a tremendous man of God and thoughtful and a scholar, but he used to say to seminary students, there’s certain things you can’t say to your congregation until you’ve been with him a year. And there are other things you can’t say to your congregation until you’ve been with him five years. And some things you can’t say until you’ve been there 10 years. What was he talking about? If you’re going lead, earn it, love it, make sure that people know you and trust you, your gentleness and your wisdom, your willingness to say I was wrong, your willingness to lead in the hard places. Leadership is given by God as a gift to the church, but leaders are to be the most Christlike people in the church. One of my dear friends, Jack Miller, he’s the one who said.
All of Christianity can be summed up in two sentences. First, cheer up, you’re a lot worse than you think you are. And secondly, cheer up, God’s grace is a lot bigger than you think it is.
But he taught that the most repentant person in the congregation needed to be the pastor. I would expand that, I would say any leader in the church, whatever organization, whatever place, an elder or deacon or the head of the men’s ministry of the women’s ministry or finance committee, the leader needs to be the most repentant one. And once that is clear, for heaven’s sake, lead. You think about that. Amen.
Well, it’s Wednesday. And sometimes when I have the time, I’ll take some time to answer one or two questions. And we love to get your questions here. You can, at any time, day or night, you can pick up the phone, dial 1-800-KEY-LIFE and record your question. And sometimes we put your voice on the air. Or you can write to
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Or you can e-mail your question to [email protected]. And we’ll take you and your question seriously. Oh, by the way, if you can help us financially, please do. For every dollar that you give you get one free sin. No, I can’t say that. I mean, I want to say it, but the sins are all free. That’s why Jesus died for you, but help us if you can. And I promise we’ll be faithful with your gift. And we’ll rise up and call you blessed. All right, let’s turn to one or two of these questions. This is an e-mail. Why all the denominations? How can I choose one denomination over the others? Well, the simple, wise, short answer is become a Presbyterian . And if you believe that, you’ll believe anything. Why the denominations? That’s the first part of the question, because we’re sinners, that’s why. And secondly, because we’re different, that’s why. And thirdly, because God doesn’t want us to kill each other, that’s why. As a matter of fact, we really are different. We see things different. We think different. We like worship that is different. And God said, find somebody kind of like you. And then go build a church. And from that church, if I honor it, you can build a denomination. And this thing will work a lot better with less blood on the floor. So denominations happen, simply because, we’re different. We’re wired differently. Aren’t you glad? You know, aren’t you glad that we are different and we ought to affirm and accept and rejoice in those differences. But because we are different, we have a tendency, a human tendency that sometimes can be a sinful tendency, when it becomes provincial and narrow and us versus them. But when it’s working right, it’s just a way to express something that we’ve all experienced in a different way. Okay, then how can you decide which denomination to be a part of? Well, Jack, I mean, ask the denominational leader or the pastor, what they believe, why they believe it and how they express it. And do that in a number of places. And when you find a place, not one, you can agree with totally, that doesn’t exist. But when you can find a church that’s pretty close to your proclivities, the way you are wired, what you think, then fill out an application for membership, join up and become a part of it. And that’s with one provision, when you’re looking for a church, make sure that Christ is exalted, make sure that the Scriptures are taught and believed, make sure that people do their best to love each other. And then join the club and become a part of it. Okay. Why is it wrong to cuss and use cuss words? Is it a sin? Yeah, but sometimes they’re words that express powerful emotions that we couldn’t express without them. You say, you are kidding? No, I’m not. The Bible does that too. Maybe I’ll talk about it some other time, but don’t, okay? It offends people. And it means you don’t have a good vocabulary. I’ve got to go. Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.