Submission to others, in the Fear of The Lord!


“Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
And do not be drunk with wine, in which is excess, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting yourselves to one another in the fear of God”
   Ephesians 5:147-21.

“Submitting yourselves one to another, in the fear of the Lord”. . .  As was so many other admonishments, this was written to the church.  I wonder, if anyone still remembers what that means.  How do you submit to another person; one thing for sure, it is going to take a good dose of meekness to do it.  It seems, that too many have forgotten, that we really are supposed to humble ourselves before one another.  The very idea of us “preferring our brother or sister,” has become old school; outdated.  Why is that.

And before anyone throws a hook in this, it did not say, that everyone was to submit themselves to one person.  It said, one to another.  I feel like saying something.

Somehow, we’ve gotten some things turned around.  I believe, that before you are any kind of leader, you are first, a brother or sister in Christ.  When laity, stops being as important as clergy, something is amiss.

If you don’t make a good brother or sister in the Lord, I don’t see how you can claim to be someone in authority.  When a minister cannot submit to his own brothers and sisters in the church, in the fear of the Lord, we have a serious problem.  Does it not make spiritual sense, that a good leader, should also be submissive to his people; should he or she, also not prefer them over himself or herself.  But that takes meekness, and love.

There is an old line, that says, “No man is an island” (John Donne).  Do our ministers, even submit themselves to one another?  If the Lord has given another minister a word for them, are they willing to hear it?  Or are they exempt from what any other brother or sister has to say?

Is it not true, that Jesus Christ, sat his disciples down and knelt before them, hung the towel over his arm, and washed their feet?  In regard to that, I don’t see how we came up with all of this authority shift, and paying homage to those who don’t have to return it.  I agree with others; you’ll never get away with teaching these kind of things in most assemblies; even if it is the truth.  And that, should not be.

Yes, we are to honor those whom God has placed in leadership, in the Lord’s house.  But that, includes all of the ministry; and even they, must also be submissive to one another.  Jesus Christ built this church.  Does anyone think, that He did not know human behavior?

Can you imagine, that the King of Glory, would not have been thoughtful or smart enough, to put checks and balances in His own body?  Not to do so, does not even make sense.  A well balanced Church, with every part, jointly fitted together.

I really don’t how to say this; but I’ll try.  If any person, whether they say they are a minister, a leader or someone we call a saint, cannot first greet me as a brother in Christ, I’m not much interested in what they have to say.  I will try to greet them in an humble way, the best that I can.  After that, I don’t feel I owe them anything else.

If I reach out my hand to try to love and respect you, it seems, that the least you can do, is return the same.  True love, has no rank.  It really should be, Christ in us, the hope of glory. It just might be, that leaving off “in the fear of the Lord,” has caused us to err.


Robert Blackburn Robert Blackburn



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