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The term submission has two words. The word "sub" which means "under" and "mission" which means "purpose" or "goal". From a Christian perspective, submission then means to place ourselves under or yield to God's purpose or goal. This would also mean to place ourselves under those whom God has placed over us. To submit or to be submissive is to be obedient to some requirements or authority and it is the very act of submitting to or being under that authority or control of someone or something.

God in his divine wisdom has designed us as a body and some in the body have been given the role of a leader (Ephesians 4: 11 ). God has placed in the church Pastors and elders to help fulfill the purpose of his kingdom. They shepherd, guide and offer teachings to the body of Christ. In Hebrews 13:7, 17 we read "Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith" ... "Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. l peter 5 :5 "In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble."

From this passage I want to make the following consideration. Firstly, we must remember our leaders who spoke and speaks the word of God to us. Remembrance here is not just to bring into memory what has been said but rather acting on what we have been taught by men and women of God. In this we are able to stay true to our God inspired 2019 theme "The Evidence of God's Grace" (Acts 11 :23).

Secondly, we must consider the outcome of their conduct. Elders are to model brotherly love as clearly put in Hebrews 13: 1-6. They must be imitators of Christ. More than lording it over to people, spiritual authority has the obligation to Christ to love, feed and protect the flock of God (Acts 20:28, 1 Peter 5:2, 1 Timothy 4: 16). A manifestation of true faith must be evident in the life of spiritual authority (Hebrews 13: 15-16).
Thirdly, we must obey our leaders. To obey does not mean blind obedience. The term translated "obey" (Greek peithesthe) is not blind obedience but rather obedience after thoughtful consideration (1 Peter 5:2-3). We follow and obey leaders who themselves are followers of Christ (Hebrews 1 :2-3, 3: 1 ). Paul was bold enough to ask believers to follow him as he followed Christ (I Corinthians 11: 1 ).

Fourthly, we must submit to our spiritual authority. Biblical submission is not inferiority or slavery. It is a willing subordination (Ephesians 5:21). It is about functional relationship of agape (unconditional) love to God first and then to man (1 Timothy 5:17; 1 Thessalonian 5:12). Lastly, we must pray for our leaders. Hebrews 13: 18 the bible says, "Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way". Praying for our leaders as a church is not optional. If our desire is to see God's greatness in our church, then we must pray for our pastoral leadership. When we support them, we grow both individually and corporately. The more Aaron and Hur held Moses' hands the better Joshua and the team were in the battle field (Exodus 17: 11-14 ). In conclusion may I say that rebellion against structures of authority put by God is to rebel against God. We must endeavor to build a healthy leadership culture where each supporting ligament does its work so that the whole body of Christ is built up.

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