The Scriptural concept expressed by the word translated as “submission” communicates a type of yielding that relates to being under the authority of another in an orderly fashion. This has a military emphasis along with governmental structures, for both require submission in order to bring order and provide benefits to those under their authority. This is not the same concept as serving as a slave and therefore submitting is not servitude, Titus 2:9. In many cases, this type of submission has to be done voluntarily.

Christ submitted to His earthly parents because it was the right thing to do according to the law and righteousness, Luke 2:51. He was in the right in what He was doing, but at that time Joseph and Mary did not understand that Jesus would be about His Father’s business, for He had stayed in the Temple listening and questioning the teachers, so He submitted and went back to Nazareth, for the benefit it would bring to them.

A fleshly framed mind will not submit itself to the law of God, for it does not have the ability to submit. Romans 8:7. This is not referring to the Mosaic Law, but the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, Romans 8:2. A carnal mind will want to submit to the Mosaic Law so that it can justify itself through works, for it is not out from faith, Galatians 3:12, but a Christian is to live out from faith, Galatians 3:11, which requires a mind framed on the Spirit, Romans 8:5. Therefore, when we are Spiritual we will submit to the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus which will produce righteousness in our lives through faith. We see the impact of a carnal mind with Israel. Due to the Israelites seeking their own righteousness, they did not submit to the righteousness from God, Romans 10:3. For this righteousness does not say who will go to heaven and bring down the Messiah, or into Hades to bring Him back up, but rather it is the word of faith, that a Jew verbally agreeing that Jesus is Lord (God) and believing that He was raised from the dead, just as the Scripture stated He would be, Romans 10:6-10. We today can learn from this, and pay attention to what God is doing, submitting to the truth, especially when it comes to salvation, for salvation comes by believing that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures, not by our works, willingness to accept Him, or good character, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Corinthians 9:13.

The subjection to authorities is often misunderstood and abused. Authorities are setup by God for the purpose of punishing the wicked and rewarding the good, Romans 13:3. In order for an authority to function in a beneficial way, the people must submit to its rules and regulations. However, this does not give those in the government the right to rule over the people in a lawless manner, for they are God’s ministers for good, Romans 13:4. We are to submit to authorities for our conscience’s sake and so that we are ready in every good work, Titus 3:1.

The seventy that were sent out by Jesus to the Jews came back astonished that even the demons submit to His name, Luke 10:17. This type of submission still has to do with yielding to those in authority. For the angels do not blasphemy those in authority over them, 2 Peter 2:11. Jesus responds to their joy with instructing them rather to rejoice that their names are written in heaven over the demons being submissive, Luke 10:20.

Creation was submitted to futility because of Adam’s sin, yet not without hope, for God has promised He will remove the curse from the earth when the sons of God are manifested, Romans 8:20.

Within the marriage structure, the wife is to submit to her husband, Ephesians 5:22. This submission has to do with God’s direction in their lives and seeks the best for her, not putting her under his authority in every aspect of her life. She is actually to serve as the despot (master) of the house, 1 Timothy 5:14. Therefore, a wise husband will also submit to his wife, for within the Christian marriage they are both to yield to each other when necessary for order, Ephesians 5:21. If the husband is stepping on her all the time she will not be able to oversee the household and he will not be ensuring everything is orderly by properly managing the house, 1 Timothy 3:4. Therefore, it is a suitable thing for the wife to submit to her own husband, Colossians 3:18.

Submitting within the local assembly is also necessary for order, for all things are to be done in a proper manner and for the edification of the saints, 1 Corinthians 14:26. We are to submit to those who dedicate themselves to the service of the saints,1 Corinthians 16:16, for how can those who work and labor for us provide the benefits they seek to supply if we are not willing to submit? Within the local assembly the women are to submit to the teaching and remain silent. This is not saying that a woman cannot speak; rather, she is not to be running her jaw, but to be still so that she can learn. This has to do with the women spending time talking amongst themselves rather than listening, for it will interrupt the order of the assembly and distract from learning, 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. The younger men are to submit to the elders and we are all to submit to each other as necessary within the assembly so that we are being built up and knit together in love, 1 Peter 5:5. With this type of attitude and care for each other we will all stand together against heresy, not submitting to those who speak false things for even one hour, Galatians 2:5, for the assembly is for the edification of the saints to bring them to a oneness of the faith unto a mature man in Christ so that they are no longer tossed around by every wind of teaching, Ephesians 4:14.

When it comes to overcoming Satan, we are to submit to God, putting on the armor He has provided for us, and resist the Devil, which will cause him to flee, James 4:7.

Submission (ὑποτάσσω) is necessary within our lives to maintain order. Being subject to another’s authority is for the benefit that it brings and is not a position of servitude; rather, it is working together with others and allowing them to lead so that through their leadership we are able to benefit. Within the assembly we should be wise enough to know when to submit to each other, not holding on to a false authority by attempting to lord over the assembly, 1 Peter 5:3, but in humility yielding to one another so that we are all built up and edified.