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What is the meaning of the word "submitting" in Eph 5:21?



      

Ephesians 5:21

ESV - 21 Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Clarify Share Report Asked May 07 2013 Mini Anonymous

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Closeup Jennifer Rothnie Supporter Housewife, Artist, Perpetually Curious
'Hupotasso', the word here and elsewhere in the passage used for submit, means to arrange oneself or place oneself under something or someone. It has strong connotations of a willing placement under authority.

For example, the soldier who enlists in the army would be operating under this manner of subjection (he agrees to place himself under the rules of the army and the authority of his supervisor) - wheras a captured slave forced to fight, or even a drafted soldier would not have this same sort of submission (theirs being forced, or at the least without choice).

This submission is willingly taken deference - it is irrespective of social status, nature, substance, wealth, etc. Christ submitted to His father, despite being equal in substance and nature, because Christ was the son and heir. (John 5:30, John 12:49-50, John 14:28, Phil 2:5-8, Luke 22:42, 1 Cor 11:3, 1 Cor 15:27-28)

Another example is the Romans, who were enamored with greek culture. Rich romans of high social status would often place their sons under the tutelage of greek scholars. In these cases, the socially superior were willingly submitting to those viewed as inferior.

As such, when Eph 5:21 says "be subject to one another in the fear of Christ", it is deepening of the thought that we must esteem others before ourselves (Phil 2:3) and love our neighbor (Rom 13:8). It is also building from the argument and example of Christ Himself (Eph 5:2), and the culmination of a discourse on how to walk strictly with Christ (Eph 5:15-21).

When we submit to others, by extension we must put their will and their needs above our own. In this way we make ourselves servants, following the example of Christ, to each other. (Gal 5:15, Matt 20:26-28)

Subjection to each other, the subjection of wives to husbands, children to parents, citizens to governing authorities etc - these are all parallel duties to subjection to Christ. None of them replace our service to Christ, rather they stem from our subjection to Christ. As such, abiding with Christ will compel us to serve one another in love, but if we are asked to do something that is contrary to Christ, we will not serve in that manner. Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah refused to bow down to Nebuchadnezzar's statue - not because they had no respect for their king, but because their respect for the king only came from their higher respect of the True King.

October 30 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report


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Mini John Greene
Hebrews 13:17, is how to understand submit and the reason why Remember the Epistles are letters written to the churches, to those who had already experienced salvation, Acts 2:38. And are instructions on how to live for God. God bless.

May 07 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Stringio Keith Inglis Rokinram
To be equal in your love for your husband as is that of a Godly Husband to move through your life together as one entity in Gods Eyes to prosper and provide God with Godly Children as they are on loan from God and how you bring them up is dependant on how much of their adult life they spend with you is rewarded to you in your later years

June 21 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Mini STANLEY S. DRANE
When we submit to God, we become more willing to obey his command to submit to others, that is to subordinate our rights to theirs.

January 15 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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