Originally scheduled for May 20
There is a passage of Scripture in which it
appears that wives are commanded to be in submission to their
husbands. The passage ends with the comparison, "as the church is to
Jesus Christ." The concept that a Christian wife should be in
submission to her husband is extremely unpopular today. It is seldom
preached. One unfortunate side effect of this fact is that we seldom
hear of the submission of the church to Jesus Christ. I must leave
to the listener the question of a wife's submission to her husband;
but I would hope that there is no doubt that the church is to be in
submission to Jesus Christ.
A Christian wife might well ask, "Why should I
be in submission to my husband?" The church might ask the same
question of Jesus Christ; the answers are quite clear.
First, we are in submission to Christ
because he is our creator — both of the universe as a whole and the
church in particular. Without Christ, the church does not exist.
It is Christ who purchased our
salvation and forgiveness. If there is no salvation, of what use is
Christ is the source of wisdom which
guides the church. That alone is sufficient for submission; if you
know who has the right answer, it makes sense to follow Him.
Finally, it is explicitly stated in
the Scripture that all authority is given to Jesus Christ. We may
safely presume that includes authority over the church. Thus the
church should be in submission to him.
In communion we have a visible sign of the
church is submission to Christ.
In communion we acknowledge his
sacrifice on the cross.
By taking communion we proclaim
ourselves be members of the community which has received salvation.
To do these things we have not
invented our own ritual. Rather, even in acknowledging him as our
Lord, we use the pattern that he set forth.
Being in submission to Jesus Christ carries
with it certain implications. The most obvious one is that we are to
obey his commands; if you call him Lord, you do what he says. He has
given you his commands concerning this communion. You are to examine
yourself, conducting yourself in repentance for your sins and
seeking his strength as well as his forgiveness. Then, in accord
with his command, you are to take communion "in a worthy manner."
Let each of us examine himself, bringing our sins to the cross and
then accepted the sacrifice which makes us whole.