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Submission to Christ’s Lordship

ArticlesSubmission to Christ's Lordship

The Scriptures declare that in order to be Christ’s disciples we must have ourselves disciplined by His Word. This demands submission to the Lordship of our Lord Jesus Christ in every detail of our lives. Obedience deepens our understanding of God, and makes our worship meaningful.

Charles Colson writes:

Obedience is the beginning of the Christian life: Obedience is essential to truly living as a Christian … It takes courage to be obedient, courage found only in total dependence on the Holy Spirit.

It is pertinent to point out here that there is no obedience without submission. Arrogance and obedience cannot sail in the same boat.

I do not believe, therefore, that the Modern preachers and followers characterized by pride and self can submit to God. It is impossible to incarcerate light and darkness in the same room. Pride and submission cannot go together. A proud man does not submit to the Lord, but to his own will, ego and desires; thus placing himself at a distance from God. Arrogance places emphases wrongly. In other words, only those things that exonerate pride are emphasized, while those things that demand humility are not stressed. For instance, truth is not stressed, but love is.

The tendency in New Generation Churches is to emphasize unity and love to the detriment of the truth. Anyone who contends for the faith is regarded as an odd person in their midst. “Those who put ‘unity’ ahead of truth and fail to rebuke today’s false values and superficiality among Christians (and especially the many charismatics who reject the call to repent of false teachings as ‘negative’ and insist that we are now in the greatest revival in history) will do well to take seriously the prediction made during the famous Azusa street revival in Los Angeles in 1906. The prediction says:

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In the last days three things will happen in the Great Pentecostal Movement:

  1. There will be an overemphasis on power, rather than on righteousness;
  2. There will be overemphasis on praise, to a God they no longer pray to;
  3. There will be an overemphasis on the gifts of the Spirit – rather than on the Lordship of Christ.

This prediction made many decades ago is in its fulfilment stage now.

Let us analyse it one after the other;

  1. The emphasis on power in Pentecostal Churches now out‑weighs emphasis on righteousness. In modern Christianity, what people are looking for is power, no matter the source. Power is the ultimate, irrespective of one’s standing with God. Indeed, no one talks of one’s relationship with God today. That has become old fashioned. The only thing that counts now is how powerful one’s power is. The followers of Modern theology go from one crusade to the other or one fellowship to the other in search of power. One of such “power” preachers was advertised on the television in Jos; and when he came from Lagos, people from all New Generation Churches flocked the scene. The “man of God” preached and preached, pulled out his cloth and threw it in the midst of his standing audience. Many of them fell on the floor, and he said it was the power of the Holy Ghost that pushed them down. That was the first night. The information spread everywhere in town was “a very powerful preacher is in town. His anointing is everywhere, even in his garments”. People rushed to him the following and subsequent nights and he used his “powers” to make them fall to the ground for no just reasons. Power, power, power is the talk everywhere among the modern preachers. Where then is our relationship with God?
  2. The prediction also stated that praises would take over prayer. Take a look at the New Generation Churches in Nigeria and you will not go too far to realize that “praises”, meaningful and none‑meaningful, have dominated Pentecostal worships and taken over prayer. Worldly music coupled with worldly dance has been imported into the Church in the name of praises. Think about Reggae, Soul, Rock, Rap, High‑life, Calypso etc. The Church has imported them irrespective of the spirits behind them. In these praises, the words of the songs are overshadowed by the sounds of the instruments. Sometimes if the words are audible, they are meaningless. Go to what the new generation believers call Night‑Vigil, you will find out that the neighbourhood is seriously disturbed by the sounds of the instruments and praises – very little time is allotted to prayer, yet it is called night‑vigil. The little time allotted to prayer is taken over by sounds with questionable sources.
    1. The prediction also says that more emphasis would be given to the gifts of the Spirit rather than the Lordship of Jesus Christ. No right‑thinking man will deny this fact. Contemporary pastors overemphasize tongue-speaking today. If someone is a Christian and does not speak in tongues, they see him as a none christian. On the other hand, if someone whose life is unspiritual speaks in tongues, he is regarded as a great Christian with the “inflow” of the Holy Spirit. For them, what matters is not the place of Christ in one’s life, but the ability to speak in tongues. The Lordship of Jesus Christ is deemphasized today for the benefit of tongues‑speaking. The arrogance of those who speak in tongues cannot allow Christ to be their Lord.
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The new generation believers should reconsider their beliefs. The right thing to do is to compare them with the teachings of the Bible which is the only guide we have as Christians with the illumination of the Holy Spirit. Any teaching however laudable it might be, outside the Bible is not of God, but of the devil.

Let us therefore return to Biblical Christianity, that is God’s plan for mankind. Again, any teaching that is not based on holiness and obedience is not God’s (John 14:23-24). Nothing can substitute obedience in our relationship with God.

We lack stability and strength and joy in our lives if we are not willing to submit to God’s discipline. It is through obedience to God’s Word that we are shaped and formed into the pattern He has planned so that He can use us for His glory.

By Rev. Daniel Sopuru

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