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Luciano Vinci
Jul 12th 2012, 02:08 AM
Some of my favorite worship songs speak of surrender to God, and in many wonderful sermons and teachings I have heard the idea of surrender, yet I have yet to find any specific verses tied to this concept. It seems that we are more to present ourselves instruments of righteousness or living sacrifices, etc.

The problem I have with surrender is its implications. It is a passive word. Basically we surrender our will as though God is fighting us and has beaten us at war and now we must do His will. Not only don't I see anything in the Bible specifically refer to surrender, it doesn't even seem to be implied.

Are we not rather to present ourselves as sacrifices, rather than surrendering ourselves to the slaughter? Even Jesus did not really surrender, He gave/presented His life as a ransom. He told us that no man could take His life, He gave His life. Jesus was not passive, He was on a mission.

Not a great theological topic and not very controversial since it probably doesn't make much difference, however, I think our attitude should be less passive and more active in giving ourselves away.

Old man
Jul 12th 2012, 02:28 AM
The problem I have with surrender is its implications. It is a passive word. Basically we surrender our will as though God is fighting us and has beaten us at war and now we must do His will. Not only don't I see anything in the Bible specifically refer to surrender, it doesn't even seem to be implied.

Hi Luciano; I will have to look into this, but I think I would start with the idea of surrender looking at it from the point of view not that God has been fight with us but that we have been fighting against Him. I think the idea of "humbling" ourselves would fit more along the lines of surrender than anything I can think of at the moment. But again I will look into it tonight. Good question. :hmm:

Luciano Vinci
Jul 12th 2012, 03:02 AM
Hi Luciano; I will have to look into this, but I think I would start with the idea of surrender looking at it from the point of view not that God has been fight with us but that we have been fighting against Him. I think the idea of "humbling" ourselves would fit more along the lines of surrender than anything I can think of at the moment. But again I will look into it tonight. Good question. :hmm:

Even humbling is a troublesome word when it is used passively and not actively. For instance, a dear brother in my church always says: "Lord, please humble me." However, the Bible makes it clear that we should "humble ourselves." God only humbles the proud, and they never ask to be humbled, its automatic. I think its dangerous to ask God to humble us, its better if we follow the Biblical pattern of humbling ourselves.

Similarly, isn't it better for us to "present" our bodies a living sacrifice, than to surrender our bodies to God? The first is a freewill offering, the second seems onerous or burdensome. Kind of like the difference between the Levitical Priesthood of the OT which "took" tithes of the people and the Melchisedek Priesthood of the NT which "receives" the tithes we present to Him.

watchinginawe
Jul 12th 2012, 04:48 AM
Some of my favorite worship songs speak of surrender to God, and in many wonderful sermons and teachings I have heard the idea of surrender, yet I have yet to find any specific verses tied to this concept. It seems that we are more to present ourselves instruments of righteousness or living sacrifices, etc.

The problem I have with surrender is its implications. It is a passive word. Basically we surrender our will as though God is fighting us and has beaten us at war and now we must do His will. Not only don't I see anything in the Bible specifically refer to surrender, it doesn't even seem to be implied.

Are we not rather to present ourselves as sacrifices, rather than surrendering ourselves to the slaughter? Even Jesus did not really surrender, He gave/presented His life as a ransom. He told us that no man could take His life, He gave His life. Jesus was not passive, He was on a mission.

Not a great theological topic and not very controversial since it probably doesn't make much difference, however, I think our attitude should be less passive and more active in giving ourselves away. Luciano, I think you view surrender too narrowly. Why can surrender not be "more active in giving ourselves away"?

Anyway, I am sympathetic to your thought, but I think you are inpugning the word "surrender" unnecessarily. Here are a couple of passages to consider.

Consider "yield ye your members as instruments" below...

Romans 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. ... 19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

Yield above, which is a synonym of "surrender", is the same word as "present" in the below:

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Consider "ceased from his own works" below...

Hebrews 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. 11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

What do you make of Paul's testimony?

Acts 26:1-20

Consider the concept of "put on" and "peace" in the following:

Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Luciano Vinci
Jul 12th 2012, 05:48 AM
Watchinginawe, if you notice all the verses you quoted are active words. Even the word yield is not what we think of in the English language. Yield is a passive word in English. For instance in yielding at an intersection you are allowing others to move before you. But this is not the meaning of yield in this verse. Like you pointed out, its better rendered "present."

"put on" is active. We would all like Christ to put these wonderful attributes on us; however, we are commanded to put them on ourselves. I would be great at loving my enemies and my neighbors if Christ put it on me. I just don't think it works that way. We must put it on.

we must "labor" (active) to enter His rest (passive). Its hard work to enter His rest. And even His rest ain't that restful. These verses reference Canaan, the land full of giants, Jericho and all types of "ites." Yet, God called it His rest, because in Canaan God would fight for us, and we would rest from all our labors.

adampjr
Jul 12th 2012, 05:51 AM
"Surrender" is not in any way passive. It was one of the most difficult things to do.

watchinginawe
Jul 12th 2012, 06:04 AM
Watchinginawe, if you notice all the verses you quoted are active words. Even the word yield is not what we think of in the English language. Yield is a passive word in English. For instance in yielding at an intersection you are allowing others to move before you. But this is not the meaning of yield in this verse. Like you pointed out, its better rendered "present."

"put on" is active. We would all like Christ to put these wonderful attributes on us; however, we are commanded to put them on ourselves. I would be great at loving my enemies and my neighbors if Christ put it on me. I just don't think it works that way. We must put it on.

we must "labor" (active) to enter His rest (passive). Its hard work to enter His rest. And even His rest ain't that restful. These verses reference Canaan, the land full of giants, Jericho and all types of "ites." Yet, God called it His rest, because in Canaan God would fight for us, and we would rest from all our labors.

That is my point. You insist that surrender is "passive" in a way that it can't be any of the things you see that are active.

Here is a definition of surrender:

verb (used without object)
6. to give oneself up, as into the power of another; submit or yield.

Anyway, I predicated my post with a question and gave some examples of how you might be narrowly looking at surrender as a Christian concept. If you don't like the word but agree with the passages, then we have no quarrel. :)

Dani H
Jul 12th 2012, 06:18 AM
Surrender is really just a submission to the authority of one mightier than oneself. It most certainly is not passive because from submission comes obedience. Reporting for duty, submitting, presenting ourselves, yielding --- same same. The end result is obedience to God and doing things His way.

Luciano Vinci
Jul 12th 2012, 06:57 AM
Surrender is really just a submission to the authority of one mightier than oneself. It most certainly is not passive because from submission comes obedience. Reporting for duty, submitting, presenting ourselves, yielding --- same same. The end result is obedience to God and doing things His way.

I guess it boils down to willingly and unwillingly. I guess the problem I have with surrender is that it intones defeat. For instance no one surrenders for duty, they report and present themselves willingly. Wives don't surrender to the will of their husbands because he is a stronger power, they submit because husbands love their wives. We love God, because He first loved us. Prisoners don't submit willingly, they surrender due to their circumstance. Bond-servants, however, willingly submit, serve and are obedient to their masters. A bond-servant chooses to remain in the house of his master, the slave surrenders his will because he is over powered or defeated in battle.

It may all boil down to semantics. My only concern is attitude. Should we be more proactive in our walk, speech, life, etc. These types of statements I have made and hear others make:

1. Lord, have your way. (so if I walk in my own way, it won't be my fault)
2. Lord, humble me. (so I don't have to humble myself)
3. Lord, if it be your will. (so I don't have to believe when I pray)
4. Lord, make me holy. (so I am not responsible for my own holiness)

We want so much to rid ourselves of responsibility, that we ask God to do for us, what He has commanded us to do ourselves. It costs us nothing to surrender, but it costs us much to present.

adampjr
Jul 12th 2012, 07:21 AM
I guess it boils down to willingly and unwillingly. I guess the problem I have with surrender is that it intones defeat. For instance no one surrenders for duty, they report and present themselves willingly. Wives don't surrender to the will of their husbands because he is a stronger power, they submit because husbands love their wives. We love God, because He first loved us. Prisoners don't submit willingly, they surrender due to their circumstance. Bond-servants, however, willingly submit, serve and are obedient to their masters. A bond-servant chooses to remain in the house of his master, the slave surrenders his will because he is over powered or defeated in battle.

It may all boil down to semantics. My only concern is attitude. Should we be more proactive in our walk, speech, life, etc. These types of statements I have made and hear others make:

1. Lord, have your way. (so if I walk in my own way, it won't be my fault)
2. Lord, humble me. (so I don't have to humble myself)
3. Lord, if it be your will. (so I don't have to believe when I pray)
4. Lord, make me holy. (so I am not responsible for my own holiness)

We want so much to rid ourselves of responsibility, that we ask God to do for us, what He has commanded us to do ourselves. It costs us nothing to surrender, but it costs us much to present.

I agree that we should walk in his way, humble ourselves, and take responsibility for our own holiness. But, it must be pointed out that the word doulos, so often loosely translated as bond-servant, means slave.

Dani H
Jul 12th 2012, 03:07 PM
I guess it boils down to willingly and unwillingly. I guess the problem I have with surrender is that it intones defeat. For instance no one surrenders for duty, they report and present themselves willingly. Wives don't surrender to the will of their husbands because he is a stronger power, they submit because husbands love their wives. We love God, because He first loved us. Prisoners don't submit willingly, they surrender due to their circumstance. Bond-servants, however, willingly submit, serve and are obedient to their masters. A bond-servant chooses to remain in the house of his master, the slave surrenders his will because he is over powered or defeated in battle.

It may all boil down to semantics. My only concern is attitude. Should we be more proactive in our walk, speech, life, etc. These types of statements I have made and hear others make:

1. Lord, have your way. (so if I walk in my own way, it won't be my fault)
2. Lord, humble me. (so I don't have to humble myself)
3. Lord, if it be your will. (so I don't have to believe when I pray)
4. Lord, make me holy. (so I am not responsible for my own holiness)

We want so much to rid ourselves of responsibility, that we ask God to do for us, what He has commanded us to do ourselves. It costs us nothing to surrender, but it costs us much to present.

If you're making a conscious choice to submit willingly, then the only thing defeated when submitting to God, is your own unwillingness and the things within yourself that run contrary to Him. YOU will NOT be defeated (as a person) because your IDENTITY is IN HIM.

It's about who and what you're submitting TO. We all submit, daily, to something or someone. To our own lusts and desires and pride, to other people's manipulations, to the way we were conditioned as children and whatnot. Sin of course brings its own power to the table and we submit to it, too.

Whoever/whatever you submit to, has power over you. Figure out who has the power to begin with, then take that power and give it to God, because He is the only one that it rightfully belongs to, since everything was created by Him, for Him, and through Him. Paul made that very clear in Romans. We're already submitted. Everyone is. To something, or someone. Just make sure it's God. You do that by a conscious decision.

Submission to God is the right thing to do and puts everything else right also, as it was designed from the beginning.

It's not about the act of submission in and of itself. It's about how it's done and to whom that matters. Submission to God is right and true and puts us back in that place of dignity that sin robs us of. And, God isn't going to browbeat us. He simply says "do this" and then lets us choose whether or not we're going to. Because God already knows how He has created us and what we actually bring to the table.

It therefore has nothing to do with secretly wanting to pawn off responsibility to God, because submission to Him is still our decision. And we are responsible for it. God isn't going to do anything for me that He's put firmly in my hands to take responsibility for, and has given me the capacity to do.

But, Jesus did say "without Me you can't do anything" so it all has to start with Him. He should have the final say-so on what matters, because He came to make everything right and put all things in their proper order. It's about who we defer final authority to when it comes to our decision-making process, really. The wise person defers such authority to God, recognizing that it's already His to begin with. Recognition has everything to do with it, really. Recognition of the lies and replacing them with truth. It's the truth we know that sets us free. And grace and truth came with Jesus Christ. It all goes together and is a continuous thought in Scripture from start to finish.

But you're also correct that God tells us to humble ourselves. He tells us to clean ourselves from filth. He tells us to be holy. He tells us to choose who we're going to serve. It's a very proactive, engaging, deliberate process we are called to participate in daily. Love is an action verb. But the power for it once the decision gets made ... is God's grace backing us up when we choose rightly. Because He then works within us by His power to accomplish that which we cannot.

Repentance starts with an inward decision, a recognition of truth and a yielding to it and a rejecting of the lie(s). What follows then are the fruit of repentance, the outward change and the proof that something has inwardly taken place where nobody could see except God and the inward person. Every outward act is the direct result of an inward decision, every time, and most things in life boil down directly to some struggle over power and control. Well, how about we start with self-control, which is actually a fruit of the Spirit.

These things are all in Scripture already, if we care to read the Bible for what it actually says rather than imposing our own traditional conditioned learning onto its pages. The Bible exposes human behavior and our true condition for what it is, and offers a perfectly reasonable explanation for it all, along with solutions to the problems that beset us. It's the original psychology book long before there ever was a Freud, because people haven't changed, and God never changes. :)

Sorry for the wall of text. I hope you understand where I'm coming from.

Luciano Vinci
Jul 12th 2012, 03:23 PM
Hello Dani, I think you may have missed my point. I agree wholeheartedly with your definition of submission. But I am not asking about submission, I am asking if there is a Biblical basis for surrender.

Dani H
Jul 12th 2012, 03:36 PM
Hello Dani, I think you may have missed my point. I agree wholeheartedly with your definition of submission. But I am not asking about submission, I am asking if there is a Biblical basis for surrender.

Yes, because surrender and submission are the same thing. It's a willful yielding to a greater authority.

Definitions:

sub·mit
   [suhb-mit]

verb (used with object)
1.
to give over or yield to the power or authority of another (often used reflexively).



sur·ren·der
   [suh-ren-der]

verb (used without object)
6.
to give oneself up, as into the power of another; submit or yield.

Source: dictionary.reference.com

Old man
Jul 12th 2012, 07:38 PM
I guess the problem I have with surrender is that it intones defeat.
Yes …. yes it does. But what is being defeated determines whether being defeated is a good or bad thing.


We love God, because He first loved us.
Because He first loved us is not a guarantee that we will love Him back. The unbelievers in the world are perfect example of that. Even though “For God so loved the world …” (John 3:16) they cling to what is right in their own eyes or “A way that seems right to a man …” (Prov. 14:12) instead of giving up (surrendering) their own ways and accepting God’s. In order to come (present themselves) to Him they must first give up or surrender the ways that seems right to them and admit that God's ways are right.


Prisoners don't submit willingly, they surrender due to their circumstance.
Yet Paul considered himself to be a prisoner of Christ. (Eph 4:10)


It may all boil down to semantics.
Much of it is simply semantics. Humbling, submitting, surrendering pretty much are all the same. Many of the OT and NT references where those words are used; the context is in the giving up (surrendering) of themselves to God and His plan instead of insisting on ours. “Not my will but Thine be done.” Jesus our very example of surrender to the Father’s will.



It costs us nothing to surrender, but it costs us much to present.
The opposite is true. It costs nothing to present. In fact presenting your self before God in no way implies that it is always in submission to God nor an admission that God is Lord. Satan certainly didn’t present himself before God in this mindset when he came before God in Job Ch 1. I’m not sure if it costs him anything when he comes (presents himself) before God and accuses the brethren. Presenting yourself means nothing without the “why” you are presenting yourself. IMO to present yourself simply means to show up in front of someone unless you show up to surrender, humble or submit yourself to them. To surrender one must give up everything of themselves. Surrendering to Christ will cost someone all they are, ever will be or ever hope to be. When we surrender all we are, ever will be or ever hope to be, we gain all He is, all He wants us to be and a hope that we will fulfill the purpose for which we have been created. We will never get that until we give up and surrender ourselves.