I don’t think Jesus uses the word “submit” or “surrender” when explaining to the disciples what is required of them, but he uses similar ideas.  A small selection of verses with Jesus’ instructions to his disciples:

Matthew 10:37-39:

Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  (38)  And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.  (39)  Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

John 8:31-36:

(31)  So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,  (32)  and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  (33)  They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”  (34)  Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.  (35)  The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever.  (36)  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

John 15:8-15:

By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.  As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.  (10)  If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.  (11)  These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.  (12)  “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.  (13)  Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.  (14)  You are my friends if you do what I command you.  (15)  No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

A disciple of Jesus needs to CHOOSE to take up his cross and follow Jesus.  The purpose of a cross is to crucify something on.  We have to crucify our service to sin, or die to serving sin and choose to live to serve God.  That is what life in Christ is about.  We don’t have to make that choice, but once we do, we have to  follow Christ’s commands.

If a person considers surrender to Christ’s commands a violation of free will, that person has not understood Christ’s message.

If a person chooses not to follow Jesus’ teachings, that person must face the consequences.   Submission to Christ, actually sets us free – free from submission to sin.  We either serve God and Jesus or we serve sin.  One, through God’s grace, results in eternal life the other in eternal death.

Proverbs 1:28-33:

Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but will not find me.  (29)  Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD,  (30)  would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof,  (31)  therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way, and have their fill of their own devices.  (32)  For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them;  (33)  but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”


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