HOW DOES AUTHORITY WORK?
Authority is like gravity, you work with it and it works with you, you go against it and you will have consequence.
Authority is a difficult and challenging subject to talk about because everyone one of us have had bad experiences with authority figures, yet, God’s Word has much to say about authority that is positive.
Think about the following definition...
“Authority means the right to command and to call us to obedience.”
Does Jesus have the authority to command us to “love one another as I have loved you?”
Does Jesus have the authority to call us to a life of faithfulness and obedience?
Authority is very important to God in spite of the current scandals in sports, government, religion and business that have left many people suspicious and critical of authority and authority figures.
Remember these three important elements...
1. All authority is delegated authority.
2.Authority requires us to be responsible and accountable.
3. Authority is meant to protect and to bless.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.
God has established authority to protect all of us in a fallen world marred by sin and selfishness.
God is the absolute authority in all of creation and has the right to call us to live by His rules.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
The written word reveals the living word.
2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Submission to the authority of God’s Word is basic to the health of our natural and our spiritual life.
Three examples of practical authority are at
2) in government
3) amongst the congregation.
Jesus modelled all three during His lifetime in word and deed. He has revealed to us the why behind how he lived.
“For I too am a man under authority.”
Jesus lived in submission to and under the authority of his foster father Joseph and his mother Mary until He was 30 years of age.
Jesus lived at home under delegated authority.
He submitted to the governing authorities as a business man in Nazareth and even paid taxes to Caesar while in public ministry.
Jesus showed Himself to be responsible and accountable.
His habit was to be in the synagogue every Sabbath to honour God, honour his family and honour his extended family in community life.
Jesus lived protected and blessed.
What is God doing with our lives?
The plan and purpose of God is to conform us to the image of His Son in character and behaviour.
Followers of Jesus must be able to demonstrate that they too know how to live under authority.
For he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer.
We are required to obey the law as an act of obedience to God who has established the law.
Like Jesus, we first learn about authority at home.
We should see it modelled in words and deeds.
Where Godly spiritual habits are formed through training.
Husband. Wife. Children. A story of mutual submission.
SHARE THE BOUNCED CHEQUE STORY
Peter and John were confronted with an abuse of authority when they were forbidden to preach the gospel.
But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge.
Followers of Jesus, when faced with authority that requires us to disobey God’s moral and righteous Word are justified in not cooperating. Godly character is essential at this point.
And God reserves the right to deal with those who misuse His delegated authority.
The centerpiece of all God is doing in the earth today is building His church.
“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock (that Jesus is the Messiah) I will build my church.
Jesus made a very clear statement about the work He was doing in the earth in the flesh and...
In the spirit after He ascended to heaven, “I will build My church…”
He says to us today, “Will you join Me as I change the eternal destines of the lives of men and women bound by sin all over the world?”
It is all about living a life ON MISSION with Jesus.
Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account.
Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
Church leaders are His delegated authorities to His sheep.
He calls us to respect, honour and cooperate with church leadership as they equip us to serve.
Rebellion towards authority
Rebellion is the unwillingness to be ruled by any source other than self.
Having an independent spirit.
Showing disrespect or contempt towards authority of all kinds.
Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.
Left untreated, rebellion will poison our whole attitude towards authority and leave us with itching ears.
- STORY -
A WENT ONE or SENT ONE
- If you ever start a church (out from under my current authority) we will go with you.
- Represent a national ministry in Canada - you don’t have to finish your bible school courses, we will just go ahead and ordain you.
“If you go down this path remember that every seed reproduces after it’s own kind. As a went one, you will never have the authority to call anyone else to wait and become a sent one.”
2 Timothy 4:3 (ITCHING EARS)
3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth.
Itching ears means we longer desire objective truth that deals with our sin and immaturity…
We seek out subjective truth that justifies our independent lifestyle.
These people have untreated spiritual wounds in the area of authority which they use as traction to avoid being part of a local body.
God peals back the heavens to give us a glimpse into Lucifer’s rebellion towards God’s authority that will result in his being cast out of heaven to the earth.
Lucifer’s rebellion is played out daily in those who reject God’s authority.
God calls us to pray to for those in authority because their work is not easy and prayer is not easy.
1 Timothy 2:1-2
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,
2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
Pray for our leaders at home, church, school, work, government - for everyone that is in a position of authority.
Three points about understanding authority that will help us grow up are...
1. It is to be understood that all authority is delegated authority.
2. It requires us to be both responsible and accountable.
3. It is meant to protect us and to bless us.