"I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you* all."
The word “Authority” by definition means having power or the sanction to initiate action or a call to action, ▸It’s the power to make decisions to tell people what to do. It’s the power to influence other people because they respect your opinions or knowledge of a subject matter. This means the one that possesses authority is sanctioned and has been given the right to give out orders, give instructions, or to delegate power to someone else, with the added responsibility to see to it that each order, instruction and assignment are followed and carried out in full. The more you read the Bible, the more you discover that this Bible is pregnant with many examples of how God historically carried out his divine will for man in this world as well as how he delegated and sanctioned authority to various nations, Israel, Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, people and individuals from all walks of life; so all the works and wishes of God would be made manifested and carried out in the lives of all nations and people.
II. Examples of the Influence of God's Authority
God’s authority showed up in kings like David, Solomon, Josiah, Hezekiah and Jehoshaphat whenever they made kingdom proclamations that led the people to follow the one true God while fighting tyranny against all the enemies of Israel. His authority showed up in prophets like Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel while they were preaching and prophesying, moving the heart of the people away from idolatry and debauchery and toward the true worship of Yahweh even in the times of captivity many. It showed up in warriors like Joshua, Gideon; statesmen like Daniel and Joseph; judges like Deborah, Jephthah, and Samson.But, I believe the "greatest example" of walking in "Godly Authority" is shown at its apex in the life and ministry of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
As you can plainly see, everyone who walked in authority gave directions, they followed directions and they all carried out directions. Some of them, particularly in the Old Testament, usually were required to make a sign… submit to an oath… or make a personal covenant with the one of that empowered them, solemnly pledging both to their leader and to God that they would completely uphold the responsibilities entrusted to them.
III. Modern Application:
The charge and responsibilities given to people in the bible is in fact no different than the charge God gives to every child of God from the preacher to the last member in the church pew today. To carry out our charge, every commissioned child of God has been given 3 things directly from God: "authority", "empowerment", and "a mandate to preach, teach or share in witness the "Word of God to a dying world"... to be instant in season and out of season…"to reprove, rebuke and exhort with all longsuffering". The reeason this was the mandate is: because God knew the time would and has come when people won’t endure "sound doctrine"… but after their own lust have chosen to embrace, follow “heaping” to themselves" false preachers and false teachers", because of “itching ears”, Many will and have turned away from the truth in the Word of God and turned toward "vain philosophy" and "worldly fables".
IV. Who's to Blame?
Now, you can’t blame everybody in the ministry for the error of those ministers and teachers that do mislead. Many people will turn away because they’ve already made the choice to turn anyway, even though they sit under some “sound preachers and teachers preaching and teaching the truth. So it must stand to reason that it is important that the modern church remain sound doctrinally and successful evangelistically in this present age,… The Lord said in the latter days that he would pour out his Spirit upon all flesh. He said that our sons and daughters will prophesy. God said young men shall see visions and the older men will dream dreams. But in order to do this great evangelistic work, every member of the church must walk in unity and the authority of God…
V. How is it to be Done?
A. Member Realization: Submission to God
Now, in order to successfully walk in unified godly authority, each member must first realize everything about our lives must be submitted under God’s authority…You see, we are not our own … The Bible said we have been bought with a price…A price that was paid for by the precious blood of our Savior Jesus Christ.! And since where there is authority, there has to be both unity and order, all of us has a moral, biblical, spiritual obligation and a charge from God to follow true pastoral leadership as that leadership follows Christ… God made a covenant with the church (I’m talking about you and me you and me) that requires that we all are "just in our dealings"… "faithful in all of our engagements" … and that we "exemplify Christian conduct in all that we do, think, or say"..
1. Remember the Pledge:
We made a solemn pledge that’ makes up the “preamble” of the church’s covenant: “Having been led, as we believed… by the Spirit of God…to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior… and on the profession of our faith… having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost… we do now in the presence of God, angels and this assembly most solemnly and joyfully have entered into covenant relations with one another as one body in Christ"…. I’m talking about walking in Godly Authority!
2. There are 2 "TYPES" of "Authority"
When it comes to godly authority, first of all, we must recognize that there are 2 basic types of authority.
A. “Intrinsic authority”
“Intrinsic authority” is the “flagship” from which all other authority originates and also is designated. God, not man is the only one that possesses this kind of authority. That is because God (Elohim) himself is Intrinsic! His has both Alpha authority and Omega Authority:“Alpha” authority because the first verse of Genesis 1:1 sums it up: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth! And “Omega” authority because in Revelation 22:18-19, God sounds a stern warning to all who dare to add to or take away anything that has been written in the word of God then he seals the whole book with the last word in the 21th verse and said “AMEN”.. Not only that, but he lets us know that when he comes back, he’s not coming back empty handed, because he’s coming back judging and rewarding.
B. “Derived” authority.
"Derived Authority" is “designated” authority” given to us by the ONE True God who is greater authority than all of us. Whatever authority we are privileged to have… whether it’s in the church… in our homes…on our jobs… or out in the street… God gave us that authority. Not only does that, but this place us further under God’s “intrinsic authority”, and it also means whatever we do in this life or in the life to come…it has to be done God’s way! It means all to Jesus we must surrender and all to HIM we must freely give.
One important thing we must remember is no matter how much authority in this life we are blessed to have, none of us will ever have as much authority than Almighty God,…None of us will ever be omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, not even immutable. There is a good reason why I said that!
VI. Dangerous Doctrinal Belief Exposed!: Rebutted
Many people across this great country are not aware, but there is a fast growing erroneous and dangerous belief floating around the modern church in this enlightened age, a belief that is so “jacked up” and blasphemous, that it trying to breathe life in the words of the “serpent” of Genesis 3:5 Here’s what he said: God knows “ the day that you eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened and you shall be as gods knowing good and evil. Do you hear what Satan really said to Adam, Eve and us: If you eat of the tree, you will be enlightened and shall be as God knowing good and evil, eat the fruit; you will equal to him; eat the fruit; you will become rivals with him; eat the fruit; it will make you sovereign too…if you eat the fruit, you no longer have to be God’s subjects; you can be self-sufficient, self-preserved and no longer dependent on God’s principles, precepts or any of his truths." "You shall know everything good and evil, that is, if it is to be known, you will know all of it.
My brothers and sisters: How absurd can you get! First of all, none of us have a heaven to put anyone in or a hell to keep anyone out of…and you ought to know by now just knowing good and evil won’t put us on equal footing with God. As a matter of fact: it got our ancestors kicked out of paradise and in need of a Savior. That’s why we are born in sin and shaped in iniquity!
There are some prominent preachers, scholars and teachers across this great country teaching the "erroneous belief" that "we are like gods", when the fact is the "only thing" that’s eternal about man is his soul and the Spirit that God gave him. What actually happens at death? Glad yo asked that question!
First at death, the physical body goes back to the earth. God said from dust thou art and unto dust thou shall return. Second, God’s breath, his spirit will return back to him when we die, but our souls will spend eternity somewhere! Now, what about our souls? Glad you asked that question too! Where our soul will spend eternity depends upon who we serve on this side of life: If we serve Jesus Christ, our soul will be with him. If we don’t, our “condemned” soul will eternally lost; and yes I said "condemned" because Jesus said in John 3:18: "Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son".
The "unrepentant" and "condemned" soul first will go in hell. Then, 1000 years later after the "Millenial Reign" of Jesus Christ, at the Great White Throne Judgment for unbelievers, The "judgment books' will be opened and one of those books will be the Book" of Life" everyone standing in this awful judgment will be judged out of those books according to their works. If their names are not written in the Lamb's book of Life, their souls then will be cast in the "Lake of Fire" for eternal torment and banished forever from the presence of God which is called the "second death!
Let us set the record straight! Just because Jesus said we will be able to do the same works he did on earth and even greater works than those he did do… does not and will not make any one of us equal to or greater than God…nor will it make us gods. Just because the Spirit of the Lord now dwells inside every believer in Christ Jesus and empowers each and every one of us to do great works does not mean we are or he has made us “little gods”…
I’ll tell you what it does mean. It means that we have been brought out of darkness into His marvelous light. It means that he place all of our feet on Straight Street and has given us all eternal light but we are still human and not gods! So to make sure that we didn’t get the big head,…God in his infinite wisdom told the Apostle Paul to tells us in Romans 13:1- 2 that as long as we are on this earth, every child of God must subject themselves, that is “humble and submit” themselves to the “governing authorities” designated by God for 2 reasons: first: because when you submit to them you are really submitting to HIM. Second, because no matter the branch of authority, it will never get any higher than Yahweh!.
I'm sure you have heard this analogy of God: God is so high…you can’t get over him…so low… you can’t get under him…so wide…you can’t get around him…and the truth is … you can’t get nothing done unless… you get if done through him… Jesus said…I am the way…the truth…and the life….No man can come unto the father but by me!…That means somewhere along the way, when the road gets rough and the going gets tough and the hills get so hard to climb, when you need the Lord to make a way out of no way…you’ve got to say Father I stretch my hands to thee…No other…help I know….if thou… withdraw thyself from me….where…..shall I go???
VII. Important Points to Remember:
A. Responsibility and Accountability
With any and all authority comes responsibility. This is why “to whom much is given, much more is required”. God will not empower you just for you to sit on your stool of do nothing and do nothing…because God gets no glory out of our nothingness…No …and if any of us have been empowered… that’s what derived authority does…then God expects us the church to go from these walls in the hedges, the highways and byways and compel others to come into the sheepfold.… to go and make disciples… and hold up the blood strained banner of his church!…and hold it up until we die
B. Time Sensitive: Don't Get The "Bighead"
You need to remember…as we walk in God’s authority is all of our authority on this earth is temporary and is subject to change at any time…sometimes, without warning! It behooves us never to get too "full of ourselves"… just because you are in charge now…you won’t always be in charge… John the Baptist gives us a great example of the attitude we must have… When John was asked who he was, John simply replied No, "I’m not the Christ"!…"I’m just a voice crying in the wilderness… Prepare ye the way of the LORD"…. John realized that" he was not the Light, but he had been sent from God to testify to the true LIGHT"... He realized that he had derived authority… he also realized that he came to bear witness to the INTRINSIC AUTHORITY. Remember, it wasn’t about John!… it was about Jesus! And at some point John the Baptist had to decrease… so Jesus could increase, and John said this himself.. We may be in authority at the moment…but at some point we must decrease so Christ can increase in us!! Don’t ever get hung up in positions…and began to act "iconic"! God gave you that " judicial position"… but God’s more concerned about your spiritual condition...
C. Don't Forget:
1. Don’t ever forget that “real church” is not an “institution”… it’s not a building… it’s not an organization…no, the real church is an holy organism… that’s built on the profession of faith in Jesus Christ.. Jesus said "Upon this rock …I will build my church …and the gates of hell will not prevail against it"!…He didn’t say that hell won’t get in it … the reason HELL GETS IN THE CHURCH is because every now and then hell gets in us…and we bring it and raise hell up in the church…but I come to tell you that none of it won’t prevail…No weapon that forms against the church will prosper nor prevail! That means God knows how to get hell out of his church…starting with getting hell out of us!
2. We are God’s "organisms" …We are his sheep and the sheep of his pasture…We are not wolves in sheep’s clothing…Whenever we come to the church building, are to enter into HIS gates (the church) with thanksgiving…and into his court (that’s the sanctuary in the church) with praise….We are to be thankful… and bless HIS name!…WHY?…Because the LORD is GOOD… HIS mercy is EVERLASTING… and HIS TRUTH endures throughout ALL GENERATIONS… We are his witnesses… bearing witness that Jesus is our Savior and our Lord… that he is the way…the truth and the life…
3. We’re not an earthly organization that’s run by pomp and circumstances…. We are a heavenly organism bound for the Promised land…The Apostle Peter said we are a “peculiar people… a royal priesthood…an holy nation. …So if you are walking in the authority of God, you have a charge to keep and a God to glorify, who gave his Son, our souls to save and fitted for the sky. You got to serve in this present age, your calling to fulfill. Oh made it all your power to engage, you’ve got to do your master’s will.
VIII. 4 Steps to A Unified Walk in Godly Authority
Finally, God gives us a “4-step program” on how to walk in the unity of His authority
A. Paul tells us that the first step is to recognize that walking in God’s authority means service and that you are a servant, and a “prisoner” of God.
Paul said "walk worthy of the vocation you’ve been called to. Walk with all lowliness, in meekness with longsuffering and have forbearance for one another in love…(that means you got to strain and bear some things sometimes ) .Why? because none of us are perfect ….in other words because we must be longsuffering…the songwriter put it best… please be patient with me… God is not through with me yet… When God gets through with me…I will come forth as pure gold. And when the road gets rough and the going gets tough and the hills seems so hard to climb…just keep telling yourself…I’m struggling…I’m straining… but I’m on my way home"!.. Paul also said in the first step that we are to endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace…
There’s a good reason for that too… We are supposed to be peace makers…not truce breakers!…So the truth is when you really talk about walking in unity under the authority of God… you are really talking about the kind of personal conduct you display on this Christian journey…If your heart is fixed…your mind is made up… and your conduct is right…. You will have no problem walking in unity...and in the spirit of love… That’s the walk of the true church: a “spiritual” and "unified" walk…It’s called the "Power of One” Principle: ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM, ONE BODY, in ONE SPIRIT because there is ONE GOD and he is FATHER OF ALL…because he is ABOVE ALL ….THROUGH ALL… and IN US ALL!
(And when you translate it in layman’s terms it means: "watching over one another in brotherly love… remembering each other in prayer… aiding each other in sickness and in distress…cultivating Christian sympathy in our feelings…in extending courtesy… and in our speech… being slow to take offense… but always ready for reconciliation…because we are mindful of all of the rules of our Savior and seek them without delay).
B. "Recognize that every good and perfect gift comes from our “risen” Christ" , then, "recognize the gifts he has given us," …and then "embrace them" their purposes in our life: and…finally.."stir up the gifts in you"…
All of us have been given grace through Christ… All of us have been given both spiritual gifts to use on this Christian journey… as well as the fruit of the Holy Spirit …because all that we do while we walk in the authority of God… must be done with the right attitude… done decently and in order…Paul said: Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not charity (love) I become as a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal… Paul said…you can have the gift of prophecy… understand all mysteries and have all knowledge… possess mountain moving faith…take everything you got and feed the poor…even give your body to be burned…but…if you don’t have love…not only am you nothing in the eyes of God… but…you won’t even profit from what you do! …
God places us in strategic places because God is perfecting all the saints for the sacred work of the ministry until we all come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God…. I said God is perfecting us… making and molding us into the fullness of Christ… so we will stop being like children tossed to and fro….here and there….up and down.. almost leveled to the ground… carried away by every wind of doctrine… by the sleight of man and cunning craftiness both laying in wait and looking for the opportunity to turn you away from the Lord…If you are going to walk in the authority of God… you got to speak the truth in love….and grow up..
C. We must shake off the old man and fully embrace the new man in Christ.
You got to remember if any man be in Christ…he is a new creature…Old things have passed away and behold…that means look a new walk …a new talk… a transformed and renewed mind…all things are become new…Paul said: from this day forward…you can’t walk like other Gentiles…your life is under new management!… You used to be vain in your mind…You used to have darkness in your understanding…You used to have blindness in your heart ….and you used to be alienated from God because you used to be were ignorant of him… but now…. That you are in Christ…all of those things have passed away…You are a new creation walking in the authority of God…We must strive and put on ….the new man that is made in God’s righteousness and true holiness…We must strive to hold on to God’s unchanging hand….That You got to stop lying and start being truthful with one another…Stop ripping people off… work for what you need ….and share with others what you have…
D. Finally….Be strong in the Lord and the power of his might, "walk out" your "calling"...
Put on the whole armor of God (EPHESIANS 6:11;18) that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil. Put it on from head to toe. And having done all you can to stand to stand…stand…and know when you stand ….you don’t stand alone…because who stands with you is the same one who paid the price for our sins…Jesus is standing with you… You remember… They took Jesus… Our Lord and savior and nailed him on a cross…. They nailed his hands…. They nailed his feet…They pierced him in his side… Put a thorny crown on his head…He died on the cross for you and for me . they then buried him in Joseph's Borrowed tomb, but early Sunday morning, Jesus rose from the grave and said he had all power in heaven and on earth. Go ye therfore and teach all nations...GO....GO....GO!