The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
The word authority means the power or a given right to do something of action, such as to give orders, to give instructions, to delegate assignments and see to it that all these orders, or instructions and assignments are followed and carried out fully. Authority many times was shown in the Bible when a king made a proclamation, a patriarch took charge in leading a noble rescue, or a servant like Abraham’s servant Put in following instructions in going to Abraham’s kinsman to find a wife for Isaac. In each case, all of them were simply executing a given right or carryout certain instructions given to them by someone of greater authority because they were assigned or charged to the position, given the assignments, or were appointed the office of authority.
The Pastor of a church, contrary to pew opinion has the charge, the God given mandate to lead the church in the path of God’s righteousness for the Lord’s name’s sake. God has called them, charged him, equipped them giving them the authority and power to preach the Word, in season and out of season. The Pastor is under a divine mandate to reprove, rebuke and exhort with all longsuffering because we are preaching in a time where nowadays men and women, boys and girls, teenagers and “keen-agers”, (that’s the elderly) will not endure sound doctrine… but have heaped unto themselves (that is they’ve chosen and sat under) all kinds of false teachers, and preachers, having itching ears and denying the true faith that's in Jesus Christ.
So then, if we are truly walking in the authority of God, we have an obligation and charge to follow the pastor as he follows Christ. WE are not our own. WE have been bought with a PRICE by the PRECIOUS BLOOD of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That said, God has charged us and we are under HIS intrinsic authority to be just in our dealings, faithful in all that we engage in and exemplify godly conduct in all that we set out to do. Remember the church covenant: "Having been led, as we believed by the Spirit of God, having received 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, angles 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!
Now, there are two basic types of authority. The "first authority" is called "intrinsic authority". Intrinsic authority belongs to God and God alone! It's the "quintessence" of his divine nature It was there in the beginning in God. It's the external expression of the divine essence of HIM ! Nobody gave it to HIM. It’s always been a part of HIM. The one thing we all need to know concerning authority in general is: "Intrinsic authority" has never been given to any one of of us!. It doesn't matter what organization you are in charge of! what position chair you hold in society. Only God possesses this kind of authority.
The "second authority" is called “derived” authority. Now, this authority is given to us from God who is the source of all our supply.. Look in the first passage at the Centurion, you can clearly see that the authority he has is derived authority”. Her came to Jesus and beseeched him that is he came begging him and Listen to what he said. Lord, I have a servant that’s sick of the palsy, He's lying at home and grievously tormented. Jesus said I will come and hewal him. And after Jesus said that listen at the Centurion’s response: Lord, I’m not worthy that you should come under my roof, but speak the word only and my servant shall be healed. You see Lord, I’m a man also under authority. I have 100 soldiers under my authority. Whatever I tell them to do or wherever to go, they go where I send them and do what I tell them. I know how the chain of command goes!
What did he imply here? Glad you asked! This is what he implied:" Lord, I understand protocol, power and great authority. I know where the Greater authority begins and i know where my authority ends. You see, I’m a man in authority, but I’m a man under authority. I’m in command and I’m under someone else’s command. I command others, but, I'm subject to the commands of others, and I give orders and I take orders., but in this situation, I have no authority, because I have a servant that’s sick of the palsy, bed ridden and can't get up! and command as I might, I can’t heal my servant... If my servant who has the palsy is going to be healed, his healing has to come from an authority that’s far greater than what I have! I stand now in the presence of your greater Authority I asked of you come to my house and heal my servant …You have agreed to come to my house. But when I compare the "limited power" of my "derived authority" to the "unlimited power" of your "intrinsic authority". I realize I’m not worthy to have your" intrinsic authority" come in my "derived house", but, the more I hear about you, I more I realize that there must be "intrinsic power" in your greater authority…so much so...that I believe… all you have to do is speak the "intrinsic word" from where you are... and the "power" of your spoken word will come into my "derived house" and heal my servant!!
People of God, the first thing I need to tell you today is, whatever authority you are privileged to have… whether it’s in the church… in your home…on your job… or out in the street… it is derived authority and that authority has been given to you by God and it places you under God’s intrinsic authority! That means whatever you do and however you do it...…it's got to be done God’s way!
The second thing I need to tell you is with all derived authority comes responsibility. The bible said “to whom much is given, much more is required” God will not empower you to sit on your stool of do nothing and do nothing…God gets no glory out of your nothingness…If we have been empowered… God expects all of us to go … and make disciples… God expects us to hold up the blood strained banner and hold it up until we die!…
Let me tell you this while I’m at it…no matter how much we walk in the authority of God…. none of us will ever have more authority than God!,… Apparently some of us have been told by false preachers and false teachers that we have just as much authority as God does. It ain't so! …Jesus did say that the works that he did while he was on earth we will do and greeater works than these we will do also but that does not make any of us little gods!…
As a matter of fact, God made sure that we didn't get that notion from him by telling the Apostle Paul to tell us in Romans 13:1- 2 that every child of God must subject themselves, that is humble and submit themselves to the higher power (that’s Holy Ghost power), and to higher authority, (that is the soverign power of God) because it doesn’t get any higher than God!".
God is so high...you can't get over him...Gods is so low, you can't get under him...God is so wide, you can't get around him...you must go through him and come unto him and come in at the door of Jesus!
So then, every kind of authority other than God Himself is derived authority from the angels in heaven to every man on the face of this earth. …Derived authority is given. It's not owned and that makes all derived authority completely secondary to God… God's authority is absolute… unconditional … omnipotent… and omnipresent… omniscient and never changes!
God, what do you have to say about all of this? Isaiah, tell them what I say:I heard Isaiah say: God said, I am the Lord , and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord , and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things. Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the Lord have created it.
God's the authority over nature and over governments... He’s the procurator over all of history... Whether it’s history past… present history…y or future history…. He controls all history…. because all history is HIS story…. God speaks and men will live…. and God speaks and all of us could drop dead and die…., God spoke and stopped the sun and then move the sun’s shadow forward 10 degrees, turned around… and move the same shadow backwards 10 degrees the other way…. God can bring a dead person back to life…. God controls the winds and the waves…. God made a mule talk…. God used a great fish to discipline a wayward preacher... Jesus has absolute power too!… Remember what Jesus said: All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth…. Jesus walked in the same intrinsic authority as God the Father…. Jesus said if you have seen me… you have seen the Father! Jesus forgave sins… Jesus turned ordinary water into wine…. He opened blinded eyes…, and healed diseases… Jesus walked on the water… and spoke to the wind and the wind behaved…. YES, Jesus saves from the gutter most …to the uttermost. Even in death,… his life wasn’t taken… Jesus died because he chose to lay down His lif…e and then on the third day took up his life again. That’s divine authority!
The third thing you need to remember as men walking in God’s authority is all of your derived authority on this earth is temporary and is subject to additions or subtractions at any time…It behooves you not to get too full of yourself… just because you are in charge now…the day will come when you won't be in charge of anything! We may be in authority right now but at some point, we must decrease so Christ can increase in us!! What am I getting at?
God gave you your "judicial position"… but God’s more concerned about your spiritual condition... This world already has too many ungodly figureheads… figureheads, full of demonic powers, principalities… influenced by the rulers of darkness in this world and full of spiritual wickedness in high places… and the sad thing is… so many of them operate within the institution we call the church… Do you hear me? We have many churches… on the institutional level with appointed and voted on ungodly figureheads from the pulpit… to the last pew in the church pit… making ungodly policies for the church in the booth… in the back… in the corner… in the dark …on the down low… and on the low-low …! These figureheads either don’t realize or don’t care that the real church is not an “institution”… it’s not a building… it’s not an organization…no, the real church is an 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 … because every now and then hell gets in us…and we bring it to the church…but it won’t prevail…That means God knows how to get hell out of his church…starting with getting hell out of us! We are God’s organisms….not a church virus…We are his sheep and the sheep of his pasture…we are sheep clothed in the Great Shepherd...not wolves in sheep’s clothing…The Psalmist said: "We 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…We’re not an earthly organization that’s run by pomp and circumstances. No…No…The Apostle Peter said we are a “peculiar people, a royal priesthood, an holy nation.
All that being said, the most noble usage of God given authority is for anyone who has authority to use it in serving others. Jesus said "Let he who governs, be as he who serves. I am among you as the One who serves"…Jesus said: For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto…, but to minister and to give my life a ransom for many… The Christian who seeks to follow Christ's example will learn to use authority with others more than using authority over others…. The wise Christian remembers that all derived authority will one day be returned to the God who gave it…. Yet, the rewards of faithful service will endure throughout eternity…
So then, we are to walk in the authority of God, we have a charge to keep and a God to glorify, who gave his Son, our souls to save and fitted for the sky. We got to serve in this present age, our calling to fulfill. Oh made it all our power to engage, we’ve got to do your master’s will. So as I get ready to get to where you want me…
God gave us a 4 step program in our second text on how to walk in his authority
I. The first step in Ephesians chapter 4, is to reconize 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 (that means you got to strain and bear some things sometimes ) and have forbearance for one another in love….Why? because none of us are perfect ….in other words… please be patient with each other… God is not through with us yet… When God gets through with us…all of us 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 said "We are to endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace"… There’s a good reason for that… We are supposed to be peace makers…not truce breakers!…So then…when you talk about walking in the authority of God… You are really talking about is 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... That’s the walk of the true church is a “spiritual” and unified walk…It’s based upon the” One Walk Principle": ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM, ONE BODY, in ONE SPIRIT…That translate into 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 thm without delay! We are walking in the authority of the ONE TRUE AND LIVING GOD who is above all… through all… and in you all!
II. The second step is we must recognize every gift that comes from our “risen” Christ and then… embrace their purposes in our life:
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… and done decently and in order…Remember what Paul said in 1 Corinthians chapter 13:1- 3 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…The late James Brown might have said it this way…with out love, I’m talking loud and saying nothing… You see…we can have the gift of prophecy… we can understand all mysteries and all knowledge…we can possess mountain moving faith…we can take everything we got and feed the poor…even give your body to be burned…if we don’t have love…not only am we nothing in the eyes of God… but…we won’t even profit from the work we did do! That’s why…we don’t determine what gifts we have…God determines what gifts we will have… God determines what we do …what positions we will hold…what jobs we work…. When it comes to serving this present age… we don’t choose our place of service… not even the preacher or pastor does that…though they think they do ! If a pastor or preacher is out of place try as they might to make the place where thy are sucessful...the best they will do is 99 and a half and you know that 99 and a half just won't do! We might vote on them… but God chooses them…God chooses them and God places them…God knows where we are needed better than we do…God places us because God's perfecting all the saints for the work of the ministry until we all come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God…. God is perfecting us… God's 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..
III. The third step is to 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 at me now…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 were alienated from God because you were ignorant of him… but now…. all of those things have passed away…As a new man walking in the authority of God…put on ….the new man that is made in God’s righteousness and true holiness…That also means you got to change the way you talk and what you talk about….You got to stop lying and be truthful with one another…Stop ripping people off and work for what you need and share with others what you have…
IV. Finally….Finally… Walk out your soul salvation with Godly authority with fear and trembling! Reverend, how do I do this?
A. Be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might Put on the whole armor of God that you will be able to stand against the wiles of the devil
B. Lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily beset you and run with patience, the race tha has been set before you ...looking unto Jesus because he is the Author and the Finisher of our faith.
C. Lastly, dedicate your whole life to him. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling and present you faultless beforehis presence with exceeding joy...To the only wise God our Savior be glory and majesty dominion and power now and ever....Amen!
May the Spirit of the Lord Bless you all real Good!