AUTHORITY IN RELIGION
A. Definition of "Authority"; "Legal or rightful power, dominion, a right to command." (Webster)
1. W. E. Vine, in his book, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, under Authority;
I. EXOUSIA denotes authority (from the impersonal verb exesti, "it is Lawful"),
From the meaning of leave or permission, or liberty of doing as one pleases, it passed to that of the ability or
strength with which one is endued, then to that of the power of authority, the right to exercise power,
e.g. Matt. 9:6; II Cor. 10:8; or the power of rule or government, the power of one whose will and commands must be
obeyed by others, e.g., Matt. 28:18; John 17:2; Jude 25.
B. We all understand that there must be authority in all realms of life:
1. The Community
2. The Army
3. The School
4. The Home
C. Think of the confusion that would take place if we had no Standards of Authority in areas such as:
1. Quality in food and Drugs
2. Monetary value
3. Weights and measures
5. Traffic speed and direction
D. But the most important area of all, the salvation of our souls, also has a Standard of Authority,
and that Standard is the Holy Word of God, the Bible.
II. In religion, there are only TWO sources of Authority, one is right, the other is wrong: MATTHEW 21:23-27
1. If it is from Heaven, it is from God
the Father: JAMES l:l7,
2. If it is from Heaven, it is from God the Father, and it is through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ: HEBREWS 1:1, 2
A. CHRIST - ALL AUTHORITY:
MATTHEW 7:28, 29 EPHESIANS 1:20-23
" 17:1-5 COLOSSIANS l:l8
" 28:l8 " 3:17
ACTS 3:19-26 ACTS 4:10-12
B. CHRIST'S ALL AUTHORITY IN HIS WORD: JOHN 12:48-50
1. We will not be judged by:
a. Feelings, opinions, think-so’s.
b. Pastors, preachers, teachers.
c. The church.
d. Synods, Councils, Assemblies, Associations.
e. Parents, families, friends, loved ones.
f. Creeds, Catechisms, Manuals, Disciplines.
JOHN 5:22 ACTS 17:30, 31 ROMANS 2:16 (cf. GALATIANS 1:11, 12)
C. CHRIST'S ALL AUTHORITATIVE WORD TO THE APOSTLES:
1. JOHN 14:16, 17, 25, 26
2. " 15:26, 27
3. " 16:12-16
4. MARK 13:11
HEAVEN - FATHER
-An All-Authoritative Word (John 12:48-50)
-An All-Authoritative Word (John 17: 6-8, 14, 18; 14:16, 17, 25, 26;
HOLY SPIRIT 15:26, 27; 16:12-14; Mark 13:11)
THE HOLY SPIRIT GIVEN TO WRITTEN WORD – THE NEW TESTAMENT
APOSTLES ON THE DAY OF
PENTECOST: LUKE 24:48-52; ACTS 1:1-11; 2:1ff
(‘VERBAL’ INSPIRATION) — I CORINTHIANS 2:10-13 (NOT ‘THOUGHT’ INSPIRATION!)
D._CHRIST'S ALL AUTHORITATIVE WRITTEN WORD IS ALL SUFFICIENT:
II TIMOTHY 3:16, 17 II PETER 1:3
1. The Scriptures (II Timothy
a. Origin - God
b. Purpose - Profitable
(1) Doctrine (teaching)
(2) Reproof (proving, testing)
(3) Correction (improvement of life and character)
(4) Instruction in Righteousness (training in right action)
c. Results - Man of God
(1) Complete (fitted right)
Furnished completely unto every good work (fitted
exactly right to do God's works: EPHESIANS 2:10)
2. (II Peter 1:3) ALL things granted to us that pertain unto life and godliness
THROUGH the knowledge of Him that called us...
a. Where is the authority from Christ for latter-day revelations? (After the New Testament)
3. MAN CANNOT DESTROY GOD'S INSPIRED WORD: I PETER 1:22-25
a. Where is the authority from Christ to teach that the translators have destroyed God's Word? (See ISAIAH 55:11)
E._RESPECT FOR GOD'S WORD DEMANDED:
1. I CORINTHIANS 4:6 - Must not go beyond God's written Word.
(Notice how the Corinthians were doing this; I Corinthians 1:10-13).
2. I PETER 4:11 - Speak only as the Oracles of God. Speak where the Bible speaks; remain silent where the Bible is silent!
3. II JOHN 9 - Go onward and abide not in the teaching of Christ (the doctrine of Christ, New Testament), hath not God.
4. REVELATION 22:18, 19 - Must not add to, nor take away from God's Holy Word!
5. GALATIANS 1:6-9 - Follow only the Gospel in order to please God: vs. 10. We cannot change God's Word! We cannot,
we dare not, add to, or take away!
6. MATTHEW 15:3, 8, 9 - Cannot follow the commandments of men. Even if we are sincere, our hearts are still far from God
when we try to worship Him after the authority of men!
7. MATTHEW 7:21-23 - We must do only God's will, not men's! These people in the Day of Judgment will have done many
religious works, which they thought were done by the authority of Jesus (in His Name), but Jesus
will tell them that He never knew them (they were never true worshippers) Why? Because
they acted religiously without Divine authority, without law from God! "Iniquity,
without Divine law."
8. JOHN 4:23,24 - "True Worshippers" The only kind of worshipper God will accept, must worship Him in spirit
(inward man, not simply the outward) and Truth (according to the authority of God for us today,
the New Testament).
a. These principles seen from the beginning, in the Old Testament: Romans 15:4
(1) Deuteronomy 4:l, 2; Proverbs 30:6
(a) Adam & Eve - Genesis 3:1-6
(b) Nadab & Abihu - Leviticus 10:1, 2
(c) Moses & Aaron - Numbers 20:7-12
(d) King Saul - I Samuel 15:22, 23
(e) Uzzah - II Samuel 6:6, 7
(f) Men of Beth-shemesh – I Samuel 6:19
b. MANY TODAY DO NOT UNDERSTAND THEIR CREATOR: ROMANS 11:22;
HEBREWS 2:1-4; 10:26-31; 12:25-29
F._CHRIST'S LAW EFFECTED AFTER HIS DEATH:
HEBREWS 9:15-17; 5:8, 9
1. The Old Law done away:
HEBREWS 10:1-22; 8:6-13; COLOSSIANS 2:14; EPHESIANS 2:13-18
2. Christ's Will was probated:
3. CONFIRMATION: (Plan of Salvation)
For those who are seeking God’s Truth, it can easily be seen that there are more steps, than ‘faith’, in order to be saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. ‘Faith Only’, that is, just accepting Truth, and asking Jesus to come into your heart, and save you (commonly known as the ‘sinners prayer’), was never taught by any inspired Apostles or Prophets in the New Testament! THEN WHAT MUST WE DO TO BE SAVED? THE INSPIRED NEW TESTAMENT REVEALS WHAT WE MUST DO:
4. IN ORDER TO BE SAVED FROM PAST SINS, AND BECOME CHILDREN OF GOD, WE MUST:
a. BELIEVE: JOHN 8:24; MARK 16:15, l6
b. REPENT: LUKE 13:3, 5; ACTS 2:38; 17:30
c. CONFESS CHRIST: MATTHEW 10:32, 33; ROMANS 10:9, 10
d. BE BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST: Immersed in water for the forgiveness of your sins; JOHN 3:5; MARK l6:l6;
ACTS 2:38; 8:38, 39; 10:47, 48; 11:14
(1) This is where we are buried with Christ into His death: ROMANS 6:3-6.
(2) This is where we meet His soul
saving blood (figurative)which washes away our sins: REVELATION 1:5; ACTS
(3) Thus, when we are baptized into Christ, we "put on" Christ: GALATIANS 3:26, 27.
(4) This is the "one baptism" spoken of in EPHESIANS 4:5.
(5) This is the only way we can get into the "Body of Christ": I CORINTHIANS 12:13, which is His church:
1:22, 23, of which He is the
Saviour, EPHESIANS 5:23.
(6) Water baptism SAVES us, because GOD TELLS us it does: I PETER 3:20, 21. There is not any power in the water
(water salvation), but it is DOING what God commands us to do, in His way, according to His Truth!
DOES THIS MEAN WE CAN BOAST OR GLORY IN WHAT WE HAVE DONE TO PLEASE GOD? CERTAINLY NOT: LUKE 17:10
HAVE YOU YET DONE THESE THINGS ACCORDING TO THE AUTHORITY OF GOD?
IF NOT, ARE YOU NOT YET SAVED IN GOD’S SIGHT?
But, being a christian doesn’t stop there! It STARTS there! We must be faithful unto death, doing all that God wants us to do as He has outlined in the New Testament! What are we to be doing in serving Him as we assemble together?
G. CHRIST'S AUTHORITY CONCERNING WORSHIP: JOHN 4:23, 24
1. ASSEMBLING WITH THE SAINTS: ACTS 2:42, 46; HEBREWS 10:25
a. Where is the authority from Christ to believe that you can go to heaven without "going to church (assembling)"?
2. PARTAKING OF THE LORD'S SUPPER: (COMMUNION): I CORINTHIANS 10:16; 11:20-30
a. Day and frequency; ACTS 20:7 - The first day of each Week.
(1.) Where is the authority from Christ to keep the Sabbath day religiously? (Saturday, the 7th day)
(2.) Where is the authority from Christ to take the Lord's Supper only once a month, or on Thursday?
3. SINGING: EPHESIANS 5:18, 19; COLOSSIANS 3:l6 - Vocal music is specifically authorized!
a. Where is the authority from Christ to use an additional type of music, Instrumental (mechanical) music in worship?
4. PRAYING: ACTS 2:42; I THESSALONIANS 5:17, 18; I TIMOTHY 2:1-6; HEBREWS 7:25; COLOSSIANS 3:17
a. Where is the authority from Christ to pray to, or through Mary, to use her as a Mediatrix?
5. GIVING: I CORINTHIANS 16:1, 2; II CORINTHIANS 9:6, 7.
a. Where is the authority from Christ to Tithe under the New Testament?
6. TEACHING: ACTS 2:42; I TIMOTHY 3:15.
a. Where is the authority from Christ to teach anything other than the New Testament Gospel?
(What about a Social gospel, Politics, etc.)
7. DOES CHRIST GIVE MAN
THE AUTHORITY TO WORSHIP HIM
a. Counting beads? b. Walking on hot coals? c. Withdrawing from society (Monks)? d. Forbidding to marry?
(See I TIMOTHY 4:1-5) e. Forbidding to eat certain meats? (See I TIMOTHY 4:1-5) f. Burning candles?
g. Being called "Father" religiously? (See MATTHEW 23:9) h. Burning incense? i. Being called "Reverend"?
(See PSALMS 111:9) j. Ringing bells religiously? k. Wearing "long robes" (religious garb), (clergy-laity
distinction) ETC. ETC.
H. CHRIST'S AUTHORITY CONCERNING THE NAME OF HIS CHURCH:
1. MATTHEW 16:18 2. ACTS 20:28 3. ROMANS l6:l6
a. Only terms of Deity used: ROMANS l6:l6; I CORINTHIANS 1:1 (See I CORINTHIANS 1:10-13).
b. Where is the authority from Christ to use human names and designations for His blood bought church?
I._CHRIST'S AUTHORITY CONCERNING THE ORGANIZATION OF HIS CHURCH:
1. Local congregational organization ONLY: ACTS 14:23; I PETER 5:1-4; 2:25;_PHILIPPIANS 1:1;_ACTS 20:17,28
a. Local self-government, organically independent of every other local church!
b. Where is the authority from Christ for the church to organize on a universal level, with a headquarters, and human ecclesiastical organization?
J._CHRIST'S AUTHORITY CONCERNING THE WORK OF HIS CHURCH - SAVING SOULS: I TIMOTHY 3:15
1. Preaching the Gospel: I THESSALONIANS 1:2-8; II CORINTHIANS 11:8, 9;(I CORINTHIANS 9:7-14); PHILIPPIANS 4:15, 16
2. Providing for its needy: ACTS 4:34, 35; 6:1-7; I TIMOTHY 5:l6
3. Edifying itself: EPHESIANS 4:11-16.
4. Where is the authority from Christ for the church to have works in the social, political, or recreational areas?
K._CHRIST'S AUTHORITY CONCERNING THE UNITY OF HIS CHURCH - UNDENOMINATIONAL:
1. Jesus prayed for it: JOHN 17:20, 21.
2. The Inspired Apostles pled for it: I CORINTHIANS 1:10.
3. The plan for it: EPHESIANS 4:3-6
a. Denominationalism destroys Christ's authority for unity! (I CORINTHIANS 1:10-13)
b. Where in the New Testament, is the authority from Christ for the Denominational concept of religion?
ARE YOU FOLLOWING THE PROPER STANDARD OF AUTHORITY IN RELIGION?
ARE YOUR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS AND PRACTICES BASED SOLELY UPON THE AUTHORITY FROM HEAVEN FOR US TODAY, WHICH IS FOUND ONLY IN THE NEW TESTMENT?
WHEN YOU STAND BEFORE THE JUDGMENT-SEAT OF CHRIST IN THE LAST DAY, WILL YOU BE ABLE TO GIVE CHAPTER AND VERSE FOR ALL THAT YOU HAVE
DONE RELIGIOUSLY UPON THIS EARTH? II CORINTHIANS 5:10; COLOSSIANS 3:17; I PETER 4:11
REMEMBER, WE CAN ONLY WALK BY FAITH: II CORINTHIANS 5: 7, AND FAITH COMES ONLY FROM GOD THROUGH HIS WORD: ROMANS 10:17. THUS IF WE ARE PRACTICING ANYTHING THAT CANNOT BE FOUND AUTHORIZED IN THE WORD OF GOD, WE ARE WRONG IN THE SIGHT OF GOD: II JOHN 9; I CORINTHIANS 4:6; GALATIANS 1:6-10
IF WE FOLLOW THE DOCTRINES AND COMMANDMENTS OF MEN, AND MIX THEM IN WITH THE WORD OF GOD WE WILL FAIL IN
PROPERLY LOVING OUR CREATOR AND SAVIOUR: MATTHEW 15:8, 9; JOHN 14:15.
WE WILL BE DENIED ENTRANCE INTO HIS
JUDGMENT, BECAUSE WE DID NOT PROPERLY DO HIS WILL: MATTHEW 7:21-23.
IF WE DO NOT BECOME OBEDIENT TO HIS TEACHING, WE CANNOT BECOME SERVANTS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS: ROMANS 6:16-23, 3-6.
ONLY THE TRUTH OF GOD CAN MAKE US FREE: JOHN 8:31, 32.
WE WOULD ENCOURAGE YOU TO FOLLOW ONLY JESUS CHRIST, BY FOLLOWING HIS AUTHORITY.
HE AND HE ALONE, CAN BECOME THE AUTHOR OF YOUR ETERNAL SALVATION, IF YOU ONLY OBEY HIM: HEBREWS 5:8, 9
GOD BLESS YOU IN YOUR SEARCH FOR GOD’S ABSOLUTE TRUTH ALONE, TO BE A ‘TRUE WORSHIPPER’ IN HIS SIGHT, TO BE A ‘CHRISTIAN’ ONLY,
AS HE WOULD WANT YOU TO BE!