Five Areas of Authority

Authority of Jesus.
Jesus Christ has all authority because he is Creator and Lord of all (Matt.28:18; Jn.1:1-3,14; Rom.14:9; Col.1:16-17; 1Tim.6:14-15). He has delegated some authority to others through his word. The offices of such must be respected and obeyed or one is not submitting to the Lord’s authority which commands us to do so. I once heard a brother say, “I don’t have to obey men.” Well, if you don’t obey some men, at least the ones God said to obey, you are disobeying him.

Authority of Elders
The responsibility of oversight in local congregations falls on qualified elders. Make no doubt about it, God wants qualified elders to be loved, respected, supported, encouraged, prayed for, and obeyed (1Tim.5:17-19; 1Thess.5:12-13). God himself appoints elders through his bible qualifications (Tit.1:6-9; 1Tim.3:1-7) and gives them the authority to lead his congregations (Acts 14:23; 20:17;28; Heb.13:17; 1Pet.5:1-4). “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine” (1Tim.5:17).

Authority of Husbands
From the very beginning God told Eve, “…thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” (Gen.3:16). The New Testament under which we live makes it plain that this is still God’s plan. There is a “pecking order” beginning with God. “But I would have you to know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (1Cor.11:3; cf. v.9; 14:34-37; 1Tim.2:10-15; Eph.5:22-25,33). “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands” (1Pet.3:1).

Authority of Parents
We live in an age where children disrespect and disobey their parents. God has a word for them. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest live long on the earth” (Eph.6:1-3). Jesus respected, submitted to, and obeyed his earthly parents (Lk.2:51; Heb.5:8). “Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence…” (Heb.12:9; cf. Gen.18:19; Deut.6:6-9; Eph.6:4).

Authority of Government
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God…” (Rom.13:1-5). “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates…” (Tit.3:1). “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well” (1Pet.2:13-14). Therefore, unless the laws of the land are in conflict with God’s laws we should obey them (Acts 5:27-29).

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