Webster’s dictionary defines authority as: “Legal or rightful power; a right to command or to act; jurisdiction” . Many today do not recognize any authority over them and consequently, they do not yield to it. While others do recognize authority in their lives, they are varied as to what that authority should be. When we consider the realm of religion, who or what is it, that governs the legality of a matter? Who has the right to tell us what to do? What power has jurisdiction over us on this earth? What’s our authority?
We recognize in our everyday lives that the creator has authority over what he creates. When we build or make something, we have the right and authority to use it in a way that best suits our needs. In Romans 9:21 we read “Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use, and another for common use?”. Is there a difference when it comes to the one who created us? There is no difference. The right of the creator remains the same! In Genesis 1:26 we find; “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;”. Verse 27 reads “And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”. We find then that God, as our creator, is the one who has authority over us. It is God and God alone that determines what we may or may not do.
As we continue to read the Bible, we discover that God has not kept his authority to himself but has given it to the Son. God the Father is over God the Son. In
1 Corinthians 11:3 we read “But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.” In Matthew 28:18, Jesus himself tells us that he was given all authority; “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.’”. While Christ indeed has all authority, he received it from the Father. “For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. for He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, ‘All things are put in subjection,’ it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. And when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, that God may be all in all.” (1 Cor. 15:25-28). Jesus has been given authority by the Father. He has been appointed as final judge of all mankind (Acts 17:30-31). They both then, have the power and right to govern our lives.
Before Jesus left this earth and returned to the Father, he gave final instructions to his beloved apostles. In part he told them “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth;” and “He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you.” (John 16:12-13a, 14). As the Father sent the Son to this earth, so also the Son sent the Spirit; for the purpose of revealing the truth through inspired men. It was one of these men who wrote in 1 Corinthians 2:12-13 “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God. which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.” That revealed word carries authority because of it’s source (2 Cor. 10:8-9). Even Jesus gave recognition to the authority of the Scriptures over the lives of people. In Matthew 22:29 Jesus scolded the people of his day when he said; “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures, or the power of God.” These people were in error, but why? Their lives did not measure up to the Scriptures. It follows then, that the Scriptures were given to govern them!
God the Father has authority over us. Jesus his Son has authority over us. The scriptures, since they have their origin in the Spirit of God (2 Peter 1:20-21), also have authority over us. You see my friend, it is only through the Bible, God’s revealed word, that we can come to know Deity, his plans for us and what he would have us to do! When all is said and done and our frail bodies have returned to dust, will it really matter what anyone else said? “And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” (Acts 20:32).