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Scripture Reading: Psalm 119:124-128
Bible Authority, Part 2
The Necessity of Authority
1. God has spoken to man (Heb. 1:1-2).
2. God has revealed Himself and will for mankind in His word, the Bible.
3. It is vital that we understand authority (lesson last week).
4. Build on that: Why we need divine authority in our lives.
I. WHAT IS AUTHORITY? (exousia)
-Denotes freedom of action and the power that approves the action, Matt. 21:23; Acts 1:7; cf. Jno. 1:12 (permission and the power to give that permission).
-Common usage: “The power or right to give commands, enforce obedience, take action, or make final decisions; jurisdiction,” (Webster’s New World Dictionary).
II. THE PRESENCE OF AUTHORITY IS UNIVERSAL.
A. Authority is Exercised and Submitted to Daily:
1. In the home, Eph. 5:22-24; 6:1.
2. By governments (federal, state, county, city), Rom. 13:1-3.
-Laws and regulations, enforcement agencies, etc.
3. By businesses (Eph. 6:5-9); schools (Acts 22:3).
B. Authority Exists and Must Be Submitted to in the Most Important Area of Life: Salvation of the Soul, Matt. 28:18; Eph. 1:20-23; 5:24 (cf. the local church, Heb. 13:7, 17).
III. OUR NEED FOR DIVINE AUTHORITY (Judg. 21:25).
A. Authority in Life is Necessary Due to the Nature of God.
-God is sovereign by right of Creation (possession, Gen. 1:1), presence (eternal, Jer. 23:24; Psa. 90:2) and power (Almighty, Jer. 32:17); Acts 17:24-28; Psa. 115:3.
B. Authority in Life is Necessary Due to the Nature and Needs of Man. (We need divine help!)
1. Man cannot correctly guide himself, Prov. 14:12; Jer. 10:23.
a. Man has limited knowledge and ability.
b. Man is the creature and subject to the will of his Creator, Rom. 9:20-21; It is foolish and futile to reply against God!
2. We are sinners with the habit of sinning (Rom. 3:23; Eph. 2:1-3).
C. Authority in Life is Necessary because Reconciliation with God is Impossible without it.
1. God provides for man’s redemption (man cannot) – and He has in Christ, Eph. 1:3-11 (good pleasure of His will…His will…His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself…the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will).
2. Knowledge of God’s provisions and His terms (conditions) of redemption is essential for our salvation, 1 Cor. 15:1-2 (Matt. 7:21).
3. A standard of right and wrong is essential (Josh. 1:7).
4. Truth and error must be available and understandable, so sinners can live with God’s approval (Jno. 17:17; 8:32; 1 Jno. 4:1, 6).
D. We Need an Objective Standard of Authority.
-A revealed message from God, not a devised message from man, Heb. 1:1-2; 2 Pet. 1:16, 20-21; Matt. 15:6-9.
E. We Need a Standard of Authority that will…
1. Grant us fellowship with God, 1 Jno. 1:6-7 (2:3-6); 2 Jno. 9.
2. Establish and maintain unity among believers, Jno. 17:20-21 (Eph. 4:4-6; Phil. 3:16).
3. Lead the way to heaven, Matt. 7:13-14; Jno. 14:6.
1. We need authority to live on earth and to live eternally. We must live under God’s authority to have His approval and redemption in Christ (Lk. 6:46; Col. 3:17).
2. Next lesson: God has provided the authority we need in a way that we can live under it and be blessed.