1.       Why are police officers able to arrest people? >>> Authority.


          A.                A lack of respect for authority get people in trouble.


2.       A lack of respect for biblical authority is getting a lot of churches in trouble



          A.                Taking on the responsibility of the home - recreation

          B.                Selection of Elders/Deacons

          C.                Spending - not spending church money

          D.                Paying someone else to do its work


3.       It is important for Christians to understand how biblical authority is established.


4.       Biblical authority is so important in the church.


          A.  It determines how we can be saved.

          B.  It determines how we are to worship God.

          C.  It determines how we are to work.


5.         Today we will observe the different kinds of authority, the chain of authority, the different ways the Bible authorizes, and the way we must respect God's authority.




          A.      First, there is primary authority.


                   1.       Primary authority is not derived, but original, absolute authority; & those

                             commanded have the duty to obey.


                             a.       God is the fountain of all primary authority whether it be in the

                                                civil or religious field ( John 19:10-11).

 Pilate therefore said to Him, "You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?"  Jesus answered, "You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me up to you has the greater sin."


                                                (1)  God has the absolute right to command because He is our Maker, Preserver &  Benefactor (Gen 1:1).

Gen 1:1  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.


                                                (2)  God is 1st in position & importance.


                                                (3)  God is the highest authority in the universe.


                             b.       We are the creatures of God's hands & the product of His intelligence.


                                                (1)  It is our absolute duty to obey Him (Deut. 13:4; Acts 5:29).

Deut 13:4  "You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.


Ax 5:29 (to Sanhedrin....told not to preach any more) But Peter and the apostles answered and said, "We must obey God rather than men.


       B.          Second, there is delegated authority.


                   1.       Delegated authority is the authority which can be given to another by the

                             party holding primary authority.


                             a.       First, God delegated authority to His Son (John 5:26-27; Mat 28:18).

John 5:26-27  "For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man.”

Matt. 28:18.....

                                                (1)  Jesus stands nearest to the Father in delegated authority

                                                (Heb 1:1-3).

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways,  in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.  And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high;


                                                (a)  Jesus is a reflection of the Purity of God.

                                                (b)  Jesus is a manifestation of the Power of God.

                                                (c)  Jesus is a declaration of the Love of God.


                             b.       Second, Christ delegated authority to the apostles.


                                                (1)  Jesus instructed them face-to-face while on the earth (Mat 18:18).

(to the apostles) "Truly I say to you, whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.


                                                (2)  Jesus instructed them through the Holy Spirit from heaven

(John 16:12-13).  "I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”


                             c.       Third, the apostles delegated authority to no one.


                                                (1)  However, the apostolic authority is in the written word






       A.         Authority extended from the Father to the Son (Mat 17:1-5).

And six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and brought them up to a high mountain by themselves.   And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.  And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.  And Peter answered and said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah."  While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and behold, a voice out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!"


                   1.       Jesus placed authority is the words He spoke (John 12:48).

"He who rejects Me, and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.”


                             a.       We will not be judged by:


                                                (1)  What we think (Isa 55:8-9).

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.


                                                (2)  What seems alright (Prov 14:12).

There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.


                                                (3)  Our hearts or feelings (Prov 28:26).

He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But he who walks wisely will be delivered.


                                                (4)  Preacher, pastor, priest (1 Cor 4:1-6).

Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.  In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.  But to me it is a very small thing that I should be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself.  For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord.  Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men's hearts; and then each man's praise will come to him from God.  Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that in us you might learn not to exceed what is written, in order that no one of you might become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.     


                                      (5)  Creeds, prayer books, manuals.                       


       B.  Authority extended from the Son to the apostles.


       C.  Authority extended from the apostles to the N.T.

(1 Cor 14:37)  If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord's commandment.


(2 Pet 3:13-16)  But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.   Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,   and regard the patience of our Lord to be salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you,   as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.


(2 Tim 3:16ff)....”all scripture is given....”





          A.      Authority is found exclusively in the N.T. today.


                   1.       We must have biblical authority for everything we do religiously (Col 3:17)

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.


          B.      Authority is found in the Scriptures in 4 ways.


                   1.       Direct statements or commands (Mk 16:16; Ax 2:38).

"He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.”


                             a.       There are 2 kinds of commands:

                                                (1)  Specific;

Mat 26:26-28 And while they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is My body."  And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you;  for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.


Eph 5:19.  speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;


                                                (2)  Generic;

Mk 16:15  And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation”.


James 1:27  This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.


                   2.       Implications or necessary inferences (Ax 2:42).

And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.


                   3.       Approved examples (Ax 20:7).

And on the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to depart the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight.


                             a.       Approved examples are binding on us only if there is an underlying

                                                specific command, making that the exclusive way to obey God.


                   4.       Expediencies.

                             a.       When God tells us what to do without telling us how to do it, we are

                                                free to do that which is in our judgment the most expedient.

                                                (1)  Worship -  time, place.

                                                (2)  Evangelism  - how, transportation.

                                                (3)  Benevolent  - food pantry, money.

                             b.       But when God tells us what to do and also how to do it, then the how

                                                is as binding as the what.

                                                (1)  Worship -

John 4:24  "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."


1 Cor 14:40  But let all things be done properly and in an orderly manner.


          C.      Authority is NOT found in the silence of the Scriptures (1 Pet 4:11).

Whoever speaks, let him speak, as it were, the utterances of God; whoever serves, let him do so as by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.


                   1.       When God specifies something to be done, all other alternatives are excluded.

                             a.       There are O.T. examples.

                                                (1)  Lev 10:1-4 - Nadab & Abihu.

                                                (2)  1 Sam 6:1-11- Uzzah.

                                                (3)  Gen 6:14-16 - Noah (Gopher wood).


                             b.       There are N.T. applications.

                                                (1)  Instrumental music.

                                                (2)  Sprinkling.

                                                (3)  Infant baptism.


                   2.       Our manner of life, worship, deeds, etc. are to be according to God's





          A.      In preaching, His authority must be respected (2 John 9).

Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.


          B.      In worship, His authority must be respected (Mat 15:7-9).



          C.      In Christian living, His authority must be respected (Mat 7:21).

"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.”




1.       We have observed the different kinds of authority, the chain of authority, the different ways the Bible authorizes, and the way we must respect His authority.


2.       Respect for biblical authority must be preeminent in all our lives.


          A.      Respect for biblical authority must be preeminent in all the church.


3.       Jesus simply & beautifully said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments."