educate equip enable
Authority is very often misused and abused, not only in the secular world, but also in the church.
Ultimate authority belongs to God, so it is essential that we not only recognise that fact, but that we exercise authority in such a way that pleases the Lord.
Mat 7:28-29 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, (29) for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth."
Mark 1:27 Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, "What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him."
John 5:26-27 For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, (27) and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.
True Christian authority originates with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Mark 13:32-35 But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (33) Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. (34) It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. (35) Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming; in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning;
Jesus has given authority to His servants to exercise till He returns.
Luke 9:1 Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.
Luke 10:19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Jesus has given us authority over demons and diseases.
Luke 19:17 And he said to him, "Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities."
Authority is part of the eternal reward that true Christians will receive for their faithfulness.
1 Cor 9:18 What is my reward then? That when I preach the gospel, I may present the gospel of Christ without charge, that I may not abuse my authority in the gospel.
Paul took certain precautions to ensure that he did not abuse the authority God had given him.
Mat 20:25-28 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. (26) Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. (27) And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave; (28) just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
The right way to exercise authority is with a spirit of humility and servanthood.
2 Cor 10:8 For even if I should boast somewhat more about our authority, which the Lord gave us for edification and not for your destruction, I shall not be ashamed;
2 Cor 13:10 Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the authority which the Lord has given me for edification and not for destruction.
Authority is only ever properly exercised if it is used to edify (build up) others rather than tearing them down.
If you like these Topical Bible Studies, don't forget to check out our Expository Bible Studies too.