16. Authority

In Your Bible Read This

Matthew 8, 5-13, 1 Peter 5, 1-11

Here Is Your Memory Verse

Respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. 1 Thessalonians 5.12,13

Afterwards Talk About This

How do you feel about authority and submission? Is that how you should feel?

Something To Do Before Next Time

Visit the highest authorities you can at City Hall or the police chief, village elders, and pastors to assure them of your prayers. Ask what to pray for in their lives. You may be surprised at their response.

Written Diploma Work

List the major authorities in your nation from the state head to the local representatives in order to pray for them. Write and tell them of your prayer.

Meditate Word By Word On This Verse

Exodus 20.12.

Spend a Minute to Change the World

Pray For Afghans – 23,000,000 people, 41 peoples. 99% Muslim, maybe 1,000 Christians, devastated by war and invasions

Be sure to teach this lesson to others. Always pray and prepare well adding your own verses and stories to bring it to life.

Authority is one of the most misunderstood and abused words in the church today. Feelings can run high! Pastor Rick Godwin teaches that there are seven kinds of authority that will touch us –

The Sovereign Authority Of God

Which we submit to without question. Isaiah 9.7; Eph. 1.22; Phil 2,9-11.

The Authority Of God's Word

Which carries the same weight as God himself. John 17.17. We find God's unchanging word in the truth of the Bible. John 1.1, 14.6, 2 Timothy 3.16. There are no changes, God's word is fixed forever. Prophetic messages may be true but can never be binding upon mankind like God's written word.

The Authority Of Conscience

Conscience is God's gift to you, listen to it. Beware of culture, prejudice or preferences coming across in spiritual words about things that are not specifically dealt with in the Bible, like genetics, nuclear energy. Romans 2.12-16, Ch.14.

Authority Delegated By God To Men

Now for the first time God''s authority is channelled through a human voice. eg. Eph. 4.11, Hebrews 13,17, 7.

The Authority Of Legal Agreements

Our yes must be yes, and our no must also be no. eg. Genesis 29.18-30.

The Authority Of Custom And Culture

They may not do things the same way as where you come from, but watch out if you try to make them do it your way. Genesis 29.26, 1 Cor. 11.16.

Functional Authority

The authority of ability, for example in a traffic accident a doctor can help the injured, a mechanic disentangles the cars, a policeman directs the traffic, and a great apostle with authority might not even be consulted because he does not know what to do practically! Ephesians 5.21.

The Line From Heaven To Earth

God's delegated authority stretches from heaven even down to infants. Wherever God's authority appears Satan's kingdom retreats and is replaced by the firm but loving rule of God in lives.

In The Beginning God, Gen. 1.1; Ps. 90.2; Jam. 4.7; Heb. 12.9.

All Authority Is Given To Jesus, Mat. 28.18; Ps. 2.2; Heb. 5.9; John. 13.13.

Jesus Delegates To His Leaders to guard; guide; govern and feed his (not their) flock. Eph. 4.11; Heb. 13.17.

We Are Also Told To Submit To:

  • Governments; Rom 13.1-7; Titus 3.1.
  • Husbands, Col. 3.18, Eph. 5.24.
  • Parents, Eph .6, 1-4, Col. 3.20.
  • Employers, Col. 3.22.
  • Mature believers, 1 Cor. 16.16.
  • Older men, 1 Peter 5.5.
  • And to each other, Eph. 5.21.

Stepping out of this Divine line only means stepping into an increasing impotence and isolation. Beware!

How To Recognise False Leaders

A false leader enslaves, exploits and takes advantage of you, pushes himself forward, and slaps you in the face. From 2 Corinthians 11, 7-11, 20.

A Godly leader lowers himself, elevates you, preaches the gospel free of charge, serves you, and is not a burden to anyone, and loves you. 1 Peter 5, 2-4

Authority Means Responsibility

Being trusted with God's authority means doing as God does and taking responsibility. A visiting preacher who has no responsibility for a church has no automatic authority in the church. An abusive husband who takes no responsibility for his wife equally has no authority over her. Neither will we "take authority over a city for Christ " unless we first take responsibility to love that city.

What Does It Mean To Submit?

The Bible uses different words like hupotasso which is a military term to get in line, or hupeiko which means to withdraw, yield, submit and hupakouo, which is to listen, attend and obey. A special word is 'peitho,' which means to be persuaded, or won over, used in Hebrews 13.7 and James 3.3

Examples Of Submission In The Bible

  • Christ submits happily to God. John 6.38, 4.34, 5.30, 12.49
  • The powerful Centurion humbly submitted to Jesus. Matthew 8.8
  • David submits to Saul even when Saul fell into madness. 1 Sam. 24.6
  • Church leaders submitted to and honoured each other. Acts 15.2-6,22
  • Paul the apostle submitted to his church leaders. Acts 11,1-4, 18.22.

Why Is It Hard To Honour Authority?

  1. Independence from authority has been present in every man since the fall.
  2. Longing for power and control is also in every man, however repressed.
  3. Overbearing or abusive fathers hurt us.
  4. Weak fathers have allowed dominant mothers to give us a bad example.
  5. The absence of a father figure through death or divorce, or multiple 'fathers' have eroded honour and respect.
  6. Abuses or excesses of authority at school, or in the military or even in church make us avoid authority figures.

The answer to abuse is not a "I have no use for authority" kind of attitude. A better way is to seek a legitimate Godly man or woman with authority whom you can trust, honour and respect. One who will love you, rebuild the broken walls and gain your confidence and trust.

To Close Pray for the World's Most Unreached Peoples by Name

Taken from the Joshua Project Unreached Peoples List these people have no church and as yet no cell, church or mission has committed themselves to prayer, adoption or church planting among this people.


People Name Language Population
Herki Herki 18,000
Karingani Karingani 15,000
Khorasani Turk Khorasani Turkish 400,000
Parsee Parsi-Dari (Parsee-Dari) 2,000,000
Pushtun, Pathan, Afghan Pashto, Western 79,300
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