Monday, August 18, 2008

Sources of Authority

I apologize for not writing regularly for the last two months. Much has been going on with the kids out of school, vacation and my work schedule. I have been encouraged with the Bible study that we have been conducting twice a month on the subject of authority in the church. We are using a book as a guide entitled Authority in the Church by Billy Moore. I highly recommend it as an organized guide to approaching the scriptures.

The last two meetings of our study group have concerned things that are and are not sources of authority in the religious realm. We began with listing thing that are not sources of authority. These include: the Old Law, preacher directives, legislative edicts by elders, church traditions and doctrine, opinions of man, and the Machiavellian idea that the end justifies the means.

We see much abuse when it comes to these items. People use these things as sources of authority without giving it any thought. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 28:18, “…all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” He has the authority and no one else. We see in other verses that the old covenant was put away and had its purpose.

Hebrews 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. 16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

Once Christ died on the cross, his new will or New Testament came into force. This made the Old Testament obsolete and no longer valid. This includes the Ten Commandments. That’s right…the Ten Commandments were delivered to the Israelites and not to us today. I once had a fellow pilot sarcastically ask if we could then commit murder…of course not. We find that in Christ’s law that nine of the Ten Commandments are “reissued” to us to be followed with the exception of remembering the Sabbath.

Have you ever noticed when watching people on TV discuss religion or arguing on these topics that they rarely use Scripture to justify or back their statements? This is a dangerous road and is fruitless when stating only their opinions. Throughout my years, I have been to Bible classes and heard sermons that had little to no scripture, and I am completely amazed that they would even consider taking on this responsibility without referring to His holy word.

1 Timothy 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: 6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; 7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.

The scariest part is all the people that accept it. They will listen to a preacher or priest and never hold them to the truth. The Catholic church has manipulated members to believe that their leaders are the only ones that can properly understand the word of God. We find no where in the Bible that only an elite group exists that can understand God’s word. We are all to study and come to know the truth.

John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

In the next couple of weeks, we will be getting into the basic approach to how to establish authority. It’s an approach that we all use in our day to day lives but usually don’t organize or verbalize it.

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