Monday, September 22, 2008

How to Establish Authority

Our Bible study at my home is going well. It is very encouraging to be with a group of brethren that take God's authority seriously. So many people do their own thing without a single thought whether God's is pleased by it or not. We discussed the importance of using tools to access God's inspired written word to ensure we do all in His name as he would have us to do.

We discussed the three ways that we establish authority in all things that we do. This applies to schools, work, homes, etc. We may not always outline the method but we logically derive what we can and cannot do upon these three ways.

They are:

1) Direct command,
2) Approved example,
3) Necessary implication or inference.

Sometimes this is referred to as CEI (command, example, inference). This is not a doctrine taught by the scriptures but rather a respectful tool that we use to ensure we do all things by God's authority and that we do not stray from his written word.

Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

Our love for God and respect for His authority leads us to ensure we don't haphazardly start doing things that God may be displeased with. Let's look at these three methods of establishing authority:

1) Direct Command (or statement): This is an obvious understanding that God and his inspired writers gave commands and made direct statements on what we are to do as Christians, as individuals and as a church.

a. All must repent: Acts 17:30; Luke 13:3
b. Assembling of the saints: Hebrews 10:25
c. Disciples are to contribute: 1 Cor 16: 1-2

2) Approved Example: Situations and example given for our benefit by the inspired individuals of the Bible.

a. Breaking bread on first day of week: Acts 20:7
b. Churches sending relief to other brethren: Acts 11:29-30

3) Necessary Inference: A logical conclusion that can necessarily be drawn from the data given.

a. Before he was baptized, Jesus with down into the water: Matthew 3:16
b. Christians met on the first day of every week and broke bread: Acts 20:7

In my next blog, I will look at using all three of these methods in how we partake of the Lord's Supper.