Know And Use Your Authority

The commands of God give us all the authority we need. People challenged the authority of Jesus and they will surely challenge ours.

Matthew 21:23-27: And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority? And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet. And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.

John 15:20: Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

People challenged the God-given authority of Moses, Jeremiah and many others. If we give people God*s Word, the Bible or the principles in it, some people will reject it and us along with it. Whether or not they reject you and me is not very important. If we are working together with God people*s rejection of us will only be a side-effect of their rejection of God*s Word. It is an honor and a privilege to be in the company of the rejected Creator and Saviour. You can sometimes tell more about a person by who rejects him than by who accepts him.

1 Samuel 8:7: And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.

If people do not admit that the Word of God is the Word of God, it is still the Word of God. It is a problem when we doubt our own God-given authority. Doubting our authority and disobeying God go hand in hand. Doubting our authority is not part of faith. It is evidence that we do not know the Lord as well as we should. It is evidence that we do not know the Lord*s will very well.

2 Timothy 4:2: Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

That is not a suggestion, it is a command. In season, out of season means there is no time when the Word of God is not appropriate.

We want the rewards of God personally. Since we want them personally we must be aware that the commands are also for us personally. We must not believe that the rewards are personal but the commands are not. If the commands are just for someone else then the rewards must also be for someone else. One of Satan*s ploys is to get us to let some one else serve God. One problem is that he is using the same argument on the other guy.

We need the attitude of Isaiah.

Isaiah 6:8: Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

Peter tried to pass the buck to the Apostle John. Jesus wouldn*t let him. Jesus told him that what John did was none of his business.

John 21:19-22: This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.

We are not to judge another man*s servant and we are not to judge God*s other servants.

Romans 14:4: Who art thou that judgest another man*s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

We are responsible for personally obeying God. The other fellow is not in the same place that we are. The other fellow has not been given the same abilities as us. He does not have the same friends that we have. He does not have the same job we have.

No one else was in the spot to do what Noah did. No one else was in the spot to do what Moses did. No one else was in the spot to do what David did. No one else is in the spot you are in. No one else can do exactly what God wants you to do. The others all have their own things to do for God.

Ephesians 2:10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Psalms 37:23: The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

The steps of each particular man are ordered by the Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:20: Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ*s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

1 Corinthians 3:9: For we are labourers together with God: ye are God*s husbandry, ye are God*s building.

Philippians 2:12: Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Salvation is not of works so Paul cannot be speaking of that here. Rather, he is speaking of the life of a saved person. He is speaking of how an obedient saved person will do different works than a disobedient one. When God is working in you, you have already been saved. He is now working His will and His good pleasure in you. It is not the salvation of a soul that is referred to here. It is the salvation of the life of an already saved soul.

Ambassadors, labourers together with God and people with God working in them have the authority of Almighty God Himself. When we are serving God challenges to our authority are rebellion against God Himself.

We must be willing to be the cutting edge that God uses to separate the saved from the lost. If they were lost before you ministered God*s Word to them you will not have harmed them. You will have given them opportunity to be saved. I have had the joy of learning about someone who rejected Christ when I spoke to them but received Christ later. The Words of God that I gave them were doubtless part of God*s means of drawing them to Himself.

1 Corinthians 3:6: I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

We don*t know if we are planting or watering or when God will reap the harvest.

I know of no reason that we shouldn*t test the authority that God gives us. If we have the slightest thought that God wants us to do or say something we should try it. Start with a small step. Stick your toe in the water. Take your authority for a test drive. A small step demonstrates faith. Not taking a step demonstrates unbelief.

The Lord permitted Gideon to ask proof that he was going to be used by God.

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