Where does authority come from?
In all my messages, I like to spotlight the” law of cause and effect”, or “intelligent design”. Everything in this life and creation reflects invisible attributes and character qualities of the creator. He is the great “Uncaused Cause” of all things. He reveals himself to us not only through his creation but more explicitly through each verse of scripture so that we might infinitely know him better. Through today’s passage of scripture we see that God created authorities, rule, powers and government.
It is even reflected in the animal kingdom as we can see this concept displayed in the Alpha Male/Female animals or pack leaders. The term “pecking order” among chickens even reflects leadership or authority. Thus since it exists in our natural realm, then the law of cause and effect tells us that God invented the concept from his essence and authority as the ultimate ruler of the universe. Authority in this world does not “just happen”. Anarchy “just happens” when sinful man is allowed to run free and unchecked. We are designed for something better.
Submission to Rulers and Masters
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. 16 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. 17 Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.18 Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. 19 For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. 20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
22 “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”
23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Who are you Lord?
I AM the God who created the concept of power, rule and authority both in the animal kingdom as well as in humanity. The whole idea of men ruling men is my idea. I created Adam as well as the universe. Thus I AM the absolute owner and thus authority over everything. It is my prerogative to place the first man – Adam to be the ruler over the earth and the right to tell him to govern it properly. But in his choice to rule himself instead of remain under my rule, he plunged mankind into sin and selfishness. Authority is a good thing as I AM a Righteous Ruler and can do no wrong, but in this fallen world you will have the offices of authority corrupted by sinful people who are drunk with their own power and pride just like Lucifer was.
I AM the God who came to Earth and submitted myself to the Authorities of the Roman and Jewish rulers to the point of a wrongful death. “If my kingdom was of this world, my servants would fight.” However, I earned the right to tell you to obey and submit to your rulers. Live by my example. Regardless of whoever rules or whatever style of government you have, live by my rule of righteousness from the heart. Live honorably by the Spirit not by the letter of the law. Pray for your rulers that you may live in peace. Be prepared however, to be punished for obeying me. My New Testament was written under the rule of wicked men and most of my disciples paid with their lives. There will always be wicked rulers to contend with. Your job is to live in righteousness regardless of the cost to you.
I AM the God who will take back the rightful rule of this world one day. I gave this world to Adam to rule and he turned it over to Satan. I took it back from Satan by my death on the cross and one day I will come back to reign over it on the throne of David in Jerusalem. But before that time, wicked men will have their turn to rule culminating in the man of lawlessness having his turn. But when I come back, I will remove him by my word and will restore this world to its original design and will rule over it with an iron scepter of righteousness, meaning I will make things right and legislate my righteousness over the world and my righteous ones will reign with me.
Authority is a relationship of the will
Words like submission, obedience, responsibility, accountability can only be understood in the perspective of authority. Step out from under authority and you have a whole new set of unpleasant words to experience. Even the name of God “The Lord” is a relational term of authority and reveals to us his desire to have this relationship with you as your king/ Lord/ Master which you must choose to submit to. Choose or not to choose, in the end “every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Jesus as Lord”. You can choose to do it now, or you will just do it later.
Leaders come from the populace. Are you fit to rule?
Whether it is in a church or in the government of a country, the leaders come from the pool of human resources that they will govern. If the pool of human resource is righteous, then the leaders who arise from that pool will be righteous, but if the pool is corrupt, then the leaders will be also. This puts all the more burden on the populace to live godly, righteous lives so that future rulers will be good ones. In one country that I know of, the populace treats the elections as a lottery. Anyone can put in their entry fee and if elected, have ample opportunity to funnel the government’s money to their own constituents. Corrupt people become corrupt leaders who use the people’s money to look out after themselves and those who put him there. You cannot expect godly leaders to rise up out of an ungodly populace. The same holds true for the church. The qualifications of an elder or deacon should be for all men not just for the leaders, then the problem won’t be where godly rulers can be found, rather, we have so many qualified men, which ones do we choose. (Picture credit: http://www.knowledgeoftoday.org/2013/01/crossroads-labor-pains-of-new-worldview.html)-(not that I support their claims)
Consistent control instead of aggravated force
In some countries the parents do not take responsibility in teaching their children to obey them in a consistent manner and with a proper heart attitude of respect. Rather they allow their children to run wild until the parents have had enough and hurt the child out of anger. Those kids will grow up into adults who do the same because that is all they know; authority just means big stick. Not only will they raise their families in like manner but when those children become the authorities in the land, they will treat the populace in like manner as well. I have seen police neglect their daily duties in consistently restraining evil in the cities until they are fed up with the lawlessness and then snap; burning entire squatter settlements to eradicate the problem people from the area. They let the populace live out of control until they are fed up and use excessive force rather than exercise consistent control.
In the family unit, where there are no boundaries or rules, children become spoiled and defiant, they become unsettled, disrespectful and insecure. Where boundaries exist and are enforced by the parents, there is calmness and security within the mind of the child. God made it to be so. Just watch the TV shows “Super Nanny” and see how authority brings change for the good.
Tantrums grow up into riots as adults
When parents cave in to their children’s tantrums when the children do not get their way, those parents unknowingly give them success. When those children become adults, those same tantrums become riots and civil unrest to the disruption of the entire country. I have seen people throw logs across the government runways and highways until the government gives in to the people’s demands. Sometimes those demands are for the good of the nation but usually for selfish gain.
The 5th commandment
“Children honor your father and mother” is probably one of the most important Commandments with regard to social success or upheaval in future generations. When a child is not taught to respect others and to obey authority at the basic level of family, chaos and anarchy are more than a potential in their classrooms when they are young and on a national level when they grow up. Why would children grow up to be obedient to their government if they never learned how to obey their elders and parents in the first place? Nor can you expect to find individuals who are good rulers when they come from the pool of selfishness.
Submission to authority is an attitude of the heart
Our attitudes affect our actions and flow out of our mouths. God wants us to live our lives submissively as unto him – to obey our bosses as we would obey Christ – to live before the world with a testimony that reflects God’s character in us. We are to be his representatives – holy and upstanding before men. You cannot expect someone to follow you if you are not willing to be a follower yourself firstly.
More to come,