Four Basic Structures Of Authority

By: Larry Payne


God established his church

The nature of believing the gospel is OBEYING IT! In Acts 5:32, we notice that Christ gave the Holy Ghost to those that obey. We studied Paul submitting to Ananias. He recognized his subjection to God thru God’s man. While on earth, Jesus obeyed in even minor matters. He paid temple tax thru the mouth of a fish. “…Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”(Matthew 22:2l)

A. Obedience to Delegated Authority

l. Government (Romans 13:1)

God is the source of all authority and power. All governing authorities are ordained and instituted by God. He who resists the authorities resists the command of God. God’s children should not carelessly criticize or denounce government. If anyone should be a law abiding citizen, it ought to be the saints of God. The policemen on the streets are even instituted and recognized by God.

“…Nor curse the ruler of thy people.”(Exodus 22:28) Jesus Christ was never a party to rebellion or political insurrection. He was not a law breaker.” He was under subjection.

a. Taxes to whom taxes are due

b. Revenue to whom revenue is due

c. Respect to whom respect is due

d. Honor to whom honor is due

Insubordination to authority is mutiny against God. We must have a right relationship to law and order to maintain a right relationship with God.

“Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake; whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governers as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.”(I Peter 2:13-14)

2. The Family

God sets up his authority in the home, but many of His children do not pay enough attention to this sphere of the family. Jesus symbolized His relationship to the church as a family and Jesus has authority in His

Ephesians 5:22-24, 6:13. If we could see our submission to our companions and to each other, as unto the Lord, we could increase our faith and trust in Him. We need to recognize Christ’s headship. Once the members of the family see authority; many difficulties in the home will disappear.

“As Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” (I Peter 3:l, 5-6)

3. The Church

God sets authorities in the Church. God has arranged to have men represent Himself as authority. (I Thessalonians 5:12-13, I Timothy 5:17) We need to respect and honor those spiritual leaders God has placed in our lives. Jesus Christ could not stay here and pastor your church so He gave you a gift when He gave you a pastor and spiritual leaders. This authority should be esteemed highly.

A Christian should have two senses 1) sense of sin and 2) sense of authority. Can we trust any less when our Lord displays such trust in His delegated authority. Whether the one in authority is right or wrong does
not particularly concern us, since he has to be responsible to God. The obedient need only to obey, the Lord will not hold us responsible for any mistaken obedience, rather He will hold the delegated authority responsible for his erroneous act.

In Luke 20:9-l6, we have a parable the Lord gave. All these men were His delegated authority. He could have come and collected Himself, but He sent delegates instead. It does not require a lot of humility to be obedient to God’s direct authority but it does demand humility and submissions to be subject to delegated authority. To Paul, after the Damascus Road experience, to see Ananias was like seeing the Lord; to hearken to him was like hearkening unto God. He who dislikes the Lord’s delegated authority dislikes the Lord himself. We cannot bypass delegated authority to be subject to God’s authority. Having delegated His authority unto men, He has restrained himself to work thru the authority He has delegated.

Exception – Acts 5:29 – Due to the fact that men distinctly violate God’s words and commands, we are not responsible to obey. “We ought to obey God rather than men.”

4. Business

This same concept is reflected on our job. How much more could be accomplished and how much more peace we would have if we could see Jesus Christ as our employer. Could we imagine ourselves working, submitting and obeying our supervisors in the same perspective?

“Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance; for ye serve the Lord Christ.”(Colossians 3:22-24)

“Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward” (I Peter 2:18)

Authority of the Body (I Corinthians 12:12-14)

As soon as the head conceives the idea, the fingers move naturally, harmoniously, soundlessly. The functioning of the body is God’s fullest expression of His authority. God’s intention for us is that we render
complete obedience. He will not be satisfied until we are brought to that same degree of response as the body to the head.

After one has learned more about obedience and authority, he will be shown the difference between God’s commands and God’s will. The first is a word, spoken by God, while the latter is an idea conceived in God’s mind; command must be uttered but will can be silent. Always remember that you are a member. Accept the other members in their respective places.


1. The nature of believing the gospel is __________________________________

2. Please write out Acts 5:32 _____________________________________________

3. Please write out Romans 13:1 ___________________________________________

4. Insubordination to authority is ___________________________ against God.

5. “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for _________________ sake.

6. If we could see our submission to our companions and to each other, as unto _______________________, we could increase our _____________________  and ______________________________ in Him.

7. Once the members of the family see authority, many _____________________ in the will disappear.

8. Please write out I Peter 3:1, 5-6 ______________________________________

9. Who represents God on earth? ___________________________________________
How? ______________________________________________________________________

10. Please write out I Timothy 5:17 _______________________________________

11. What were the two senses the lesson mentioned that we as Christians
should have?

1. ________________________________________________________________________

2. ________________________________________________________________________

12. Can we trust any less when our Lord displays such _____________________

13. It does not require to be obedient to God’s direct authority, but it  does demand _________________________ and __________________________ to be
subject to delegated authority.

14. We cannot bypass _________________________ to be subject to God’s authority.

15. Please write out Acts 5:29 ____________________________________________

16. Have you ever looked at your employer and working for him as Jesus?

17. Please write out Colossians 3:22-24 ___________________________________

Please write out I Peter 2:18 _____________________________________________

18. The functioning of the body is God’s fullest __________________________
of His authority.

19. Give some examples how the body represents authority: _________________

20. How do you fit in the body? ___________________________________________

What function do you have in the body? ____________________________________

(The above material was published by Word of Faith Ministries, Azusa, CA.)

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