God’s Gift Of Authority: Part 3

By: Larry Payne

I. Principles of obedience

As we live for Jesus Christ and have committed ourselves to Him, we are looking to learn all we can about living for Him harmoniously and meaningfully in this world. We need His wisdom and direction. How can we discover His truth? His word says “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free:” I need truth and I need freedom, but how?

There are two extreme groups that are involved in religion:

1. Those who believe everything. This group falls for everything from U.F.O.’s to E.S.P., cults and a long list of creeds and laws. Somehow I think this group is motivated by inferiority and a need for dominance and
an over-anxious need for acceptance.

2. Those who believe nothing. This group rationalizes everything. Sin vanishes into the abstract for them. Sin is a mistake and not a crime. For this group, all things can be proven, proven that is by research, direction or some other human process.

However, christianity is opposite to both parties. Christianity is not a “head religion.” It’s very nature is a basis of faith and not reasoning. Jesus never taught on His own personal authority because He was not just
offering another opinion different or opposed to the religious thinkers of His days. He taught and brought principles of life and wisdom and not the ideas that personal understanding was the solution. Many men know about, and of, God’s words. Jesus said, “If any man will do His will, he shall know the doctrine,…” (John 7:17)

Christian knowledge (spiritual knowledge) is very important to us. His doctrine cannot be separated from Him. He was the sum-total of His doctrines and teaching. So how can we know? Know God? Know His will? Know His truth? “If any man will do His will…”

Conditions for spiritual knowledge

God’s ways and dealings are founded on spiritual laws. Just as laws and power govern the earth (laws of nature) and the universe (laws of gravity, etc.) and government (constitution, legislature, etc.). God has spiritual laws that underwrite His kingdom.

The fundamental law of faith is very valuable to know and understand. However, all faith relates to and ties in with the fundamental truth of OBEDIENCE.

1. Fundamental Law – Romans 6:16

We are servant to whom we obey, whether it be in unto death or obedience unto righteousness. This obedience must be worked out in fear and trembling. (Phil. 2:12)

2. Spiritual Life depends on Acts 5:32

The Lord imparts the baptism of the Holy Ghost to those that obey. (Acts 5:32, Hebrews 5:8-9, I Peter 1:22) Even Jesus learned and was made perfect thru obedience. (Heb. 5:8-9) He gives salvation to the obedient. Our souls are purified in obeying truth. (I Peter 1:22)

3. Must be from the heart

The heart must believe unto righteousness, (Rom. 10:10) and the doctrine must be obeyed from the heart. (Rom. 6:17)

4. Knowledge depends on obedience

Jesus indicates that we do not have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness if we are not obedient. Our fellowship with Him is dependent upon “walking in the light.” (I John 1:6-7) He dwells with those that keep His commandments. (I John 3:24) and keep His commandments. (I John 5:1-3) His commandments are not grievous.

The very father of faith, Abraham, obeyed God and left Ur of the Chaldees. Your faith is very questionable, except on the proof of your obedience. “Faith if it hath not works is dead, being alone.” (James 2:17) You can accept some knowledge about Jesus into your heart or head and not believe Him and know Him.

Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Caleb, the three Hebrew children and Daniel were men of faith that “acted out” their faith by obedience.

Obedience from the heart is a “unity of wills.” Your will comes into, by faith, the will of god. Thus, His will becomes your will, by faith. The real truth about obedience is submission, an act of your own desire and
volition. God will lead you, but never force you, coerce you, or overpower your will.

Let’s dissect and observe and see if we can gain more light on God’s gift of authority. (Romans 13:1-5)

A. Every soul is subject

First of all, all power and authority comes from, or is underwritten by God. Whether it comes thru the channel of a dictator, slave owner or your parents. Every man on the fact of God’s earth is under authority.

In Deuteronomy 17:12, we see an Old Testament passage reinforcing God’s arrangement of authority. Also, in the New Testament passage, Titus 3:1, we again see God’s reinforcing of authority on many levels.

Submit (I Peter 2:13-17, Jude 8)

Obedience should be an act of submission. We need to bow our heart and not just our knees. We need to obey the laws of our lands and live within the confines of them, when it does not violate higher laws. Our testimony and witness will only be as effective as our obedience and submission to authority. You will have a difficult time winning your fellow man on the job or school, if they know you resist law and order and are out from under authority. Obedience is so important to our relationship with God and country. However, submission is the very spirit of obedience. The humbling of the heart, the spirit of meekness, the spirit of faith and trust.

B. There is no power but of God – ( I Samuel 2:8)

God has the perogative of setting a man up or taking a man down. He can make a vessel of honor or dishonor. He is “all knowing” and knows what is best for me. The scripture says “all good things come down from the father of light…” If you are blessed, either with health or a sound mind or prosperity, you can thank God, for He has blessed you.

In Daniel 4:32, we have a historical account of a man who refused to recognize God’s power and authority as “God given.” The Lord allowed him to be humbled as an animal, so as to underscore the principle of recognizing that all power is ultimately from God. The Most High God most assuredly rules from on high. It may be that He is ruling from behind the scenes of life. If Life can be looked upon as a drama, or a stage, we can be sure God is pulling the curtains and changing the lights and props. He even writes the script, for the most part. God is unfolding our life’s message thru His power.

In our Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:13, He said, “For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.” All power is God’s power. Also, in John 19:11, we see Jesus reminding Pilate that he only could exercise the power God allowed him to exercise.

God does have the last say about all things and this whole world is really in His hands. One of the most encouraging scriptures in the Bible to me is Luke 10:19 – “Behold I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Even Satan’s power and authority is allotted him by God. Job is an example of Satan’s need to petition God for permission and authority to effect Job. Satan does not possess any power except what God allows him to use.

C. Resisteth the Power

Actually when you resist authority, you are resisting God, because it comes from Him, directly and indirectly. In Jeremiah, the Lord said that a man who resists God would make his ways slippery, he would eat wormwood and drink gall. Do yourself a favor and stay under authority. God will justify the righteous and condemn the unrighteous.

D. Not a Terror

When we are making life decisions, we are more protected and secure by taking counsel from someone who has a responsibility over us. So many are so free to pass out advice to others. It is not difficult to give advice
and counsel when you are not responsible for your advice. However, if a man is responsible to and for the person he counsels, his advice takes on a completely different light. Your authority may not tell you what you would rather hear, but he is not a threat to you.

In Proverbs 2:1-2, we see wisdom in submission. We protect our own soul by not resisting our leaders. (Learn which side your bread is buttered on) This is not just a gift which blinds the eye, form of bribery, but a recognizing of a seat of power. (I Peter 3:12-14) God is against the unrighteous.

E. He is the Minister of God

The queen of Sheba, commented to Solomon in I Kings 10:9, “Blessed be thy God, which delighted in thee to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the Lord loved Israel forever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgement and justice.”

She recognized two things:

1. God made Solomon King and not David or the people. The Lord did move thru his father David, and the people of Israel to bring him into power. The scripture teaches us that God reserves the power to set a man up and take a man down. He chooses to make a vessel of honor and dishonor.

2. He set Solomon up because he loved Israel, not to dominate the nation, but to express love, direction and justice.

In II Chronicles 19:6, the Lord is reminding leaders of the weight of their action and decisions. “Take heed what ye do, for ye judge not for man, but for the Lord, who is with you in judgement.” Also, in Ecc. 8:2-5, the Lord is reminding us of our attitude toward leaders and the power they do possess.

F. Ye Must Needs Be Subject For Conscience Sake

A clear conscience is a very valuable asset to any man. One thing that affects a man’s conscience is his relationship to authority. Here are two beautiful examples of God’s word of men who touched authority and were convicted about it. These are two of the most powerful men in the Bible and good examples to follow, in their dealing with authority.

David – (I Samuel 24:5-6)

We see David, as he slips into Saul’s camp and cuts off a portion of Saul’s skirt. Saul hated him and was trying to kill him. He was searching and hunting him. David could have easily exterminated of his enemy. David’s conscience smote him for touching God’s anointed. Saul was rejected by God from being king, but he still was king. We must learn to focus on the position and not on the man himself. David recognized Saul as his master and the anointed of God. Timing and waiting is important.

Paul – (Acts 23:2-5)

The High Priest, who hated Paul, commanded Paul to be struck. Upon hearing this, Paul retaliated and reproved him. However, when he discovered that the person commanding was the High Priest, he quickly apologized and retreated. He would not speak evil of the ruler of the people. Be careful how you respond to God’s authority whether it be in the home, job, church or government. I Peter 2:13-15 tells us to submit ourselves to authority.

Conscience – (Acts 24:16)

We need a conscience “void of offense” toward God and toward man. We can endure grief and suffering wrongfully to maintain a right, clean conscience. (I Peter 2:19-20) If you have maintained a right conscience, when others speak evil against you, they will be ashamed and will not have robbed your good expression, for guilt and condemnation will have no root in you. (I Peter 3:16)


1. Christianity is not a “head religion” but a “_________________________.”

2. Why do we need doctrine? _______________________________________________

3. Faith relates to and ties with the fundamental truth of _______________.

4. We are servants to whom we _______________________. Where is the scripture found? ______________________________________.

Please write the entire scripture out: _____________________________________________________

5. How is our soul purified? ______________________________________________
Where is the scripture found?______________________________________________

6. Write out Romans 6:17 __________________________________________________

7. Our fellowship with Him is dependant upon “walking ___________________”.

8. Write out James 2:17, 21-22:____________________________________________

9. We “act out” faith by _________________________________________________.

10. Obedience from the heart is a uniting of the _________________________.

11. His will becomes your will by ________________________________________.

12. All power and authority comes from and is ____________ by ____________.

13. Obedience should be an act of ________________________________________.

14. Submission is the very ______________________ of obedience.

15. Where in the scripture is it found that God sets a man up or takes a man down? _________________________________________________
Where in the scripture is it found that God makes a vessel of honor or  dishonor? _________________________________________________

16. Who was the man in Daniel 4:32 that God humbled? _____________________.

17. Who in the New Testament did Jesus stand before and remind that the power he exercised came to him from God? _________________________________.

18. Where in the scripture is it found “Behold, I give unto you power of the enemy…? _________________________________________

19. Where does Satan get his power? _______________________________________

20. When you resist authority you are resisting __________________________.

21. When we are making life decisions, we are more ______________________ and ________________________ by taking counsel from someone who has a____________________ over us.

22. What two things did the Queen of Sheba recognize about Solomon in I Kings 10:9?
1. ________________________________________________________________________
2. ________________________________________________________________________

23. Do you believe that God has the power to set a man up or take him down?
_______________ Explain: __________________________________________________

24. In I Samuel 24:56, why did David feel badly? __________________________

25. David said Saul was his _______________ and the ____________ of God.

26. In Acts 23:2-5, who did Paul regret commenting to? ____________________
Why? ______________________________________________________________________

27. Please write out Acts 24:16 ___________________________________________

Also write out I Peter 2:19-20 ____________________________________________

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

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