The called and chosen sons and daughters of God have been given great authority. They have authority under God to ask anything in His name, and He will give it. They have authority to share the Word of God with others. They have authority to stand up against sin and resist it, and teach against it. God's people have the authority to forgive repentant sinners and accept them back into the Church. The people of the Almighty have much authority, if they would only use it, in His name. The Roman Centurion understood authority, Matthew 8:8-9.
God's people do not have any authority whatsoever to go beyond or contrary to God's commands. They do not have authority to accept liars and hirelings as their elders. We people of God do not have His authority to worship human leaders. It is a strange paradox that God's people today often do not exercise the authority God has given them, but they wrongly usurp authority He has NOT given them!
Psalm 40:4, "Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies."
Psalm 56:11, "In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me."
Psalm 118:8-9, "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes."
Psalm 146:3, "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help."
The poor widow in the Church has more spiritual authority than the Pope of Rome! Her prayers are heard by the Almighty. Her moral influence can stop false ministers in their tracks. Her saintly life can melt the heart of the recalcitrant sinner. "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn," Proverbs 29:2. We have usually applied this verse to political or Church leaders, but the text does not demand such a narrow application. I have known righteous widows who are clearly in authority in spiritual matters, by the strength of their character. Members of the congregation recognize their moral authority, and come to them for advice and counsel. When the people of God exercise their righteous authority, great things happen. When they fail to do their duty, grief is the result. The Master taught as one having authority, and not as the scribes, Matthew 7:29. He had done His homework, and He knew the subjects He spoke about.
Every member of the Church of God has been given authority, a work to do, Mark 13:34, Luke 9:1. The Savior will reward some with authority over ten cities, Luke 19:17. Ministers have been given authority for our edification, II Corinthians 10:8. This means training others to exercise authority, not keeping it all to themselves. Unfortunately, because of ministerial abuse, many members have jumped into the opposite ditch and now despise all ministerial authority. We individually have a lot more authority than we realize. Let's recognize, and properly use, our God-given areas of authority.
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