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A Study of Authority

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  1. A Study of Authority

  2. How do we distinguish between what we can and cannot do? • How do we ensure that we are pleasing to God and not transgressing His will?2 John 9

  3. In previous lessons: • We discussed, What is your source of authority? • Authority means permission • It should not be traditions, conscience, wisdom of men, family, the majority or even the Old Law. • It is the teachings of Jesus through Him and His apostles

  4. In previous lessons: • We also discussed HOW to establish authority • Command • Approved Example • Necessary inference • Such is true in every aspect of life

  5. TODAYTypes of Authority Mark 16:15

  6. Types of Authority • In any statement of authority, there are generally 2 types of instructions: • General • Specific • These apply in our service to God as well

  7. Generic authority • Instructions that give you liberty (options) as to HOW to carry out some aspect of a command.

  8. INCLUSIVE “make an ark”Gen. 6:14 HOW? Generic Authority • God did not specify CHOICE • CHOICE ALLOWED from variety of options Hammer Saw Awl

  9. INCLUSIVE “go”Mark 16:15 HOW? Generic Authority • God did not specify CHOICE • CHOICE ALLOWED from variety of options Walk Ride Fly Sail

  10. INCLUSIVE “preach”, “teach”Mark 16:15, Matt. 28:19-20 HOW? Generic Authority • God did not specify CHOICE • CHOICE ALLOWED from variety of options Publicly House to house Class Assembly

  11. INCLUSIVE “singing”Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16 Type? Generic Authority Harmony Unison Slow Fast • God did not specify CHOICE • CHOICE ALLOWED from variety of options

  12. INCLUSIVE “assemble”Heb. 10:25 WHERE? Generic Authority Tent Home Rental Meeting house • God did not specify CHOICE • CHOICE ALLOWED from variety of options

  13. INCLUSIVE “apparel”1 Tim. 2:9 Type? Generic Authority Dress Pants Blouse Robe • God did not specify CHOICE • CHOICE ALLOWED from variety of options

  14. Generic authority • It is NEVER exclusive. • Involves details of given commands - HOW a command is fulfilled

  15. Generic Authority • Expedients • An aid or method used to expedite or facilitate the execution of a command • Sing – song book, leader, pitch pipe • Assemble – place, amenities to facilitate the assembly • Teach – class rooms, chalk boards, PowerPoint, etc.

  16. Specific Authority • A command where something is specified and thereby all other options are excluded

  17. Specific Noah ,“Gopher wood” Gen. 6:14-16 Gopherwood Specific Authority • No CHOICE given • Only specified action APPROVED • To change pattern was to disobey God Oak Pine Cedar NOT

  18. Specific Moses,“Speak to the rock” Num. 20:8 Speak Specific Authority • No CHOICE given • Only specified action APPROVED • Moses denied Promised Land Strike it Take personal glory NOT

  19. EXCLUSIVE “music” Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16, 1 Cor. 14:15 SING Specific Authority Playing an instrumentHumming, instrumental sounds, clapping • No CHOICE given • Only specified action APPROVED NOT

  20. EXCLUSIVE “Lord’s Supper” 1 Cor. 11:23-26 Unl. bread Fruit of vine Specific Authority • No CHOICE given • Only specified action APPROVED Beans & cornbread Burger & coke NOT

  21. EXCLUSIVE “Modest apparel” 1 Tim. 2:9 Modest Specific Authority • Only specified detailsAPPROVED Bikini Mini skirt Short shorts NOT

  22. Specific Authority • Most commands contain both generic and specific instructions. • For example: • Mark 16:15, “Go and preach”– excludes not going. • Eph. 5:19 Singing – excludes instrumental, but generic as to type (4 part harmony, unison, upbeat song vs. solemn, etc.)

  23. Dangers of Extremes • Accepting only generic authority • If not specifically forbidden, it is acceptable • Such appeals to silenceHeb. 7:13-14, 1 Cor. 4:6

  24. Dangers of Extremes • Accepting only specific authority • Denies many options that are acceptable – binding where God has not bound. • Examples – L.S. containers, no Bible classes, etc.

  25. Respecting authority is the only way to ensure we are pleasing to God

  26. Do you respect God’s word in your life?