WHAT IS OUR AUTHORITY IN RELIGION?
We must have adequate authorization for everything that we do. BEFORE we may drive a car, we must have the authority of a driver’s license. BEFORE we can write a check, we must have a bank account with adequate funds in it which gives us that authority. BEFORE we get married, we must have a license. BEFORE a doctor can practice, he/she must have a diploma from an accredited medical school and have the license to practice in the state. BEFORE a policeman can carry out his duties, he/she must have a badge which authorizes him to do so.
Also in the realm of religion, we must have the proper authority for all that we do! In worship and service to God, we must do that which we are authorized to do and nothing else! The most common word for “authority” is the Greek word “exousia” which is translated “power.” This word implies the right to act, forbid certain activities, or impose certain obligations upon others.
Jesus stated clearly that God had given Him all authority (Matt. 28:18). God expects the followers of Jesus to listen to him (Col. 1:10). The apostles and prophets who wrote the books of the New Testament spoke with the authority of God, since they were guided by the Holy Spirit (II Peter 1:20-21). A careful study of the scriptures indicates that authority has always rested with divinity: God, Christ and the Holy Spirit and never has it rested with men or a new hermeneutic system!
In determining what the scriptures authorize, there are three avenues through which we receive guidance! First, there are direct commands, such as in Acts 2:38. In the second place, there are approved apostolic examples (John 16:13). The third avenue through which we can know the Lord’s will is by necessary inference, as found in Acts 20:7 where early Christians only ate the Lord’s supper on each first day of the week!
Some liberals are determined to re-structure the church and have criticized those categories as “CENI” (commands, example, necessary inference), and it’s intended as mocking established Bible authority
Some liberals have proposed a new hermeneutic in order to justify their practice of anything they want to uphold! Only those religious acts which are authorized of God are religious acts which are acceptable to Him! The case of Cain and Able shows that what we do in religion must be authorized by the Word of God! (Gen. 4:2-5) One pleased God; the other did not. Why? Because one was performed by God’s authority and the other was not! The Bible also contains both specific and generic authority.
Let us hold fast to Bible authority in order to be saved and please God!
----- Earl Sutton