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Authority

November 3, 2007

Paradox
a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.Examples of Biblical paradox:
to live, you must die John 12:24
to be wise, you must be foolish 1 Cor 4:10
to be strong, you must be weak 2 Cor 12:9-10

I think that spiritual authority is another example of paradox
to have spiritual authority, you must………..

Matt 20:[25] Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. [26] Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, [27] and whoever wants to be first must be your slave– [28] just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
__________________

Are Christians who focus incessently upon “authority over” or “lordship over” other Christians accurately representing Christ and the Bible?

Are they living in proper submission and obedience to the instructions of our Lord Jesus Christ quoted above?

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I think spiritual authority is more accurately understood in terms of “authority to” rather than “authority over”.

IOW, I have spiritual authority to overcome sin in my life and walk in a manner worthy of HIS calling. Whatever God has instructed me to do, HE will empower me to do.

So, in marriage
the husband has the authority to protect, nurture, nourish, cherish, love, understand, value, esteem, and respect his wife (see also Eph 5 and 1Peter 3 instructions for husbands).
And
the wife has the authority to help, support, nourish, love, humbly cooperate with (aka submit to), and reverence her husband (see also Eph 5 and 1Peter 3 instructions for wives)
__________________Whatsoever God has instructed us to do,
HE will empower us to do
IF we are submissive (humbly cooperative) toward HIM

“subjection”in the following verse is NOT the submission/hupotasso/humble cooperation word.
It is a different word doulagōgeō
which means SLAVERY.
I have authority to do THIS:1Cr 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring [it] into subjection:
lest that by any means, when I have preached to others,
I myself should be a castaway.

As a young Christian, I memorized the above in RSV so I am partial to this rendition:

“But I POMMEL my body and SUBDUE IT!
lest after preaching to others
I myself should be disqualified”

__________________

Scripturally,-if one is faithful over little, one will be given much Mt 25:21ff
-“to whom much is given, much shall be required”.
-spiritual authority in the church is restricted- by several passages- to those who have demonstrated Christlikeness in their own homes

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Sometimes
it seems that
“the church”

is really no reflection upon Christ

__________________

Shouldn’t Christians resemble Christ?
Isn’t THAT the point?
Isn’t THAT the Good News?
That HE has given us power and authority to resemble Christ?
Not in our own strength, NO!
That is another paradox: “when I am weak then I am strong”
I have authority to:

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit,
but in humility
consider others better than yourselves.
Each of you should look not only to your own interests,
but also to the interests of others.Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient
Phil 2

__________________

Are we competing for power and control?
WHO is SOVEREIGN to the Christian?

At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying,
Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
Mt 18:1

“And now I will show you the most excellent way.”
1 Corinthians 13

__________________

by this shall all men know that you are my disciples,
that you have love one for another”
John 13:35I have authority to love!

__________________

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