As a Christian, do you believe that you need authority for what you say and do as a Christian? Silly question, right? No, it is not. Do you really believe we need authority or do you just say we need authority? In other words, when the rubber meets the road and you make a decision to say or do something in your life as a Christian, do you determine Biblical authority or do you ignore any need for Biblical authority?
Recently, in asking a Christian for Biblical authority in an action he was undertaking, the response was, “Where is your authority for asking me for authority?” We say, “I would never say that”; but that is exactly what we say, in effect, when we do not seek out Biblical authority for our own actions. So, again, do we believe we need authority for our words and actions or not?
Interesting, isn’t it, that the chief priests and elders of the people asked Jesus about this very thing in Matthew 21:23 when Jesus was teaching. It was not wrong that someone requested authority from Him regarding His teaching; however, we know from His answer that their motivation for asking the question was wrong. If those men asked Jesus from where His authority came, does it seem out of the question that some might rightly ask us where our authority comes from?
Jesus understood the need for authority and for the need to provide that authority. What does He say to His apostles in Matthew 28:18? He specifically makes known that He has authority and He received that authority from God (see John 17:2). We know that because He says that authority in Heaven has been given to Him. None but God can give that authority. Why does Jesus tell His apostles that He has all authority if authority in our lives is not important?
Jesus defines love for Him in John 14:15. He does not say, if you love me you will feel warm or walk around crying tears of joy or tell people that you love Him. He says that the one who loves Him will do His will. Not hard to understand, is it? Until we come to verses like Mark 16:16. Then, we seek ways around what Jesus plainly said. The teaching of “faith only” is a teaching that lacks authority.
Let me tell you that the Bible is VERY clear about this. We may not all agree on the method for determining authority or understand the directives alike, but we cannot debate that God says we MUST have authority. Where, you may ask? In Colossians 3:17. We may be familiar with this verse, but do we understand its implications? Everything we do or say demands that we do it by the authority of Jesus. It is, therefore, imperative that we understand the need for Biblical authority in our words and deeds and that we are prepared to offer our Biblical authority for our words and deeds when asked. To ignore this is to ignore a command of God. If you doubt it, you have the right and responsibility to show why from the scriptures.