One of the key features of authority in the Bible is its divine origin. According to biblical belief, the Bible was authored by human writers under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit. This divine authorship lends an inherent authority to the words and teachings found within its pages. As such, the Bible is seen as more than just a compilation of religious texts but as the very word of God
The concept of authority is a fundamental theme in the Bible, reflecting both human and divine aspects. The scriptures provide valuable insights into the nature of authority, its source, and its application in various contexts. In this blog post, we will explore the multifaceted understanding of authority in the Bible, shedding light on its significance in the lives of believers.
Churchgist will give you all you ask on Understanding Authority in the Bible: A Divine Perspective, Delegated Authority is Biblical and Legitimate, Delegated Authority is Limited in Three Ways, and so much more.
Understanding Authority in the Bible: A Divine Perspective
1. Divine Authority:
The Bible unequivocally establishes God as the ultimate source of authority. Throughout the scriptures, God’s authority is portrayed as supreme and all-encompassing. In passages like Psalm 103:19, it is affirmed that “The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.” This divine authority is the foundation upon which all other forms of authority are built.
2. Human Authorities:
While God’s authority is paramount, the Bible acknowledges the existence of human authorities. Romans 13:1 reminds us, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.” Human authorities, whether in government, family, or other institutions, are viewed as God’s instruments for maintaining order and justice in the world.
3. Christ’s Authority:
The New Testament introduces Jesus Christ as having divine authority. In Matthew 28:18, Jesus declares, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” His authority extends over both the spiritual and earthly realms, emphasizing His unique role in the divine plan.
4. Spiritual Authority:
Within the faith community, spiritual authority plays a significant role. Church leaders and pastors are entrusted with spiritual authority to guide, teach, and care for the congregation. Hebrews 13:17 advises believers to “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority,” recognizing the importance of spiritual guidance.
5. Authority with Responsibility:
The Bible emphasizes that authority comes with responsibility. Those in positions of authority are expected to exercise it justly and in accordance with God’s will. In Micah 6:8, it is written, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” This verse encapsulates the ethical dimension of authority.
God and Authority
God alone is the ultimate authority
- Matthew 6:13
- Romans 13:1
- Daniel 2:20,21
Rebellion against God’s authority is a serious sin
- Numbers 15:30
- 1 Samuel 15:22,23
Delegated Authority is Biblical and Legitimate
- Daniel 2:37,38 (see also Jeremiah 27:6)
- Matthew 22:21
- Romans 13:1-7
- Titus 3:1
- 1 Peter 2:13-17
- Ephesians 6:5-8
- Colossians 3:22-25
- 1 Timothy 6:1,2
- Titus 2:9,10
- 1 Peter 2:18
- Ephesians 5:22-24,33
- Colossians 3:18
- Titus 2:5
- 1 Peter 3:1-6
- Ephesians 6:1-4
- Colossians 3:20
- 1 Corinthians 16:15-18
- 1 Thessalonians 5:12,13
- Titus 2:15
- Hebrews 13:17
- 1 Peter 5:5
Delegated Authority is Limited in Three Ways
The sphere of influence of the authority is restricted to the extent of the authority that God has granted to them. God does not demand that we follow delegated authorities outside of the lawful realm of power that they have been granted. Because of this, the Bible instructs ladies to “be submissive to your own husbands” rather than “be submissive to men in general” (1 Peter 3:1; Ephesians 5:22). It is unacceptable for parents to tell their adult children who they are required to marry, for civil authorities to tell their citizens what religious views they are required to embrace, or for church officials to tell Christians what occupations they are permitted to do. For the same reason, it is also inappropriate for parents to tell their adult children who they are required to marry.
There is no such thing as delegated authority that operates independently. The authority of God supersedes that of any authority that has been conferred. Because of this, whenever the Bible speaks to individuals who are assigned power over others, it also speaks to those who themselves have delegated authority within the same verse, and it reminds them of their obligations before God.
Mark 10:41–45 and Romans 13:4 make clear that the purpose of every power that has been entrusted is to serve. Even while God often allows immoral individuals to maintain positions of delegated power, the misuse of such authority for the sake of exploitation or tyranny is condemned in the scripture, and God will personally hold them accountable for their conduct.
Understanding authority in the Bible is a multifaceted journey that encompasses divine authority, human authorities, Christ’s authority, and spiritual authority. It underscores the importance of recognizing and respecting the various forms of authority in our lives while always aligning our actions with God’s will. Ultimately, the biblical perspective on authority encourages a balance of power with responsibility, promoting justice, mercy, and humility in our interactions with others and with God.