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Let’s spend a few minutes recapping what has been presented so far.
We know that authority is the ability to empower others and that one has to have it in the first place before one can dispense or delegate it. Our Christian world view puts God as the ultimate source of all rule, authority and power and we know that in the end He abolishes all of that.
I want to spend a few minutes to more fully explain what I believe this means. Again, I need to remind you of my human fallibility and that this is my “latest” understanding of this passage.
Our entire world is broken up into different countries, states, municipalities, etc., but the Kingdom of God is simply referred to in the singular form. I suppose that we can infer from this that there is but one Kingdom of God. If so, when the end comes, there is no need for rule because there is but one jurisdiction.
If it ends up that there is but a single rule with God Himself as the ruler, why would there be a need for a distribution of power and authority?
So, that leaves us with two paradigms. The world and how God has allowed the formation of rules with rulers that have been granted authority to exercise power on earth. The other paradigm, of course, is the Kingdom of God initiated by Jesus and directed by the Holy Spirit.
God has provided us with plenty of advice as to how we should be conducting our affairs here on earth. He has demonstrated His eternal omnipotence by allowing us the ability to reject Him. I personally do not believe there is a greater power than permitting the rejection of the one who has created you. Children need to consider this when they reject the parents that gave them life.
Back to our discussion of authority. Much like children can declare their independence and reject all that their parents have taught them, humans are empowered to do the same with God.
However, we must always keep in mind that there is only one Creator. He has put everything in place, so any and everything we do is either in keeping with what and how God created things or simply a perversion of it.
To help you wrap your head around this thought, consider that there are only two possibilities respecting light. We either have light or darkness. Although a lot of folks consider darkness to be something, it is actually nothing more than the absence of light. Similarly, things are either true or not true. Authority is the same.
Either the authority is with authorization from the only One who could grant it, or it is not. Anyone can claim to have authority, but not all authority is legitimate. If God is not in it, then it simply is not legitimate authority. This is important to understand.
There is a most interesting and frightening passage in the Bible found in Matthew 7:21-29. It is frightening because we all see ourselves falling short and missing the mark. After all, it appears that some of those rejected are pretty powerful individuals, prophesying, casting out demons and performing miracles. However, we will not see what is being communicated until we read the rest of the passage.
Jesus goes on to talk about building houses on rock or sand and truly impresses His audience. They think that He must be special because He speaks with authority, and not like their scribes, who while claiming to have authority, obviously lacked the anointing that comes with God’s delegation of it. Those who failed to be recognized by God may have forgotten about the proper use of authority, as the people believed the scribes had.
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