The Lord's Authority: Let Us Recognize and Submit to It (Matthew 28:18)
1. The article in today's bulletin is a concise study of authority in religion. 2. A failure to recognize and submit to the Lord's authority has led to the division and confusion that exist in the religious world. 3. In our lesson we are concentrating on several principles that relate to "the authority of Christ." 4. As we do so, let us be reminded of the importance of: a. recognizing the Lord's authority b. submitting to the Lord's authority. 5. Let us begin our study with the fact that . . .
I. JESUS CLAIMED TO HAVE ALL AUTHORITY (Matthew 28:18)
A. Jesus said that He has all "power" [authority] "in heaven and in earth." B. He also said that His authority had been given to Him. C. Who gave Him all authority?
II. (John 17:1-2) JESUS REVEALED THE SOURCE OF HIS AUTHORITY
A. Jesus was praying on this occasion, and He addressed His prayer to the Father. B. Jesus indicated that the Father had "given him power [authority] over all flesh." C. Jesus has all authority -- the Father gave it to Him.
III. JESUS DEMONSTRATED HIS AUTHORITY ON MANY OCCASIONS
A. He demonstrated His authority: 1. when He calmed the stormy sea (Matthew 8:23-27) 2. when He forgave a man's sins (Matthew 9:1-8) 3. when He cast out unclean spirits (Mark 1:23-27) 4. when He delegated authority to the apostles (Luke 9:1-2) 5. when He was resurrected (Romans 1:4). B. Considering the many occasions when Jesus demonstrated His authority should lead us to reach the same conclusion that Nicodemus reached in John 3:2.
IV. THE POSITION THAT JESUS OCCUPIES REFLECTS HIS AUTHORITY
A. (Acts 2:33) Peter said that Jesus is "by the right hand of God exalted." B. At God's right hand, Jesus rules as the head of His church (Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18). C. Considering the exalted position that Jesus occupies should lead us to recognize Him as "King of kings, and Lord of Lords" (Revelation 19:16).
A. In Colossians 3:17 we are taught to submit to the Lord's authority -- we are to say and do the things that Christ authorizes us to say and do. B. The things Christ authorizes us to say and do are revealed in His Word, the New Testament (Colossians 3:16a; Hebrews 9:15). C. In Colossians 3:16b an illustration is provided for us -- the Word of Christ authorizes "singing" in worship.
1. Let us always recognize the Lord's divine authority and submit to it. 2. The Lord will bless us for doing so (James 1:25).