Introduction: 1. In John 17:20-21 Jesus prayed that His followers would "be one" as He and the Father are one. 2. The unity that Jesus prayed for is not achieved by accident. 3. In order to be truly united, we must: a. recognize the authority of Christ b. submit to the Lord's authority. 4. In our lesson we are concentrating on some matters that relate to "the authority of Christ." 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 the New Testament (Hebrews 9:15; James 1:25). C. In Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus authorized His followers to practice "evangelism." 1. We have been blessed with an opportunity to send "House to House Heart to Heart" to almost 3,000 homes in our community. 2. Our issue will be mailed in late September. 3. The featured editorial will be an article on "Bible authority." 4. In 1 Corinthians 3:6 an important principle that relates to evangelism is revealed -- when we plant the seed and water it, God will give the increase.
1. Let us always recognize the Lord's divine authority and submit to it. 2. Let us take advantage of this opportunity to plant the seed in our community. 3. Let us pray that the Lord will bless our effort.