All Authority Resides in Christ
It is interesting to study and gain insight into people's views of the Scriptures. Some see the authority principle clearly while others do not see it at all. From the beginning, God's relationship with man centered around a loving and all knowing God relating from a position of power to His creation, man. "Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.' So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth'" (Genesis 1:26-28). God said what He intended to do and then did it. Though He said, let Us, He sought permission from no other power. He spoke and things were created. It all existed and came into being from nothing. "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible" (Hebrews 11:3). This is the ultimate power.
The Bible story includes the transition of power from the Father to the Son for this age. The significance of the Son-ship of Jesus is two fold:
1 Corinthians 15 is an excellent source of material concerning the position of power which Jesus presently occupies. In the discussion of the resurrection, the theme of the great chapter, Paul addresses the end when the shift reverts. Consider: "Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For 'He has put all things under His feet.' But when He says 'all things are put under Him,' it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all" (1 Corinthians 15:24-28). Notice He must reign... Jesus must reign indicates that He is presently reigning and is in that position of power. All authority resides in Christ.
Again, Paul addresses the issue with Timothy as he encourages his son in the faith to continue in that faith. "I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ's appearing, which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen" (1 Timothy 6:13-16). Ask your Mason friends why they call their leaders potentates? Jesus is the only Potentate, the supreme ruler possessing all authority.
What does the possession of power give one the right to do? As Potentate, as King, as Lord, Jesus naturally has the right to command. He is in charge. His word is supreme. If we seek to please God, we must submit to the supreme will of Jesus, Gods Son. "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'" (John 14:6). To get to the Father, we must go through the Son. It is the way God wants it. It is the decree of God. The second Psalm says it best. "Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion." "I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel.'" (Psalms 2:6-9). King-ship and Son-ship are inseparably linked. And from that position, He has the right to break with a rod of iron and dash into pieces all who oppose Him.
The final passage of reference to establish His position is one stated by Jesus Himself. "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'" (Matthew 28:18-20). The Father gave Jesus the authority. It is universal. And from that position of supreme authority, Jesus is able to command, Go, baptize, and teach.
Where, then, is there any remaining power? Where is there any authority left? Men have tried with great futility to revert back to the Old Testament for their authority to act. It makes no sense whatsoever given what we have seen in the above cited scriptures. Jesus Christ possesses all authority in heaven and on earth for this generation. He and He alone has the right and power to dictate policy. And He has utilized that power. We could take and consider a myriad of issues that has and continues to affect the church.
This author submitted for the readers of this journals consideration a set of sermon charts on Bible Authority: How to Get it and Use It accessible at this link: http://www.watchmanmag.com/0506/050602.htm. I would encourage another look at those charts.
All authority resides in Christ. We cannot change that (Galatians 1:6-9), add to that (Revelation 22:18-19) or in any way alter what He has said. It is simply up to us to submit to that authority and be content. May God bless us all to that end.