Authority

posted Jun 3, 2012, 7:18 PM by Hector Falcon
A Question of Authority

When we examine the underlying issue that drives the tensions we encounter regarding worldviews we find the question, who has the ultimate authority to define reality?

To understand how people and cultures think, we need to understand what they believe is the ultimate authority in their lives which defines all reality. The basis for this authority can be traced back to some form of religion. Even atheists who say they have no religion actually have one, whether they realize it or not. Atheism defines all of reality just as any other world religion does.

This is a critical question to understand human behavior since one's ultimate source of authority acts like a policeman that sets limits on our behavior. If one believes that some humans are not really people, then they will not be protected under the law reserved for human beings. This occurred with our own Supreme Court. Earlier in our nation's history it ruled that black people were actually property - not human beings. Therefore they could be bought and sold as any other property. It took a civil war to finally resolve the injustice of that decision. However, the issue behind the slavery question was, who defines reality? Does a group of judges or a 51% of the majority of the people determine what the law is? Or is there a higher authority? 
 
Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the ultimate authority who defines all of reality. His will and his laws are provided in written form in the Bible. Once Jesus was raised from the dead he conquered death and God gave him all authority in both heaven and on the earth.

        All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations. Mathew 28: 18  

Authorityand God

When discussing the issues related to authority one must considerthe place of God's law in the scheme of how authority has been delegated withinthe world. All of reality is explained by God. People have a fallen nature dueto the fall of mankind into rebellion against God. Genesis describes how our parents, Adam and Eve, openly rebelled against God and his authority. As aresult, all human beings have an inclination toward independence in which, like our Edenic parents, we seek to be “like God.” We want the right to determine what the lawis "for ourselves." In essence, we want to play the role of God anddetermine what authority and law are in place of Him. 

In many ways, we are repeating the same sin of pride that caused Satan torebel against God. He then convinced a third of the angels to follow him in that openrebellion. Like our parents we all seek our own way. We want tobe God, determining right and wrong according to our selfish desires. 

However, the reality is that God and his laws rule the universe.His law stands despite what “we” want reality to be. To better know what God's will isfor our lives, we need a source of revelation. One that describes His will and laws. Godhas provided the Bible to mankind with His written laws and will which he originally presented to Moses and thee authors of the Bible. Tothose laws we remain legally accountable to God until we accept the work of Christ on our behalf. Christ picked up the legal requirement for our rebellion which was death. Christ died on our behalf in order that we would be reconciled to God have an eternal relationship with Him.  

 

John MacArthur on Authority of God