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What comes to mind when you hear the word authority? Take a minute and think about it. Of course, there are practical questions attached to it; thus, familiar debates have taken place surrounding this word. The basic definition of the word is; the right to issue a command and demand obedience. This is the overall description that covers everything in each field. With this, though, we must, as Christians, know whose authority we are under and the limits of this authority. Besides, how we should behave towards authority and with authority is crucial. We tend to let the word authority be the fixed point and adjust scripture to meet it instead of the other way round.

As human beings, there is a need for authority for our system to operate in a certain order. And with authority comes rules, regulations, and requirements from our part. A dilemma usually emerges on whom to give authority to.

Importantly for Christians, Matthew 28:18 points out that all authority, in heaven and on earth, belongs to Him. So, what does this confidence in Christ’s total authority unleash in the lives of those who really believe in this. From this, we also see the extent of his authority. That is, on heaven and earth. First, the confidence unleashed is that of a torrent of hope. The absoluteness of the words are also showing the absoluteness of authority.

All authority is from God.

All authority is from God, and the existence of civil authority is good for us. Romans 13. But then, it is important to remember that we are first citizens of heaven before we are earthly citizens – Colossians 3:2-3. We submit to human authority because a higher authority tells us to submit for his glory. Everything is God’s. Total surrender to God initiates obedience to the ‘’Caesar’’ in our day-to-day lives without committing treason against heaven. So, under God, the people ordained and established laws and rules that govern us. This said, we should also note that objective realities are defined by God, not by any ruler. So, we should learn and know our limits with authority. Since we know that we are first heavenly citizens, that should draw the line in our judgment on the extend of submission to authority.

Scripturally, Ephesians 5:23 and Ephesians 2:20 point to how the Church submits to Christ, the head. The Church takes God’s word as authoritative as Christ is. God inspires all scripture to teach, rebuke, correct, and build believers. When we believers question the scriptures then, they are also questioning Christ’s authority.

One of the most acrimonious situations facing our society today, in relation to authority, is an authority in families. Nowadays, a day cannot pass without us hearing about cases of abuses and murders in families. These stories dominate our screens, and it is heart-wrenching. We may lose an eye to the fact this is not only happening to people who do not know Christ but also happening amongst believers. It is not a new concern brought about by modernization; it concerned even the early Church in the Bible.

Practical Aspect of Authority

Ephesians 6: 1-4 commands children to obey their parents while parents avoid provoking them. Today, we find that a lot is in chaos. Some children have lost their respect for their parents. We hear of children who have gone ahead to the extent of beating up their parents and doing all sorts of stuff, including murder. People may justify these actions, but the fact still remains that a commandment was broken. This goes both ways. Some parents neglect their duties and abuse their power as parents. The obvious outcomes entail hurting their kids and subjecting them to torture pain and not to be ignored wrong teachings.

Ephesians 5:21-30 outlines what is expected of a husband to a wife and from a wife to a husband. The power is given to the man to be the head, and a woman mandated to submit; what do we see in our families today? There is a lot of chaos surrounding our families, either from the misuse of authority or from the negligence of the authority handed down to us by God.

Authority is a noble duty given to us by God, and we are under a mightier authority that’s above every other authority. We should be conscious of what the word has given us in relation to authority. We should purpose to be filled with the spirit and desire to walk in his light and let His presence guide our minds. Finally, brothers and sisters remember that all authority belongs to God. He alone can define our objective realities. SHALOM.

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Table Of Contents

Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………… 2
An Explanation of the Study Guide……………………………………………………………….. 2
For Leaders………………………………………………………………………………………… 3
Lesson 1: Introduction to Finally Alive……………………………………………………………. 4
Lesson 2: What Is the New Birth? ………………………………………………………………… 6
Lesson 3: Why Must We Be Born Again? Part 1…………………………………………………. 8
Lesson 4: Why Must We Be Born Again? Part 2…………………………………………………. 10
Lesson 5: Born Again Through the Washing of Regeneration…..……………………………….12
Lesson 6: Born Again Through Faith in Jesus Christ……………………………………………. 14
Lesson 7: Born Again Through Intelligible Good News………………………………………….. 16
Lesson 8: The New Birth Overcomes the World…………………………………………………. 18
Lesson 9: Regeneration, Faith, Love……………………………………………………………… 20
Lesson 10: Freedom from the Practice of Sinning………………………………………………. 22
Lesson 11: Loving Others with the Love of God………………………………………………….. 24
Lesson 12: Helping Others Be Born Again………………………………………………………. 26
Appendix: Leading Productive Group Discussions………………………………………………. 28

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