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 The Authority of Christ and the Apostles

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TomL
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PostSubject: The Authority of Christ and the Apostles   Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:56 am

Good morning,

Those are the first words heard from pulpits across America on Sunday morning. So, it is from my pulpit. Oh yes, I have a time of worship and praise at my home some Sunday morning. And, today I actually have a pulpit, an internet pulpit, but a pulpit, nevertheless.

My message this Sunday morning is entitled, "The Authority of Christ and the Apostles." This is a message that I believe should not only be read here in this forum, but heard in the pulpits of America. Of course, that might change the status of the pulpits of America, so be it.

Matthew 28

18 Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 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." Amen.

Mark 16

15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

Ephesians 1

22 And He (God) put all things under His (Christ) feet, and gave Him (Christ) to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His (Christ) body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all."

John 16

13 "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come."

May our God who is in the heavens, and does whatever He pleases, bless the reading of His Word.

The above scriptues establish the preeminence of Christ's God-given authority in the heavens, on the earth and in the church. This doesn't seem to leave much authority to anyone else. Jesus did give instructions to the eleven disciples that were with Him in the Matthew and Mark passages. And the instructions given to them were to make disciples by teaching, preaching and baptizing. Jesus did not abrogate, or give away His authority, and to this day this authority is still with Him.

In America, however, it seems that the authority of Christ is meaningless. Churches, all over our counrty, make rules and regulations that are not based on scripture, and when they do this, they are exercising authority they don't have, for only Christ has authority in the church. And the church is fragmented as it is. And this is because men have tried to excercise authority they don't have.

We have ONE LORD and He has ALL AUTHORITY. And, if the churches of America would yield to the ONE LORD with ALL AUTHORITY, there would no longer be many denominations but ONE BODY OF CHRIST. The way it's supposed to be.

Now, what about the authority of the apostles? The apostles really didn't have any authority of their own. Their teaching and preaching was by the authority of Christ. However, their words hold as much weight as the words of Christ. Why? Because, when the apostles spoke, they spoke by the authority of Christ. And, Jesus told them that when the Spirit of truth comes to them He will guide them into all truth. So when the apostles spoke they did so by the authority of Christ and the Spirit of truth. I would say that makes their words very important, and very trustworthy, and can be accepted on the same level as the words of Christ. The words of the apostles have been authorized by Christ.

I know some astute student of the Bible, (try to say that five times fast), some astute student of the Bible will ask about Paul. Was Paul given the same instruction as the other apostles? Well, we don't know for sure exactly what instructions were given Paul. We do know he was given instruction though. You'll find the story of Saul's conversion in Acts chapter 9. In verse six, Jesus said to him, "Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do." And so the men with Saul took him into the city. There, Jesus enlisted a disciple named Ananias, and he was told to go to find Saul of Tarsus. But Ananias was afraid. Jesus told Him, "Go for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear my name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name's sake." So, we know, Paul was given instructions, but not exactly what they were. We do know, that, by the authority of Christ, Paul went to the Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. So, Paul was also sent out by the authority of Christ, just as the other apostles.

We must always keep in mind that Jesus the Christ has all authority in the church, which is HIS body. It is not Martin Luther's body, or John Wesley's body, or John Calvin's body, etc. And when man exercises authority he doesn't have, we always have problems. In my study of eldership some years ago, I have concluded that they have no authority to create rules for the people to follow. The kingdom of Christ is a monarchy with Christ as the king. And, if we are truly Christians, we are subjected to the kingdom rule of Christ.

Now, May our God who is in the heavens, and does whatever He pleases, grant you peace.

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