By What Authority? Pt. 1

Posted by on Oct 20, 2021 in Articles | 0 comments

And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority? Matthew 21:23

The confrontation is timeless! Why are you doing the things you do and teaching what you teach? Sadly, as Matt 21:23 shows, even Jesus had to deal with those who had the wrong ideal of what does or does not make something acceptable in the eyes of God. Men have always had a desire to produce and use their own standard and for some reason try to be religious all the while refusing God’s terms and holding so deeply to their own (Rom 10:1-4). Let’s look at a handful of these and see what the Bible has to say about them.

People struggle with giving up on religious views of previous generations. In Galatians 1:11-16, the apostle Paul spoke of how what he taught was from God and, though he had been zealous of the traditions of my fathers (vs 14), he had to change. Some will often state something along these lines “if I accept this to be true then I’m condemning an ancestor”. A person has no such authority. Final judgement is reserved for God (2 Tim 4:1) and those who have passed desire greatly for the living to be obedient (Luke 16:27-28).

Furthermore, tradition is only useful when it is consistent with the Word of God. 2 Thessalonians 2:15 tells us, “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle”.

We often think along the lines “If I feel good about it, surely it’s okay!”. The answer again is a resounding no. Acts 23:1 warns us, “And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day”.

Even the apostle Paul here admits he had always been sincere in all of his life but for a portion of his life he had been sincerely wrong. When we trust our own feelings and never consider to verify those with Holy instruction the effects will be devastating (Prov 16:25).

Next week, Lord willing, we will continue with these thoughts. Until then let’s all be looking to the Bible to keep us on the straight and narrow (Matt 7:13-14) and consider the verses of scripture that we might help some soul who is struggling with submitting themselves to the proper authority.

By Jason Barger

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