I recently heard this quote by Dr. Nicholas Ellen: “The authority that you reject or rebel is the authority you think you are equal to.” Take a moment to consider the implications of that.
When a child resists her parent’s authority it is because she believes she has the right to challenge their authority and that she has the same level of authority.
An employee who resists or rebels against their employer’s authority to give instructions or to set company policies to be followed believes they have the same level of authority as their employer.
Throughout the New Testament, over and over again, there is evidence of the authority of Jesus Christ.
Jesus has authority in and over all things: All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Matthew 28:18
Jesus has authority over Satan and demons: Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, ‘What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority] He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him. Mark 1:27; Jesus asked him, saying, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him. And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss. Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So they begged Him that He would permit them to enter them. And He permitted them. Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned. Luke 8:30-33
Jesus has authority over disease: Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately the leprosy left him. Luke 5:13
Jesus has authority over human flesh: Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God. Luke 18:42-43
Jesus has authority over nature: And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling… Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm… And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” Mark 4:37-41
Jesus has authority over death: Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.” John 11:43-44
Jesus has authority to forgive sins: When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, “Why do you question in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.” Luke 5:22-24 (ESV)
Authority is of God.
For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. Romans13:1-2
Authority is of God. When we resist authority, ultimately we resist the authority of God. What does that look like in our everyday lives? It looks like sin. Sin is choosing my way over God’s way. Sin is rebelling against God’s authority in my life. So to tie it back to Dr. Ellen’s quote: When I sin, I rebel against God’s authority in my life and I am believing in that moment that I have equal authority to God. Hard pill to swallow.
That gives me pause, how about you?
After serving 16 years full-time on the staff of America’s Keswick, Diane and her husband moved to North Carolina where she continues to serve part-time as a contributing writer and Partner Care Consultant. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.