THE DOCTRINE OF
August 26, 2018
BEFORE we begin, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, take a moment to name your sins to God the Father. This will allow you to be filled with the power of The Holy Spirit as you read this booklet (EPH 5:18 & 1JO 1:9). IF YOU HAVE never believed in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have that opportunity right now. Simply tell God the Father that you are believing on His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you make that decision, you are now a believer and will always be a child of God! When you die, you will spend eternity with Him forever in heaven! (JOH 3:16 & ACT 16:31).
As we learned in last week’s Teen Tree of Life, we do not have joy when we reject the authority in our lives. Respect towards ALL of those who have authority frees the soul so that the joy of God can come in: When what is right and fair is done, it is a joy for those who are right with God. But it fills the sinful with fear. (PROV 21:15 New Life Version Bible) Workers who submit to their bosses have capacity for joy: Servants, respectfully obey your earthly masters but always with an eye to obeying the real master, Christ. Don’t just do what you have to do to get by, but work heartily, as Christ’s servants doing what God wants you to do. And work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you’re really serving God. Good work will get you good pay from the Master, regardless of whether you are slave or free. (EPH 6:5-8 The Message Bible)
1PET 2:18-19 (The Message Bible) is a beautiful statement about respecting those in authority: You who are servants, be good servants to your masters—not just to good masters, but also to bad ones. What counts is that you put up with it for God’s sake when you’re treated badly for no good reason. There’s no particular virtue in accepting punishment that you well deserve. But if you’re treated badly for good behavior and continue in spite of it to be a good servant, that is what counts with God.
Wives who submit to the authority of their husbands have capacity for joy. Look at EPH 5:22-24 (The Message Bible): Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands. To better understand this verse, remember that there are three categories of love. Category One is love toward God. Category Two is love toward right man or right woman. Category Three is love toward friends. As we have established, the husband has authority over the wife. The husband’s authority over his wife provides great happiness in Category Two love. This happiness stabilizes Category Two love.
Children who submit to the authority of their parents have capacity for joy according to EPH 6:1-3 (The Message Bible): Children, do what your parents tell you. This is only right. “Honor your father and mother” is the first commandment that has a promise attached to it, namely, “so you will live well and have a long life.” COL 3:20 also says it beautifully: Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord.
Rejection of any kind of authority results in a life of misery, unhappiness and disaster. ROM 13:5 is an AMAZING statement about rejecting authority. This is from The Message Bible translation: Do you want to be on good terms with the government? Be a responsible citizen and you’ll get on just fine, the government working to your advantage. But if you’re breaking the rules right and left, watch out. The police aren’t there just to be admired in their uniforms. God also has an interest in keeping order, and he uses them [the police] to do it. That’s why you must live responsibly—not just to avoid punishment but also because it’s the right way to live. Think of this verse, the next time you look at the news!
If you reject authority in your life, you will not have Spiritual Self-Esteem which is the first stage of spiritual adulthood. When you have Spiritual Self-Esteem, you have confidence based on Bible doctrine. If you don’t have respect for those in authority, you will not have Bible doctrine in your soul!!
Whether or not you choose to respect authority is entirely up to you. Human freedom provides the option of accepting or rejecting authority in life whether it is legitimate or illegitimate. While God has delegated legitimate authority in life, these authorities are useless if we don’t accept them. Rejection of authority causes people to become immoral.
The most awful mistake you can make in your life is to reject your parents’ authority. Your attitude toward their authority determines whether you ever really grow up! Predominant rejection of parental authority can destroy a society. So can the rejection of the authority of legitimate government. Rejection of authority plants the seed to becoming a criminal. It means you will reject the authority of the police officer, the judge on the bench, and of management. While God has delegated authority in life to such legitimate categories as government, husbands, parents, teachers, coaches, public officers, judges, and management, this authority is useless apart from human consent. You can be bullied into accepting authority, but it does no good in the long run. What makes authority work is human consent, where rational human beings understand the importance of the principle of authority, regardless of whether they like the person or not. In other words, respect for authority comes from you and the Bible doctrine you have learned – not someone in authority trying to make you respect them.
As an example, the husband has God-given legitimate authority over his wife. But his authority is useless unless his wife, from her own free will, recognizes and accepts it. Regardless of whether she is motivated by love or something else, she must accept his authority. Personal love does not accept human authority, unless the authority agrees with it and does what it wants. But as soon as the authority says, “no,” then the personal love is gone. Without impersonal love, the woman resents the authority of the man, and therefore becomes an uncontrollable woman.
While parents have authority in the home, this authority is useless unless they teach and discipline their children to respect authority. This is the only way a child will accept his/her parents’ authority. Children must recognize the authority of their parents when they are very young. As a result, they will develop love and respect for their parents later on. But if you reject the authority of your parents, you will be a misfit in society!
Legitimate government has authority over its citizens, but that authority is also useless without human consent. Human consent is expressed in this country by voting for someone you think will do the job. The important factor is the consent of the governed. Without human consent, there is revolution, civil war, violence, terrorism, crime, dictatorships, slavery, and other functions of evil.
When we choose to respect legitimate authority, we are blessed both individually and collectively. However, when people, through arrogance and power madness, gravitate to the cosmic system, they use their volition to make decisions from a position of weakness. This has both personal and national repercussions. Every person is a product of his/her own decisions. When a person makes good decisions, from a position of strength, and accepts authority, that person will develop capacity for life. When people make bad decisions from positions of weakness, rejecting authority, they will ruin their lives. Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life. (GAL 6:8 – The Message Bible)