Apr 25, 2018
WOFCF Bible Study Explosion
Kingdom Authority Series – Spiritual Power and Spiritual Authority (Finale)
Last week, we addressed how spiritual leaders can misuse their authority breaching trust and damaging strong relationships. This evening we will continue with our Kingdom Authority Adult Bible Study series. We will discuss three main topics such as, “Partial Obedience Does Not Lead to Full Authority”, “The Significance of the Fall”, and “It All Boils Down to Authority: The Story of Saul.” So, let us get right into this lesson!
Topic #1 Partial Obedience Does Not Lead to Full Authority
This is where many people become confused and operate under false assumptions about their relationship with God. Is it possible to be a little bit obedient and a little bit disobedient? Absolutely...This position cannot last forever, but temporarily, it can seem to work. Here’s the mistake that people make who try to mix a little obedience with their disobedience. They do a lot of right things:
They pray. They come to church. They read the Bible. They do some good deeds. They give offerings and even pay their tithes. In doing these things, a person receives limited benefits in return. Whatever good things anyone does in the name of Jesus will get the favor of God for that particular act. It’s the same as being a guest in a club or association or being a full-fledged member. 2 Timothy 3:5 says, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
The problem is, however, their prayers are without true faith; they come to church with no intentions of being changed by the church service; they read the Word with a closed mind; they do some good deeds to convince themselves and others that they have a good heart; they give offering and tithes to buy their way into the favor of God. All of this is an attempt to manipulate God into doling out his blessing without getting full obedience in return.
Topic #2 The Significance of the Fall
God gave man a clear command in the Garden of Eden (read Gen 2:16-17). A direct consequence of ‘the fall’ is that in choosing to obey Satan rather than God, Adam and Eve unwittingly gave Satan a legal right to contest God’s authority over mankind. Satan, in the guise of a serpent, then seized the opportunity to entice Eve to disobey God (read Gen 3:4-5). Eve had a clear choice. She could obey God, or she could obey Satan. She chose to eat the forbidden fruit, and Adam consented to join her in disobedience.
The problem is not that we don’t understand the situation. It’s that we don’t like the situation! We understand the choices given. We just think there should have been more choices! I only want to taste the fruit of the tree to see if it’s good. I want to make a preliminary decision about eating the fruit without consequences! I want to choose another tree to avoid. It is unfair to be put in this kind of straitjacket. I don’t want to be told what I can and cannot do. To submit to these parameters is to give up my rights and my free will. If you loved me, you wouldn’t limit me.
This was a crucial episode that decided the fate of mankind. Adam and Eve represented mankind. At issue here was whether man would consent to obey God his Creator, or use his free will to rebel and submit to Satan. The tragic outcome is that when given a clear choice, man chose to obey Satan rather than God. And because authority hinges on obedience, when man obeyed Satan, he gave him a legal right to impose his evil influence on human life. Satan’s authority over mankind is not absolute. It is proportional to the degree to which man chooses to disobey God. Because of the depravity and rebelliousness of fallen man, the apostle John conceded that, “…the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.” (1 John 5:19). Jesus also recognized the extent of Satan’s authority over fallen mankind, referring to him as “the ruler of this world” on at least three occasions (John 12:31, 14:30 , 16:11 ).
Topic #3 It All Boils Down to Authority: The Story of Saul
(read 1 Sam 15:16-23) As a result of his continuing disobedience of God’s will, man in his unredeemed state is subject to Satan’s authority (read Eph 2:1-3) Under obedience to God and the authority of God, you are promised protection. You have full recourse to the provisions of God. In disobedience and without God’s authority, you are fully exposed to the wiles of Satan.
Since obedience is at the heart of all true authority, it was appointed to Jesus to become a sacrificial offering, as an atonement for the sins of mankind. It was the ultimate display of obedience. God’s requirement was that Christ should redeem humanity back to Himself (read Col 1:16). As the Creator of mankind, Christ was required to become their representative. In obedience, He willingly agreed to bear the punishment for the sins of mankind in their stead, allowing the full weight of all their evil consequences to fall upon Himself.
Jesus went to the Cross as the representative of all mankind. He received their sentence and bore the fullness of their punishment until the very last demand of justice had been met. The mocking abuse, the beatings and scourging, the agonizing death on the cross, were all the price of restoring man’s right relationship with God. But before He could be mankind’s atoning sacrifice, Christ had first to be a perfect expression of obedience and righteousness, witnessed by man and God, and all in Satan’s kingdom, to be presented as a guilt offering for the sins of mankind (read . 1 Pe 1:19 , Matt 26:39-42).
Finally, as Jesus hung on the cross, “knowing that all things were now accomplished … He said, ‘It is finished!’ And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” (John 19:28,30). His task of redeeming mankind was complete - a perfect work done in perfect obedience. By accomplishing His perfect work, Christ has laid the foundation for re-establishing God’s authority on earth.
This concludes our Kingdom Authority Bible Study lesson series.