Responsibility and Authority

In the Bible the themes of “Authority” and “Responsibility” go hand in hand. The word of God sanctions authority in different ways. To husbands/fathers is given the responsibility of wife and family. To the elders of the church is given the responsibility to shepherd their congregation. To the civil government is given the responsibility of the sword to administer justice to those who break God’s laws. These are all areas where God gives authority. But this is a two way street. In most cases, unless those who are sanctioned authority by God take responsible of that authority they will loose any practical use of that authority.In many cases in our society those to whom God has sanctioned authority from his word have failed to take responsibility over their sphere of authority. In these cases the authority usually flows to another. One very clear example of this can be found in the home where the Bible teaches that husbands and fathers have been given authority in the home by God (Eph. 6).

Across our society husbands and fathers have not taken responsibility for this God given authority and it has flown naturally (although not sanctioned by God) to others who are willing to take responsibility for wife and children (church, school, sports, wives).

The problem here is disobedience.

All God sanctioned authority is embedded with the command to take responsibility. Moreover, all Biblical commands toward responsibility are to be modeled around the sacrificial responsibility that Christ took upon himself when took responsibility for the Church and gained authority over the world.

The broader problem here is one of stewardship.

In our society we have a deep desire for that which God has not given (perpetual youth, unfettered sex, etc) and a desire to be free of those things which God has given us (responsibility to family, church, society).

The fruit of these problems is societal decline. The root of these problems is personal rebellion against God and his Christ, Jesus. The only solution to these problems is that Christ, Jesus, and His Gospel!

It is a mysterious and wonderful thing that God has given each of us authority in differing areas and we should not neglect these things. Instead we should look to Christ, to whom God has given all authority in heaven and earth and see the way in which he takes responsibility for it.

Food for thought.

Michael

 

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