What governs your thinking or moral direction? There is one group that points to the Bible and have God as the ultimate authority. Others may have other deities to use to construct their authority. Those not having any deity for guidance believe that doctrines as the United States Constitution or secular laws determine authority from humanism, however people may refuse to accept another’s perceived authority over them. Each individual selectively lives by some type of authority…..the question is whose?
Individual authority varies greatly and is a poor standard to adhere to since so many self vindicate themselves from following the very standards they claim to live by. Compromise or merely ignoring these established values will take place if it is personally expedient to do so. Flatly rebelling against this perceived personal authority frequently takes place. One could argue that it is in our human DNA to rebel or resist authority and not follow anyone’s directions.
This is the definition of sin, to miss the mark or fall short of a required standard. It is an astounding thing to examine the evidence how people have the ability to ignore established procedures or standards even after years of drilling or training. People will make poor decisions even when they know they are in error. The Bible standard of “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” has been demonstrated without exception.
According to the Bible, the law is not made for the righteous, but for sinners, a sad repudiation that human performance will always fall short to the standard set by God. “There is none righteous…no not one” is a woeful declaration that will frustrate those believing that human effort will ultimately succeed in reaching the goal of perfection. “Be ye perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect” seems to be an impossibility to obtain. The universal excuse to lack perfection or to be in error is “I’m only human.”
A fundamental truth for a Christian to operate is to recognize the authority and power of Jesus Christ and what He represented. Christ declared in Matthew 28:18;
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to Me.” There is a good reason that the Bible states to believers, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.“
Matthew 28:18 is a fundamental standard that establishes the foundation of ALL authority based on this simple yet profound Bible statement. As Christians especially struggle with their faith, it becomes a question of whether this authority is recognized and accepted. Mankind’s ongoing erroneous belief that the necessity to mix in some human authority will somehow improve the condition. It merely creates goulash.
The debate of ultimate authority will determine worldview, psychological perspectives, intellectual understanding, and the ability to reconcile the world around. There should be a profound healthy balance among body, soul, and spirit regardless of whether the authority of Christ is believed or not. The recognition of ultimate authority is the glue that holds it all together if the Bible is correct.
Inferior standards of authority will ultimately fail as demonstrated by magnificent dynasties established by powerful leaders or families, kingdoms or empires based on human authority, or civilizations based on nebulous deities. Eventually their falsely claimed ultimate authority will collapse from the weight of its own lack of substance. This eventual corruption has destroyed every empire.
Hebrews articulates that “without faith it is impossible to please God”, thus the formula is revealed which explains the wisdom of trust, belief, and faith. President Abraham Lincoln wisely declared, “take what you can from the Bible by reason…the rest by faith“. This simple submission to the authority revealed even by Lincoln is the key to wisdom and understanding. One really can use reason to understand many Bible principles, and should comprehension become an issue, then trusting in the authority declared by the Bible is a far better option than unbelief without proper knowledge.
Failure to recognize Jesus’ authority became the downfall of the Jewish Sanhedrin which was dominated by Pharisee and Sadducee belief systems. When Jesus returned to his home town, He could do no mighty works there because of unbelief. Rejecting Jesus’ authority will short circuit the process. The Bible declares, “even the demons believe…and tremble“, a recognition of Jesus’ authority.
Recognition of authority sets the proper order of things, and without proper authority recognition, one has chaos and anarchy.