THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 11-17-02
LESSON TITLE: A REVIEW OF “AUTHORITY IN RELIGION”
Welcome to the Living Word Program on this wondrous Lord’ Day morning. We
thank God that you have chosen to be with us today, as we commit this time to our
wondrous Creator. What a great privilege we have today to join in this opportunity to
praise our God and glorify our Savior. May we each do our part to make this time
acceptable in His sight and according to His Will. Now, let’s approach our Father’s
throne in prayer.
Once again this morning, we have a wonderful privilege as Christians to lift up
our voices in praise to God. The Bible proclaims that our worship is a sweet smelling
savor to our Creator. So, this morning won’t you join in with the congregation at this
time as we sing together our first hymn of the morning. The name of the song “Higher
(SONG # 1)
One of the hardest lessons that we have to learn as Christians is to put others
first. The reason that it is so hard to learn and practice this characteristic, is because
our society say just the opposite. When we turn on the T. V., radio, or read the paper,
we find plenty of things to keep us from thinking about others, and rather keeping our
attention on self. Even the examples and stories that we read always promote and
show the successful lives of those who “take care of themselves.” The old idea of “dog
I remember a song that was very popular several years ago that spoke of the
greatest love of all. The singer clarified over and over again that the greatest love of all
was in self. That’s not what the Bible says. God said that the greatest love is that
which is found in the first commandment. In fact, Jesus said, “You shall love the LORD
your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind,” Matthew 22:37.
The greatest love we can have is the love we return to our God, because of all that he
is doing and has done for us. The second great commandment is mentioned in verse
39, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Again the greatest love we can have is
first for God, second for others, and then we can consider our love for self.
In the Bible, Jesus was always trying to teach His disciples the great lesson of
humility. Christ always wanted them to think of others, their needs, and their feelings.
Remember the golden rule? The Lord said, “we are to treat others as we want to be
treated.” Wouldn’t this require that we think of other first and consider how they will
receive or react to, that which we do or say.
All of us have probably seen the acrostic before which is made from the word
Joy. The “j” stands for Jesus first, the “o” for others second, and the “y” stands for
yourself last. If we want true joy as Christians we must follow God’s plan. Furthermore,
the only way God will be happy with us, is when we learn to put Him and others first.
Also notice what this scripture tells us, “Let no one seek his own, but each one
the other's well-being,” 1 Corinthians 10:24. We are not to look to our own good in a
selfish way, but we are to put the good of others even before self. How many times
have you made decisions in life that benefit you, but really they harm others? Let’s all
try to learn the lesson from God, that we need to put him first, others second and then
And why shouldn’t we want to love God and put others first. Think of what John
said in 1 John 4:19, “We love Him because He first loved us.” Are you putting God and
the interest of other before self? May we all learn more every day to be greater
servants to God and our fellow man.
Today we will be concluding our series concerning our “Authority in Religion.”
This morning we will be trying to tie everything together and have an overall review of
Bible Authority. So please continue with us this morning and after our next song I will
return with this lesson from God’s Word. It’s now time to join in our second hymn of the
morning, the name of the song, “I’m Not Ashamed To Own My Lord.”
(BREAK FOR SONG # 2)
Speaker: Ray Sullins
Thank you so much for continuing with us this morning as we now go into the pages of
God’s Word and look finally at our series and the closing of our series in relationship to
religious authority, our authority in religion. We’ve had just a great series together.
We’ve had a lot of requests for transcripts. We’ve had a lot of folks who have wanted
to have cassette tapes and we do appreciate so much the contact that you have made
with us, the questions that we have had and we hope that you’ll continue to show
interest in these. Let me always remind you that on the web-page that you can go at
any time and collect any of our transcripts from this series or any of our series in the
past and simply print those right off or download them from the internet and be able to
use those to the best and to the glory of God.
We do also want to thank all of our speakers. We’ve had a lot of good speakers in
relationship to this series, a lot of folks who have really looked into God’s Word and
spent some time preparing.
Today, we want to spend our time as we’ve said just trying to sum up these things, kind
of getting everything as you might say in our minds at one time and working through the
process from A to Z in a very brief way to remind us again of how we’ve laid down
Biblical authority, the principles and the concepts all the way through to some of the
applications that we’ve made over the last several weeks together.
Well in relationship to those things then, you’ll remember that in the very beginning we
quoted a verse in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning was God.” What did God do? It says
there in the same verse that “He created the heavens and the earth.” There was
nothing else in the beginning. God only. And this verse here tells us that it was that
God who not only created but gave His Will to His creation. On the 6th day, He created
man and made the most wondrous of all of His creation, the most magnificent being
that He had made because man has the ability to think and to not only breathe but to
be able to reason and to logically determine whether he will or will not follow God. Well
after making this wondrous being, then God laid out His Will to the patriarchs during
that period, to Moses on Mount Sinai and to the Israelites at that time and they were
encouraged to follow and to do the Will of the Lord in relationship to those things. And
even now today under the New Law, the Christian Age, we find that very same Will has
been given to us. But we started as we said with God and looking at who He was, what
He was all about, as the One in the beginning who did and through all things this life
and world and our lives have been made possible.
Then from the Father we logically would then move to the Son. We know of the Son
because of what we find in the Bible, the prophecies of the Old testament. Not only the
prophecies but we see clearly the ideas that are given through the New Testament of
the outcome of those prophecies when actually Jesus came as the Word and dwelt
among men, in John chapter 1, as He came as the Son of God. He came not only as
the Son but as God Himself in the flesh, the one who actually was involved in making
the creation according to the Will of the Father. Yes, we are introduced to Jesus the
Son, “the one,” as we read in Matthew 28:18 “was given all authority,” you might
remember as we read that verse that Jesus told them “all authority” or “all power has
been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” He says, “In both places.” No matter where
you consider, He says, “All authority has been given unto me.” From who? Obviously
from the Father. It was given by the Father. We’ll look at that in a little bit more detail
in just a moment. But even there in these verses we see that as He was given that
authority, what did He do with it? Well a little earlier in the book of Matthew He chose
twelve men and then He committed over a year, a three year period, that Will or the
Word to those men in order that they could be commissioned as we read in verse 19.
“Go therefore making disciples baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son
and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you and
lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age.” Oh, what a beautiful passage this
is because it shows us how the Father did give His Will and then passed that authority
to the Son, His own beloved Son, “only begotten Son,” John 3:16, that He sent to the
earth to fulfill His Will. And as He had done that, we find then that as He had sent the
Son, that the Son according to the Will of the Father made known the revelation the
things that the Father had intended from the beginning and then chose men who also
could carry on that work after the Son then returned to be with the Father in heaven at
the right hand of the Father.
I want you to notice with me a few verses that actually help us to clarify these facts. In
fact, in the book of John chapter 5, you might find here clearly that Jesus said that He
had come not to present His own Will, His own Words, but really came on behalf of the
Father to do the work of the Father. But notice with me if you will in verse 30 of chapter
5 again the gospel of John. He says, “I can of Myself do nothing as I hear, I judge, and
My judgment is righteous because I do not seek my own Will but the Will of the Father
who sent me. You notice He says, “It’s not My Will, it’s the Will of the Father, the
Father in heaven.” God gave Him the authority and He came by the authority of God,
with the authority of God because He had the Will of the Father. What Jesus said was
not of Himself. It was of the Father and then directly given to us through the Son, that
is Jesus Christ.
The next chapter, chapter 6, if you’ll notice with me in verse 38, a similar concept was
given. He says, “For I have come from heaven not to do My own Will but the Will of
Him who sent Me.” Jesus said, “I am not the one who has authority because of self. I
have the authority because the Father gave it to Me and He has placed His Will, His
Words in Me that I might know right from wrong and have you also to know the Will that
He has delivered.”
Again John 7. Read with me if you will verse 17. We find a similar idea. “If anyone
wills to do his will, he shall know concerning the doctrine whether it is from God or
whether I speak on My own authority.” Then He goes on to really discuss the concept
that He who speaks on His own authority really is not righteous but he who speaks on
God’s authority is righteous. The Son came and was righteous and had authority
because He spoke according to the Will of the Father that which He had been asked
and designed to present again before the beginning of creation.
Turn over a few more chapters, chapter 12, verse 49, we find the very same idea there
as He says, “Therefore I have not spoken My own authority, but the Father who sent
Me gave Me a command of what I should say and what I should speak.” You see
again, He says, “The things I presented to you, the authority has been given from the
Creator, God the Father Himself to Me as the Son and what I give you is not My own.
It’s not My own authority, not to my glory, not to my praise. It’s from and to the Father.”
In other words to praise and glorify Him. It’s from Him. He is the one to receive the
laud and the magnification from these things, the ability to be praised in all areas and
all ways that we can as His creation.
But then we know as we have said that He then passed it to the disciples, the apostles
as we call them. He chose twelve men. He trained them for three years and He gave
them His Words. He gave them those things that He had received from the Father.
We know that also because we can go over to John 16 and we see there beginning in
verse 13 that He says that however after telling them that He would not be able to say
many things to them that they wouldn’t be able to bear all of them at this point because
He was about to leave them, earlier in the passage. In verse 13, He says, “However,
when He the spirit of truth has come, He will guide you into all truth for He will not
speak of His own authority but whatever He hears He will speak and He will tell you of
the things to come.” He says, “Even the Spirit is coming and I will give Him to you so
that you will know all things not some but all things.” And He says, “What He tells you
will not be His own authority.” Notice who’s it will be in verse 14. “He will glorify Me for
He will take of what is mine and declare it to you.” Jesus says, “The Spirit will come
and tell you what I have told you and reconfirm those things for you,” because at that
time it wasn’t in a written form. But then notice again in verse 15 what He confirms.
“All things that the Father has are mine, therefore I said that He will take of mine and
declare it to you.” He says again, “Let me remind you that what He will declare is not
from Me, is not really of Me because what I have given you is from the Father.”
So again, the Father. The Son. The Son chose the apostles. The apostles then were
given the Holy Spirit when the Son returned to the Father. And as we’ve seen then the
Holy Spirit guided men of God, men that were holy to not of a private interpretation but
according to the Will of the Father who interprets scripture as we read in the book of
As we read in 2 Timothy 3:16 and 17, “All scripture is from God. It provides and
thoroughly and completely furnishes us in every good work. It gives us all that we have
need of. We’ve been given all things pertaining to life and godliness,” again Peter tells
So again, we have the Bible today. “The perfect law of liberty,” James 1:25. And then
God then has brought down to us and revealed to us all that we have need of now
today through this book, the Bible. Yes, from the Father to the Son. The Son to the
apostles. The Holy Spirit then being given to guide them into all things that they might
also be helped to record the Words of the Bible, to pen them actually in the form that
we have them today in order that we might have the revelation of God, the revelation
that will save men from their sins, the revelation that had been hidden from the
beginning of time has now been made known, made manifest through the blood of
Jesus Christ and through the Words that He has given to us.
So as we established all of these things and how that the Bible was authoritative then
we began to look at the principles of Biblical interpretation in trying to understand how
do I understand whether this is mine or for me or about me or about what I should do or
how I should live for God? Well we looked at several ideas. One area that we dealt
with was in understanding the Bible and which part is for me? Which part is for you?
We have the Old Testament. We have a period of really that was directed unto the
Israelites. Are we Israelites? Are we Jews? Certainly not. Then we have a part where
Christ died and shed His blood for all men. The Christians. The New Testament
church. The things that we are a part of. The institutions set up by God. We have the
Patriarchal Age that was far before, even before the Law of Moses. Some type of again
law that we don’t have a lot of detail about but they were worshipping God in a certain
way and doing His Will and following Him.
In all of these things, we then find what is for us? The Galatian letter, Galatians
chapter 3 says that “the Old Testament was given as our schoolmaster to bring us up to
the time of Christ.” We as the New Testament Christians have been made a covenant,
an agreement if you will, with those who are of Christ before God. We have all made
an agreement one with another in the fact that we will now commit ourselves holy,
collectively and singularly or in a single way, individually to that God, to that Creator in
heaven. The once we have done that, as we study and read the New Testament, we
must begin to understand how it applies to us. Well I am not a Jew again so I don’t
have to offer sacrifices on an altar anymore, but under the New Law I still have to make
spiritual sacrifices. I still have to give of my time and efforts and speak for God and
teach others about Christ. The many sacrifices that I make in a different sense, a
spiritual sense, but not of the literal sacrifices of old. I am under the New agreement,
the New Covenant, the New Testament with my Testator Jesus Christ.
But not only that concept of the different periods, but also we looked at the rules of
interpretation. We tried to understand that yes, in the Bible we have those things that
are direct commands and how that many times God would specifically say, “Do this.”
He says, “Love Me. If you love Me, keep My commandments.” A direct command. If
we love Him, we will do that. The concept of to love the Lord, our God with all of our
heart and mind and strength. Again, if we love Him, we will follow that first and greatest
commandment. There are many commands in scripture that we “assemble on the first
day of the week.” But there are also many examples. We find the New Testament
church that they did certain things and worshipped in certain ways and they were
approved of by God. We have those examples that were divinely approved. And let
me remind you as it says there in Acts 2:42 that “the New Testament church was
continuing daily in the apostle’s doctrine, those things that they had received from
Christ through the Holy Spirit” and they were doing what they had learned through the
apostles and the Holy Spirit. Therefore if it was divinely approved and they had been
told to do it as the New Testament Christians, we also should do the very same thing.
And what about inferences? There were many times that Paul and others maybe spoke
about how that they would treat another individual and how that they would be treated
and how that God was pleased with this or not pleased. Again inferring to us that God
would act the same way if we were to involve ourselves in the situation.
So yes, we need to know that we need to understand the Bible and read it and know
that there are commands given directly to us. There are examples that we must follow
and certainly there are inferences and there are even areas of expediency, areas that
God says, “You might have to decide.” You must go to all the world. Will you take a
ship or a plane? Will you walk? Will you take a chariot? Will you drive in a car? We
have to make some decisions for ourselves. He doesn’t always give us all the minor
details but He instructs us according to His commands, according to His authority.
Then over the past several weeks, we began to apply the principles of these areas of
authority in several different parts of the Christian life. First was salvation. We looked
at how we go to the Bible and we read the Bible and we see exactly what God has told
us to do as far as hearing the Word, confessing that belief that Jesus Christ is the Son
of God, repenting and acknowledging that we are sinners, that we are sorry because of
it and we want to leave sin and repent, turn to Christ in order that we might wash away
that sin through baptism, as there Ananias told Paul, “Arise and be baptized and wash
away your sins.” So we saw that in relationship to salvation, the Lord would add to the
church just as He commanded, if we’ll do the things that He commanded in scripture.
We looked at it also in relationship to organization of the church and how that we must
organize ourselves as God has designed that we organize ourselves. We looked at
last week the concept of how that we must worship God and how important it is that we
worship Him in spirit in and in truth according to what He has again said, according to
His authority, according to what scriptures have revealed to us, not according to what
we think, feel, or according to our own desires.
Then as we bring all these things together, we might ask finally, “Why is it that these
things are so important? Why is it that we again have to be reminded that God has the
authority that Christ was given and throughout all of these methods, it comes down to
us to know exactly what we should do?” All things have been revealed to us. Why is it
I want you to go back to John chapter 12. We read many verses in John earlier, but
read there if you will verse 48. Her says, “He who rejects Me and does not receive My
Words has that which judges him, the Words that I have spoken will judge him in the
last day.” There we have it. The reason this is all so important. The reason that
Biblical authority does apply and the Words of Christ that were provided through
scripture according to the Holy Spirit, penned by the apostles and to the writers of the
Bible. The reason it is so important is because it’s these very words that in the last
days, we will be judged by. You see, Bible authority is important. If Jesus said it
according to the Will of the Father, not His own Will, the Father’s Will. It does make a
difference what we do. It does make a difference what we say, how we say it, how we
carry it out, how we react. We better wait and find out the commands that God has
given us. We better surely know what those things are as examples given, divinely
approved in scripture, and in all things to the glory of God and His praise do what He
has asked us to in relationship to Biblical authority.
(SONG # 3 - “I Am Resolved!”)
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today for the Living Word
program. I hope and trust, that together we have all benefited from this service to our
Lord. Let me also invite you to join us every Lord’s Day morning at 7:30 as we give
this time to our Creator.
Now let me ask if you have any questions or comments about today’s lesson?
Maybe, you would like a free transcript or a free cassette tape of this program?
Possibly, we could assist you with free Bible materials or free Bible correspondence
courses? No matter what your need is, please contact us at the following address:
The Living Word
2540 N. Kansas Expressway
Springfield, Mo. 65803
Many of these items are also available on our websight:
That address is:
Or if you prefer, you may call us at:
As we acknowledge our creator through an obedience to His Word, may we each truly
respect His Authority which has been so clearly and fully revealed to us through His
Book, the Bible!