How to Handle Authority: Yours and Others | Jay Fesperman (2/3)
Good morning from all of us at the Christian Training Center International! What a glorious day that our Lord has given us today, let us rejoice and be glad in it! Please join us today as we continue in the second part of Jay Fesperman’s teaching about authority and let’s see how it flows down from the HEAD (Father God, Jesus Who has been give all authority) to our earthly authority in the church as “ELDERS”. What a responsibility, may we recognize and respect all authority as God has created and allowed it!
. . . in the closing words of Matthew’s gospel, Jesus told His disciples, “ALL AUTHORITY in heaven and on earth has been given to me!” (emphasis mine). In His prayer to the Father in John 17:2, Jesus said, “For you granted [me] authority over all people”.
Paul says in Colossians 2:10, “. . . you [we] have been given fullness in Christ who is the Head over every power and AUTHORITY”. So all authority comes to man from God, the Father, through Jesus Christ His Son. Thus, Jesus Christ has AUTHORITY over ALL authority. For example, in Matthew 10:1, “He called His twelve disciples to Him and gave them AUTHORITY to drive out evil spirits, and to cure every kind of disease and sickness”.
Now, let’s take a look at authority in the church where you worship. I believe that authority in the church is given in TWO forms: GOVERNMENTAL authority and MINISTERIAL authority. I believe that everyone to whom God has given gifts of ministry has the call to minister. However, only those so designated have the call to govern, We can minister in the authority of Jesus Christ as individuals, but no one has been given governmental authority as an individual, Government is only put into the hands of a plurality of elders, However, the make-up of almost any “eldership” is men who have been given authority to minister, When the writer of “The Acts” told about the meeting in Miletus between Paul and “the elders of the church at Ephesus”, three different words were used in identifying these men. First, they were called “presbuteros” (chapter 20, verse 17). Yet in verse 28 they are called “episcopas”, who were encouraged to serve as “poimēn”, or shepherds. Then in Peter’s first letter, addressed to believers all over Asia Minor, he directed his words in the 5th chapter to “elders”, who also were called by the three same titles of identification.
Therefore, it appears that in every case where men had been set in place as the “elders” – the governing group – were also men who had experience and still were serving in ministerial authority, So, just as a man may serve in two different relational roles, such as husband and father, so most of the men in authority mentioned here were called to function in two realms of authority: governmental & ministerial. In each case, the authority was from Jesus, the Head of the Church.
Because Jesus is the HEAD of the Church, He is responsible for the fulfillment of ALL AUTHORITY, Where He is the HEAD, Here are natural AND spiritual flows of authority, From the Scriptures, we learn clearly that authority in the Church – both kinds of authority – comes out of our learning the natural RELATIONAL life that we live. So now, in practical terms, look at how this works in your own church. We must, however, be careful to remember BALANCE as we do business with this matter of exercising authority. It is so easy to go to the extreme in either direction, because we will find we’re dealing with man’s rebellious nature.
From Jay Fesperman’s “Letters of Exhortation”, Number 35, January 1984.
Many young people today have not learned about “authority” as the Bible teaches (as the Lord God put into place from the beginning). It’s no fault of their own, we as Americans have been slowly removing it from our culture. The young people that come to our ministry WANT to know about this and WANT to seek a disciplined life in Christ! They come here for a set apart time of prayer, Biblical teachings, and also to experience the life God shows us in His Word. If you are interested in how we may be able to help you, please fill out the contact form below and we will be happy to get back with you promptly with more detailed information about our programs!