1. This lesson will help us to learn how to use the Scriptures properly so we can know what God has authorized. Many are using God's Word in an incorrect way to authorize anything they want.
  2. Read 2 Timothy 2:15, notice the verse demands that we use God's Word ONLY in the way God intended. But, how do we determine what God has authorized?

A.    Let us begin with God; All authority is in Him, because He is God.

  1. God has given to Christ absolute authority in the church today.
  2. "All" authority, legislative, executive and judicial. (Mt 28:18; Heb 1:1-2)
  3. Read Ephesians 1:21-23, notice "all things in subjection under Him", "...Him as head over all things to the church". Our conclusion, the church can act only by His authority.
  4. Christ is the Monarch; we cannot go beyond His authority. (2 Jn 9-11)
  5. Christ exercised His authority through the Apostles. The binding (restricting and loosing (liberty) authority was given only to them. What they were to teach was predetermined in Heaven. (Mt 16:19; 18:18)
  6. Christ sent the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles to guide them without error. This insured the infallibility of their teaching. It was not their own teaching. (Jn 14:26; 16:13)
  7. To respect the authority of Christ, we must respect the authority of the Apostles. The New Testament Scriptures are the product of Christ exercising His authority through the Apostles. (Jn 13:20; Un4:6; 1 Cor 14:37)
  8. What about human authority? Read Matthew 15:1-14 carefully, notice what destroys a relationship with God.

B.     The final product of Christ's authority: The New Testament Scriptures.

  1. They are Perfect, Complete and All-sufficient. (2 Pet 1:3; 2 Tim 3:16-17)
  2. We are admonished not to go beyond, rather there is one pattern for all! (2Jn9;l Cor 4:6, 16-17)

C.    How do we determine what must be practiced or what must not be done? "Prove all things" (1 Thes 5:21)

  1. By Command, a direct statement giving order or direction.
  2. By Approved Example - by this we mean the practice of the church under the guidance of the Apostles. (1 Cor 11:1; 4:16-17; Phil 3:16-17; 4:9) 
  3. By Necessary Inference, that which is not expressly commanded, no example given, but is clearly implied by the language used.
  4. A case in point, Mt 3:16 states Jesus came up out of the water, however not stated it is necessarily inferred that Jesus went down into the water.
  5. These three methods can be easily seen in authority for the Lord's Supper.
  6. Command - "This do...” given by the authority of Christ. (1 Cor 11 -.23,25)
  7. Approved Example - Example of "when" the early church observed the Lord's Supper. (Acts 20:7) 
  8. Necessary Inference - Example of "frequency" the early church observed the Lord's Supper. (Acts 20:7; 2:42; 1 Cor 11:26). When all these Scriptures on the Lord's Supper are put together, it is necessarily inferred that the church partook each first day of the week. Notice, "Often", "Continued steadfastly" "First day". If it said "first day of the year" or the "first day of the month" everyone would understand.

D.    Let’s notice there are two kinds of authority" General and Specific.

  1. General - Command given, but God has not specified a particular method or means to carry it out. This authorizes use of anything lawful to carry it out.
  2. Specific - Differs from the above in that God HAS specified the method and means for carrying out the command. NO option as to "How", "When, "Where", etc.
  3. Some examples of General authority: 
  4. Jesus said "Go preach", How? We can walk, fly, ride, etc. "How" is not specified. (Mt 28:19) 
  5. Jesus said "Teach". How? We can teach publicly, privately, in classes, etc. No limitation on how to teach. (Mt28:19) 
  6. Hebrew writer said, "Assemble", Where? (Heb 10:25). "Sing", How? Use book, just memory etc. (Eph5:19)
  7. Some examples of Specific authority:
  8. Noah was told to build the ark out of "Gopher wood". What about the use of maple? (Gen 6:14)
  9. Ordinance of water purification required a "Red Heifer (female cow)" (Nu 19:2). This eliminated a bull (male), goat, pig or a "black" heifer.
  10. Jesus used "unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine" in the Lord's Supper. (Mt 26:17, 26-29) d. God said "Sing", what about other kinds of music?

Conclusion: We must respect God and His authority in all that we do. (Col 3:17)

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