original article by Larry Burkett
How do you recognize authority? Who or what is your authority? The following are some great articles from authors I admire deeply. I believe they are right on the mark…
by Larry Burkett
Have you ever considered the relationship between citizenship and Christianity?
Which takes priority?
As Americans, we have all the rights and privileges granted to us by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. And, I believe we are bound according to God’s Word to obey the legal authority over us, including the IRS.
“Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. . . . Because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God” (Romans 13:1, 6).
Although I don’t like paying taxes, and I think the amount we have to pay is unfair, I am bound by that authority and by God’s Word.
But, is there any point at which I am no longer bound by government authority? In my opinion, there is when that authority violates the superior authority of the Word of God.
For example, although abortion is legal according to the law of our land, it is totally immoral and is abhorrent to the Word of God. Therefore, I must take a stand against abortion.
We haven’t started euthanizing elderly people, but it’s not impossible that we might find that legal in the future.
As God’s people, we are also citizens and therefore we have the right to appeal any laws of this land to protect our constitutional rights.
When the laws of this land try to supersede the law of God, that’s when we must take a stand, even to the point of imprisonment, if necessary.
by James MacDonald
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16, esv).
The Word of God isn’t just any book.
It is God’s owner’s manual.
It is God’s manifesto for human life.
It is the manufacturer’s specification for all things happiness.
It is the authoritative Word from the Creator of the universe about how life really works.
Every word of it comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).
The Author is God, and the writers were “holy men of God [who] spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21, nkjv).
It is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16).
It will outlast heaven and earth (Matthew 24:35).
It instructs us about “all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3, esv).
You will never have the power to live a full, fruitful, godly life until you choose God’s Word as your final authority. Do you want power over temptation? Do you want power over that draining and difficult circumstance that you can’t conquer on your own? God’s Word has the power.
God has eternally determined that what is written there will happen. That’s why, in the face of temptation, Jesus replied, “It is written . . . It is written . . . It is written . . . ” (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10). It will be as God said.
Which begs the question: Do you treat God’s Word as the authority in your life? Some people minimize the Bible. They treat it like . . .
- an hors d’oeuvres tray—where you can pick and choose what looks appetizing.
- rental car insurance—which you’re glad to have, but only in an emergency.
- a seatbelt—an unavoidable nuisance that cramps your style.
- high school algebra—technically accurate but practically irrelevant.
- a hobby—like a fun phase in life.
Does this characterize your thinking in any way? If so, it’s time to accept the priority and authority of God’s Word. Here’s how you know when the Bible is your authority: when it can stop you dead in your tracks. If you were going in one direction that seemed right to you but then realized the truth, slammed on the brakes, and changed direction, then that’s proof you’re living under the authority of God’s Word.
We all have a propensity to go the wrong way. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death” (Proverbs 14:12). We can’t follow the direction that feels right. We have to choose the route we know is right according to God’s Word.
You also know the Bible is your authority when it helps you recognize and break a negative pattern of thinking in your life—a lustful thought, a selfish habit, or a destructive way of looking at someone or something. Your thinking was skewed and taking you down the wrong way, but God’s Word stopped your spiral and corrected your direction. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). God’s Word keeps you from falling in the sin-ditch. It keeps you from stepping in a sinkhole. God’s map keeps you from speeding up the freeway ramp into oncoming traffic. It keeps you from devastating your life and the lives of the people you love.
Is it the authority in your life?