Understanding Authority | Firm Foundation Bible Study

Understanding Authority 

A. What is Authority? 

Authority is defined as “the power or right to enforce obedience; delegated power; or personal influence.” Authority can be divine, human or satanic; wise or foolish; helpful or destructive; or imposed by force. It is not something we take, it is given. 

Whenever one person relates to another positively, they are exercising or receiving authority at a personal level. Human society would cease to operate in any meaningful way if this was not true at almost every level of experience. In fact, without the recognition of personal authority, we could not exist together as a community of people. 

B What is Biblical Authority? 

The most common Greek word translated in the New Testament as au- thority is “exousia”. This word means “liberty to do as one pleases; the ability or strength with which one is endued; the power of authority; the power of rule or government.” 

It can also be thought of as power based on position, though this form of authority may not have the blessing of God 

C. The authority of Jesus 

Jesus authority came because He was acting on behalf of the heavenly Father (John 10:18; John 5:19, 30). He forgave people their sins, healed people, cast out demons, controlled nature, taught the word and more – all in the authority given to Him by God the Father (John 10:34-38; Matt. 4:1-10). 

Jesus spoke and ministered with authority (Mark 1:22, 27; Luke 4:31- 37). 

Because of Jesus’ authority many people willingly and positively responded to HIm, others rejected Him – but He was not ignored. 

D. What the Roman Centurion understood (Matt. 8:5-13) 

1. He recognized and understood the authority of Jesus. As a military of- fer, the centurion derived his authority from the ruling Roman empire itself. 

2. Being an officer allowed the man to rule and control the troops as if it were Caesar himself commanding the troops. 

3. The centurion’s request of Jesus was a confession of faith, because he recognized that Jesus derived His authority from God and so He had the power to heal simply by speaking a word. He knew that Jesus spoke and acted with full divine authority so when He spoke, it was as if God the Father were speaking. 

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