‘Everyone must submit to the governing authorities for there is no authority except that which God has established…Consequently, he who rebels against the authorities is rebelling against what God has instituted and those who do so will bring judgment in themselves…for he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing…’ (Rom 13:1-5)
This is the definition of authority: The right to rule, to decide, to command and to judge others. Authority is the power to influence the thoughts, the opinions and the behavior of others.
The following are some Biblical principles concerning authority in general:
*God is the only authority that has authority and power within Himself
*God is the only original source of all secondary, delegated authority and power in the universe.
*God delegates His authority to men, by His sovereign will. He also decides the level and the boundaries of that authority
*God’s Word is the final authority over every area of life. Therefore authority must be a good thing.
*God has established institutions thru whom He carries out His authority on earth (for ex. the family, the civil governments…)
*Any word from the authority is a command to be obeyed. Without obedience, a command is lowered to the status of a suggestion. Even a suggestion coming from the one in authority should be taken very seriously, just like it is a command!
*There are consequences (punishment) for disobeying the authority (for without consequences, there is no authority)
*God establishes and protects His delegated authority. All rebellion is punished by God!
*The preaching of the Gospel is always powerful for it is done in the Supreme, eternal authority of Jesus Christ!