Kingdom Authority


Our post-modern culture is characterized, among other things, by severe distrust of authority, especially traditional authority, and most especially authority associated with God, the church, and the family. The authority of the Bible, the authority of church leaders, the authority of parents—all have been eroded if not eviscerated. But authority, like nature, abhors a vacuum, and so a different authority—the secular state—has rushed in to fill the void. This brings up an important point that seems to have eluded our culture: unless we are all going to move to separate planets, authority is inescapable. And because authority is inescapable, so are leaders. It is not a matter of “whether” but of “which” and “whom”? Still, we are left with the fact that the way that leadership and authority are done in our world produces continual distrust, conflict, jostling for position and power, dishonesty, manipulation, subversion, war, and revolution. This is something Jesus came to change. In Jesus, we have a new kind of leader, one with all authority but who doesn’t act like any authority the world has known. Jesus wants to use his leadership and authority in a way that inspires not only trust, but an embracing of the biblical truth that freedom is a byproduct of glad submission to godly authority. The first phase of Jesus’ leadership renovation program was his own death and resurrection. That’s a game changer, but it doesn’t stand alone. There is a second phase which Jesus conducts, not directly, but through his disciples. What that means is this. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are supposed to get leadership and authority right. We are supposed to show to the world something it has never seen and which it has no power to produce. This is especially important when a culture is breaking down, like ours, because it is turning away from the living God. I hope you enjoy the sermon. Thanks for listening. —Alan Burrow* As a culture, how do we feel about our leaders? Why?* How do we feel about authority?* What has happened to authority in our culture?* How are these things connected?* How does all of that relate to what Jesus is talking about?* What did Jesus come to do about it? How?* What is our role?* How do we see these things play out in our text?* Name and explain five characteristics of those who get kingdom leadership and authority.1)2)3)4)5)

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