10 13 spiritual authorithy 5-hwayung

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Spiritual Authority (Servanthood Series Part 2) by RFev Hwa Yung, 13 Oct 2013 @ SSMC

Spiritual Authority (Servanthood Series Part 2) by RFev Hwa Yung, 13 Oct 2013 @ SSMC

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  • 1. Servanthood or Leadership (5): Spiritual Authority Heb 12: 1-13 By Rev Dr Hwa Yung
  • 2. 1. i. Introduction: Four preceding sermons • What does the Bible say—Leadership or servanthood? • Submission—the source of spiritual authority • The centrality of character in the Christian life • God’s determination to transform us
  • 3. • Two more sermons needed on this theme. But they are actually Part 1 & 2 of one sermon. • The first one will focus on what spiritual authority is and how it is seen in the life of Christ and ours. • The second will focus on how we can grow in the exercise of spiritual authority.
  • 4. ii. The difference between executive authority, i.e. authority that comes from office or position, and spiritual authority: a. Those who emphasize leadership a lot tend to be speaking largely in terms of the needs of human organizations and/or movements. E.g. • Management books deal with the needs of institutions and organizations • The same applies to those who talk about “leadership” in churches. They are thinking of the role of bishops, presidents, mega-church pastors, and so on.
  • 5. b. Human organizations/movements will always need leaders because we are social animals. Without leaders, there will be social chaos! Note: I am not saying that there is no need for leaders. I am simply reminding us that striving for leadership is NOT what the Bible emphasizes.
  • 6. This is most clearly seen in the story of Mark 10:35-45: • v. 40 reminds us that it is God who calls different people into different positions in the work of His Kingdom. • v.42: To strive for positions is something that is completely wrong because it is to follow the spirit of the world around where self-seeking ambition and the enjoyment and corruption of power reign! • vv.43: Our primary calling is to be servants, like our Lord
  • 7. c. To strive to be a servant does not mean we do not take leadership positions. If that is God’s calling, even when we do not want it, we must accept it and do our best in that position. Cf. St. Augustine
  • 8. 2. Servanthood and Authority What is crucial is not whether we are a leader in the eyes of the world. What is important is whether our lives and ministries show forth the authority of Christ! i. The authority of a servant • You do not need to be a leader to have authority! • A servant has authority. (Explain) • We have been delegated with certain tasks by our Master. In doing that job we have the Master’s authority. This is where most Christians are failing!
  • 9. i. The authority of a servant (Continue) Point: We are NOT speaking of the executive authority of a leader with position or office. We are speaking of the authority of a servant given to us by our Master! This is what is meant by spiritual authority ii. What is spiritual authority? It is the authority given to us by our Lord Jesus to preach the gospel, to do works of ministry, and to advance the Kingdom of God. Cf. Mat 28:18; Acts 1:8; Rev 2:26
  • 10. iii. We see this authority in Jesus’ life and ministry Cf. Jesus authority in Matthew’s gospel 4:1-11 Authority over Satan 4:19f Authority over men and women 4:23-25 Authority in ministry (teaching, healing, exorcism, etc.) 5–7 Authority in teaching, esp. 7:28f (Sermon on the Mount) 8–9 (Manifestation of His authority) 8:1-3 Healing by touch 8:5-13 Healing at a distance 8:27 Authority over nature Etc., etc. 10: 1, 7-8 Disciples given authority
  • 11. 3. Authority in the Church Today i. What is needed is real spiritual authority in the church today! • The church often seems powerless in face of evil and suffering in the world around us. • George Verwer’s parody of “Onward Christian Soldiers” Backward Christian soldiers, fleeing from the fight, With the cross of Jesus, nearly out of sight! Christ our rightful Master, stands against the foe, But forward into battle, we are loath to go.
  • 12. Like a mighty tortoise, moves the Church of God; Brothers, we are treading, where we've often trod. We are much divided, many bodies we, Having different doctrines, not much charity. Crowns and thorns may perish, kingdoms rise and wane, But the Church of Jesus, hidden does remain. Gates of hell should never, 'gainst the Church prevail, We have Christ's own promise, but think that it will fail. Sit here, then, ye people, join our useless throng; Blend with ours, your voices, in a feeble song. Blessings, ease and comfort, ask from Christ the King. With our modern thinking, we don't do a thing!
  • 13. ii. Examples of spiritual authority: Some prominent examples We don’t have always to look at western examples. • Examples in OT and NT • Malaysia: Pak Agong, Bakelalan • China: John Sung • Africa: Prophet Harris iii. Spiritual authority is not limited to prominent examples • Sunday school teacher or youth worker • A godly pastor who disciples and mentors many over 30-40 years; cf. Barnabas • Hidden prayer intercessors—Where are they? • Hospitality (Kilners)
  • 14. 4. Conclusion i. Is there spiritual authority in your life? ii. What is God’s calling for you?