Spiritual authority 6 (10 nov2013)
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Spiritual authority 6 (10 nov2013)

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Spiritual Authority (6). Sermon by Rev Hwa Yung. Part 6 on Sermon serires on Servanthood or Leadership.

Spiritual Authority (6). Sermon by Rev Hwa Yung. Part 6 on Sermon serires on Servanthood or Leadership.

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Spiritual authority 6 (10 nov2013) Spiritual authority 6 (10 nov2013) Presentation Transcript

  • Spiritual Authority (6) Mark 10:35-45 by Rev Dr Hwa Yung
  • Introduction    There is a lot of talk today in church circles about training leaders. The only problem is that such an emphasis is not found in the Bible. The emphasis rather is on training men and women in godliness and on being servants of Christ in the church: E.g. 1 Tim 4:6-8 Note Stephen Neill’s wise comment (probably made in the 1950s/60s): ‘To tell a man he is called to be a leader is the best way of ensuring his spiritual ruin, since in the Christian world ambition is more deadly than any other sin…’ (Quoted in Sanders, Spiritual Leadership, 1994, p.148.)
  • Introduction     In the preceding sermons, we had looked at this theme in some detail: The path to real spiritual authority comes through submission to Christ. The most important qualification for one called to positions of leadership is character. For that reason, God is determined to break and transform us to be like Jesus; and this can be a most painful process for us, But if we would be changed, there is no alternative.
  • Introduction  In the preceding sermons, we had looked at this In the last sermon we looked at the nature of the spiritual authority which Jesus has entrusted to us, and how each of us can and should be exercising it in our lives and ministries.
  • Introduction   In the preceding sermons, we had looked at this In the last sermon we looked at the nature of the spiritual authority which Jesus has entrusted to us, and how each of us can and should be exercising it in our lives and ministries. For this sermon we return to Mark 10:35-45 with which we began.
  • ‘The Son of Man came to be served but to serve …’ (Mk 10:35-45) Key points in Mk 10:35-45  The disciples were behaving much like the people of this world—driven by the quest of ‘money, sex and power’. So everyone was eyeing the plum jobs in Jesus’ Cabinet!  v. 40 reminds us that it is God who calls or assigns to different persons their respective positions in the work of His Kingdom.
  • ‘The Son of Man came to be served but to serve …’ (Mk 10:35-45)   v.42: To strive for positions is something that is completely wrong because it is to follow the spirit of the world where self-seeking ambition, together with the enjoyment and corruption of power reign! vv.43ff: Explain. Our primary calling is to be servants like Christ; our ultimate goal driven by the vision of the cross!
  • ‘The Son of Man came to be served but to serve …’ (Mk 10:35-45) What is Jesus saying to the disciples and to us?  The Christian life is NOT a power game wherein ambitious leaders thrive on the domination and exploitation of others.  The goal, the ultimate driving force and ambition in our life must be to follow in the footsteps of our Lord!
  • ‘The Son of Man came to be served but to serve …’ (Mk 10:35-45) What is Jesus saying to the disciples and to us?  But being a servant does not mean that you live without conviction, without direction and goals in your life, and that all you do is to get kicked around and do whatever those in power tell you to do! Being a servant does not mean that you live without authority or power, or without a proper sense of dignity in your life, always thinking that you are a nobody and good-for-nothing! It does not mean that you have no ambition or goal in life, being weak, clueless and blur! Rather it means:
  • ‘The Son of Man came to be served but to serve …’ (Mk 10:35-45) What is Jesus saying to the disciples and to us?  Remember who is your Master and with what dignity you have been endowed with! You are the servant of the Most High God and seated with Christ in at the right hand of God (Eph 2:6). In Christ, you have been clothed with His dignity, filled with the Spirit of God, and made a child of God!
  • ‘The Son of Man came to be served but to serve …’ (Mk 10:35-45) What is Jesus saying to the disciples and to us?  This means you don’t just do anything you like in this life; you live in obedience to God and do whatever He calls you to do—even when you may not be very keen at times.  It does not mean you live without ambition in life. Rather you give up your small ambitions because you have been consumed by the much bigger one of serving the King of kings and Lord of lords! Cf. Phil 1:21.
  • ‘The Son of Man came to be served but to serve …’ (Mk 10:35-45) What is Jesus saying to the disciples and to us?  At the same time, precisely because you are God’s servant, you have authority. Cf. An ambassador’s authority.  You have all the powers of heaven in whatever God sends you to do because that is Christ’s promise! Cf. Mat 28:18; 10:7f; Rev 2:26.  Point: it is precisely here that all of us fail, without exception.  We fail to obey fully, and we fail to exercise our God given authority!
  • Servanthood and Authority 1) Servanthood implies calling and obedience  Even when you are reluctant to obey  Sacrifice is often involved
  • Servanthood and Authority 2) Calling is often linked with gifting  NT teaches the doctrine of spiritual gifts  God is sovereign in His gifting  Know your gifts and do NOT pretend to have what God has not given.  Don’t just seek the more spectacular gifts. All gifts are needed in the church.  All of us have more than we can ever fully use in our lives. None is without any!
  • Servanthood and Authority 3) Sanctification and spiritual maturity open the way to fuller development of spiritual gift and greater spiritual authority  Sanctification involves: fasting, prayer, sacrifice, obedience and holy living, etc.  E.g. Elijah (hides for 3 years); Paul (withdraws to the desert after conversion); John Sung (sacrifice, holy living and prayer); Pak Agong in Bakelalan (10 years of faithful pasturing and long hours of prayer, often in the mountains).
  • Servanthood and Authority 4) Authority and gifting can be lost through sin  Samson is the best example.  Even if it is not lost, it will be diminished and of little use for the Kingdom. 5) These principles applies at all levels, and not just to those in leadership
  • Application 1) We are called to be servants par excellence and to exercise divine authority: Are we being faithful?  This applies not only to those in leadership positions but everyone. 2) To individuals: What is God saying to each of you?  Fear, tiredness, complacency and indifference?  Some suffering from ‘retirement’ syndrome? But what will we say when we meet God?
  • Application 3) To SSMC: What is God saying?  The church has gone through much in the last 10-20 years.  The need is for the church to get back into full gear, to have every part functioning effectively and in perfect coordination once again.
  • Application 4) To the whole Malaysian Church: What is God saying?  We are worried about GE13 and the political situation.  But could it be that God is more concerned for the church, His bride?—disunited, with many primarily interested in running their own organizations or mega-church; self-sufficient, because we have so rich in our middle-class churches; everyone being more concerned about his/her own advancement and their children,
  • Application 4) To the whole Malaysian Church: What is God saying?  Rather than for the future of the church; with many leaders oozing with spiritual pride, striving to be top dogs, and thriving on the praise of men and success in the eyes of the world; etc.  GE13: Awake-up call for the Malaysian church, not for BN!  God is calling the church to a fresh vision of what is possible!