Servanthood vs Leadership 2“The Source of Spiritual Authority” Rev Dr Hwa Yung
IntroductionThe Confusion over the Issue of Authority Today
The Authority of Jesusi. Jesus authority was widely recognized by humans and demons alike Cf. Mk 1:22, 27, 34; 2:10f; 3:5; 4:39 41; 5:41f.
The Authority of Jesusii. Wherein is the source of His authority? Some answers: a. The world’s answer: A spiritual genius or dynamic personality b. The traditional Christian answer: He is God; hence divine authority! c. The Pentecostal-Charismatic answer: He is empowered by the Holy Spirit ** But (c) points to a deeper answer: His submission or obedience to His Father.
The Authority of Jesusiii. Substantiating the abovea. He taught that he had no authority of his own, but was totally dependent on the Father in His incarnate state: Jn 4:34; 5:19,30a; 6:38; 8:28b; 10:37f; 12:49f; 14:31; 15:10; 17:4. He was total submitted to his Father!b. He was also obedient to those the Father put over Him! Cf. Lk 2:48 52.
The Authority of Jesusiv. Paradox: Submission Authoritya. At Temptation: Submission to the Fathers Word (It is written ...’) Victoryb. Because he claims no authority of His own (cf. Jn 5:19 ‘the Son can do nothing by Himself’), He could exercise fully His Fathers authority (hence Mt 28:18f).c. Because He humbled Himself totally, the Father exalted Him to the position of highest honour; cf. Phil 2:5 11.
Lessons for Usi. Real spiritual authority carries with it an inner conviction of its authenticity. Cf. again Mk 1:22,27; and contrast the sons of Sceva: Acts 19:13 16!
Lessons for Usii. In the battle for the Kingdom of God, it is genuine spiritual authority that matters. In the church today, many seek to lead by asserting their own human authority based on personality, wealth, intellect, etc. But others will simply find us hollow! Yet, there are always those people around us in whom we immediately recognize as possessing an authority that is from God alone!
Lessons for Usiii. Obedience and Submission — the path to true spiritual authoritya. G. Whitefield after conversion: ‘I began to read the Holy Scripture upon my knee laying aside all other books, and praying over, if possible, every line and word. This proved meat indeed and drink indeed to my soul. I daily received fresh life, light and power from above.’
Lessons for Usiii. Obedience and Submission—the path to true spiritual authorityb. M. Luther: ‘...my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen.’
Submission or Obedience in Practicei. To whom or what are we to submit a. To Gods Word. Never accept a word that goes against the plain teaching of Scripture. b. To Gods leading: through conscience, prayer and inner conviction, prophetic word, etc. c. To those whom God places above us!
Submission or Obedience in Practiceii. How far do we submit? Revolutionary submission would commend us to live in submission to human authority until it becomes destructive. (Forster, Celebration of Discipline, p.108.)
Submission or Obedience in Practiceiii. Submission and servanthood inseparable Cf. Phil 2:7; on Jesus; Mk 10:43 45; for usiv. Obedience to the Father is necessary to sustain spiritual authority long-term. Those who know submission are those who will be able to appropriate His power. It is dangerous to emphasize the Holy Spirit’s anointing without emphasizing submissions! Cf. Samson.