Monday, March 12, 2012


By Earl B. Claud
     Authority is needed in the home, school, sporting events, government and in religion. The authority or rules that govern each of these is sometimes challenged by man.
     Let us now study about authority in religion.
     Our Lord was asked, “By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority” (Matt. 21:23b)? Jesus points out that authority is either from heaven or men (Matt. 21:25). Authority is “power to require and receive submission; the right to expect obedience; superiority derived from a status that carries with it the right to command and give final decisions.” We hear of men appealing to a higher court and finally to the Supreme Court. But where do we appeal in religion? “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matt. 28:18). All things must be approved by him in the church (Col. 1:18; 3:17; Eph. 1:22,23). When we read the Bible, we are reading God’s word and not that of man (2 Tim. 3:16; Eph. 3;3-5; Gal. 1:11,12; 1 Thess. 2:13; Acts 20:27).
     The Bible teaches we are under the Law of Christ and not the Law of Moses (Eph. 2:15; Col. 2:14; Heb. 3:1-7; 8:1-13). But some men say not so. Will we accept men or God? The Bible teaches a simple plan of salvation. We are commanded to hear, believe, repent, confess Christ and be baptized for the remission of sins (Rom. 10:14,17; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Rom. 10:10; Acts 22:16). But man disagrees. One says “grace only,” while another says “faith only” and another something else. Who shall we believe?
     The words of Christ will judge us in the end (John 12:48). What argument can we give to Christ to justify our following the doctrine of men (Matt. 7:7-11)? May we have the courage to follow Jesus (1 Peter 1:21).

- Earl B. Claud; via the
Nile Street Notes, the weekly bulletin of the Anna church of Christ in Anna, IL; R. W. McAlister preaches for the congregation and may be contacted through the congregation's website:

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