authority of God
1) the one triune God
You alone are the
Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry
host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them.
You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.
"God is a child
who amuses himself, going from laughing to crying for no reason, each
day reinventing the world to chagrin of hair-splitters, pedants, and preachers..."
Does God have authority over us?
God have authority over us? If he did not, it would be pointless
to pursue how or if that authority is extended by way of the Bible. The
dictionary defines authority as the power to command, to enforce laws, to
exact obedience, and to judge. Can we find evidence
in the Bible to support the belief that God possesses such authority?
The answer is a resounding and definite yes! The written record of the Bible
demonstrates that God exercises authority in each of those areas.
While God has created
us to be free moral agents, God's authority over humanity remains expressly
clear. We may not always feel his authority, nor feel bound to abide by
it, just as we might not always feel the government's authority over many
of our personal and business activities. In both cases, the authority which
exists over us does so whether we feel it or not.
The manner by which
we are to understand and respect God's authority is by studying how God
has revealed that authority to us. This begins with understanding more about
God's nature. God's nature, as he has revealed it, is of a triune nature;
each facet having a somewhat unique role in the overall authority of God.
2.2 Describe the triune nature of God.
God has revealed himself
to mankind in three facets. These facets are sometimes referred to as persons
or the trinity, though it is critical to maintain that the essence of God
is singular ("The Lord our God is one" Deuteronomy 6:4). Those three
facets are: God
the Father, God
the Spirit or the Holy Spirit, and God
While no simple analogy
will perfectly reflect the intricacies of God's true nature, nor do I perfectly
comprehend it, examples of triune natures abound in the universe. So much
so that these might be the intentional fingerprints of its triune creator.
This might be alluded to in this verse:
For since the creation
of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature,
have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so
that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:20 NASB)
The universe itself
is one such example of a triune composition. The
universe (uni meaning one) is made up of three components: space,
time, and matter (energy and matter being synonymous as exemplified
Furthermore, each of
these three components (space, time, and matter) break down into threes
x, y, and z coordinates for spatial entities,
negative, and neutral forces for matter and energy, and
3.) past, present,
and future for the continuum of time.
Look closer at the trinitarian
example of time. Time is a singular, non-spatial continuum, yet consists
of three distinct but inseparable parts: past, present, and future. Consider
these insightful observations that someone has made concerning time, and
then we will see their corresponding spirtual realities:
1.) The future is
unseen and unknown to us except as it perpetually reveals itself to us
in the present.
2.) The present, though
it proceeds out from the future, has actually existed as long as the future
3.) The future, being
time-invisible, is made visible to us only in the form of the present.
It then returns to being time-invisible in the form of the past.
4.) Though the past
is time-invisible or, more precisely, time-no-longer-seen, it still influences
us in the present with regard to the future.
5.) In each of time's
three facets - past, present, and future - time remains but a singular
triune facet of our space-time-matter universe.
Now compare each of
those points to the nature of God as explained by Jesus Christ in the gospel
according to John:
1.) God the Father
is unseen and unknown to us (John 6:46) except as he reveals himself to
us in the Son (John 17:3-8).
2.) The Son proceeded
from the Father (John 6:57) though the Son has always existed as long
as the Father himself (John 17:5).
3.) The Son is the
unseen Father made visible for a time (John 14:9) who, upon returning
to heaven, then sent his invisible Spirit to be with us (John 14:16).
4.) Though the Spirit
is unseen (John 14:17), the Spirit influences us in the present by the
authority of the Son that we might give glory and worship to the Father
(John 4:23, 16:13-14).
5.) Thus God is but
one God - being Spirit and Son and Father - just as time is similarly
one continuum - being past and present and future. "Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come."
(Revelation 4:8b NIV, emphasis mine)
The Bible instructs
us that God's character is wholly and perfectly reflected in each of his
persons. However, through each of his persons he has established a somewhat
unique interaction with humanity. Though Scripture does not always specify
to which, if any, of God's persons his specific roles of authority and power
correspond, Scripture often presents facets of God's authority as being
emphasized more in one than another.
In regard to the authority
of God, those persons are generally expressed as follows:
- God the Father as
the source of authority,
- God the Spirit as
the messenger of that authority, and
- God the Son as the
executor of that authority.
Look first at God the
Father; the source of authority. <continued>
NEXT: The authority of the
Biblical authority and humanity
Conclusion: A story of the S.S.