"He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me."

- Matthew 10:37-38



The authority of God
4) authority of the Son


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.

- Nehemiah 9:6 NIV


2.5 God the Son: the executor of authority.

It is Jesus Christ, as God the Son, who possesses the ultimate statement of authority: the executor of God's judgment. As the Messiah of the Old Testament was prophesied to do, Jesus came to die for our sins. As the Old and New Testament both prophesy, Jesus will come once more, but this time to destroy everything that opposes his authority. He will sit in judgment of humanity and set up a new world in which he and those living in harmony with his authority will live forever.

How do we know that Jesus possesses this authority?

We know it by the fact that God the Father raised Jesus to life again after his crucifixion. That was proof of his worthiness of authority. We also know Jesus possesses this authority because:

1.) Jesus is the divine Messiah (Christ).

How do we know this? Jesus unmistakably claimed to be the Messiah:

The woman said, "I know that Messiah is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us." Then Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am he." (John 4:25, 26 NIV)

Jesus claimed to be the fulfillment of Scripture which was the role of the Messiah:

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." (Mat. 5:17 NIV)

Even others recognized Jesus to be the Messiah:

Philip found Nathanael and told him, 'We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote-- Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.' (John 1:45 NIV)

2.) Jesus has authoritative equivalence to the Father.

Jesus plainly stated this equivalence:

Philip said, 'Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.' Jesus answered: 'Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father." (John 14:8-9a NIV).

Even Jesus' enemies noted that he expressed equivalence to the Father:

When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven." The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, "Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone? (Luke 5:20-21 NIV).

Additionally, as the Father and the Spirit are referred to as the Giver of eternal life, so did Jesus describe himself:

You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. (John 5:39, 40 NIV).

Jesus also claimed to be the embodiment of life itself, as well as claimed to be synonymous with the Father:

Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him'" (John 14:6, 7 NIV).

3.) Jesus declares he is the executor of God's judgment over mankind.

Jesus clearly states his authority to judge comes directly from the Father:

Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son,... I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. (John 5:22, 24 NIV)

This authority which Jesus claims is both complete and all-encompassing:

Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me'" (Mat. 28:18 NIV);

The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands." (John 3:35 NIV)

Jesus is not only the executor of God's judgment, he is personally identified as the judge before whom everyone will answer for their life:

He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead." (Acts 10:42 NIV)

On that judgment day, each of our words and actions will be revealed before God:

This will take place on the day when God will judge men's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares. (Rom. 2:16 NIV)

2.6 The Bible's most frightening passage.

The preceding paragraphs illustrated the Bible's case for the authority of God. If one rejects the authority of God after reading this, it could be that I have failed to persuade (most likely) or that one rejects God for other reasons. If, however, one professes to acknowledge God's authority, there remains a verse to carefully consider.

Many people on the day they die will experience the absolute horror of discovering that their good deeds, church attendance, or wonderful lives completely missed the point of existing in a living and personal relationship with the Lord. Jesus explains,

Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me you evildoers!' (Mat. 7:21-23 NIV)

This last passage is very frightening for those who recognize Scripture as God's true Word. It speaks of people who were certain of their standing before God, but suddenly learn that they had only deceived themselves. While it is possible to be truly saved, and know you're saved, it is also possible to be self-deceived. Consider this comparison:

Self-deception is much like a husband or wife who has spent excessive time at the office at the expense of being with their family. The excessive work effort may have been genuinely made for the purpose of pleasing and providing for their family, but at the end of a long and thought-to-be successful career, they are sued for divorce. They discover, too late, that their family was dying of loneliness for them every extra minute they were gone.

Their family actually despised every expensive gift the extra work paid for because the overworking spouse was never there to enjoy it with them. The family had not wanted the gifts so much as they had wanted the giver. The gifts were nice... as gifts, but were hollow replacements for what should have been a lifetime of growing closer together.

In the same way, the Creator is even more jealous for our affections. God is not as interested in what we can do for him, or in what we can outwardly give him, as much as he is primarily interested in seeing us inwardly embody his own characteristics. We are then to outwardly express those characteristics to one another through the living-out of our lives. As God states, "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings" (Hosea 6:6 NIV). In God's case, we can't really give him anything which he doesn't already have except our obedience.

Perhaps some readers have professed faith in Christ so long ago or shown so little evidence of it that they feel the need to do something to make it up to God. Perhaps others have only recently professed faith and have done nothing to live out the life of Christ. Perhaps still others are contemplating belief even now. For all these readers I have a shocking piece of advice: Don't do anything for God...until you have acquainted or re-acquainted yourself with him.

Enter the Lord's presence in his written word, in prayer, and in quiet concentration on his principles as they apply to your various life situations. If you do this, then he will provide you the opportunity and direction for the actions you may take. You don't need any programs, or cold-as-dead formulae for living, or even this site. The Lord is alive and can himself impress upon you direction in the ways you should go.


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NEXT: The authority of the Bible

See also:

Biblical authority and humanity

Conclusion: A story of the S.S. Titanic

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This chapter briefly describes the authority of God as Scripture applies it to God the Son.