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The Church - Lesson 8

The Church in 25 Lessons

Jon Gary Williams

Lesson 8 - The Authority of the Church

There is an inherent authority within the Lord's church. This authority was designed by God and given to the church by Christ himself. It is upon this authority that the church carries out its work. Without such authority the church would have no objective standard upon which to base its teaching and practice.

I. The source of authority - God

A. God gave authority to Christ. (Mt. 28:18; Jn. 5:26,27)

B. God speaks through Christ. (Heb. 1:1,2) (cf. Jn. 12:49,50; 17:7,8)
C. God is revealed through Christ. (Mt. 11:27)
II. The church is governed by the authority of Christ
A. Christ's authority superseded the authority of Moses and the prophets. (
Heb. 1:1,2) (cf. Acts 3:22,23)
B. "Hear ye him" (Mt. 17:1-5)
C. "But I say unto you" (Mt. 5:22,28,32,34,39,44)
III. Christ's authority - executed through the apostles
A. They would "judge." (Mt. 19:27,28)
B. They were delegated with the commission of world evangelism. (Mt. 28:18-20)
C. They were given the power of "binding"and "loosing." (Mt.16:17-19) (cf. Matt. 
18:18; Jn. 0:22,23)
IV. The apostles - guided by the Holy Spirit
A. The Holy Spirit was sent to the apostles. (Jn. 4:16,17)
B. The Holy Spirit would teach the apostles bringing to their remembrance all 
things Christ had taught. (Jn. 14:26)
C. The apostles would be guided by the Spirit into "all truth." (Jn. 16:13)
D. The authority of the apostles began with the coming of the Spirit on Pentecost in Jerusalem. (Acts 2:1-4; Lk. 24:49) (cf. Acts 1:4)
VI. The preaching of the apostles

A. Confirmed by miracles. (Mk. 16:17-20; Heb. 2:2-4)
B. These miracles were temporary. (I Cor. 13:8-10)
V. The completeness of the law governing the church
A. The church is furnished with "all things that pertain unto life and godliness." (
II Pet.1:2-4)
B. Through the scriptures Christians are "furnished" with all things necessary for 
the practice of "good works." (II Tim. 3:16,17)
C. The church is governed by a faith that was "once delivered." (Jude 3)
D. God has given stern warning about not adding to or taking from his inspired 
word. (Rev. 22:18,19)