One of the first casualties of the spiritual war that followed creation was respect for authority. To be more specific, respect for the authority of God. Shortly after Creator God had completed His creation, the serpent convinced woman that she ‘surely wouldn’t die’ if she ate of the tree of knowledge. God had given clear instruction on what was permissible and what was prohibited with Adam and Eve, yet His authority, His right to give these commands was rejected, first by Eve and then by Adam leading to their expulsion from the garden. Rejecting God’s authority has continued to be the downfall of mankind even to this day and will be a problem until the end of time.
Romans 13, verses 1-2 clearly teach that there is no authority except that which is given by God. Therefore, as the source of all authority we are called into submission to His will as it has been made known to us in His word. What we do or don’t do is to be based on the authority to act one way or the other. In other words, we must ask ourselves, do we have the right to, or has that right (authority) been extended to us. Many appeal to passages of scripture that speak of freedom and liberty giving them the where withal to do as they please. This is apparent in both secular and spiritual activities that are clearly inconsistent with God’s word. This happens when adding to or taking away from the word. With this in mind, there are two passages commonly referred to as admonitions against adding to or taking away from God’s word. They are Deut 4:2 and Rev 22:18-19. Not to be ignored is Proverbs 30:5-6, “Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words lest He reprove you, and you be proved a liar.” In addition, Matthew 15, verses 2 and following, Jesus admonishes the Pharisees for changing the commands of God for the sake of their traditions. This led to Jesus’ declaration that their hearts were far from God. Their failure to respect the authority of God and His word resulted in a condition of alienation from God. The question we need to answer is do we respect the authority of God??
Copyright © 2009, Nolan P. Rutter