Authority And The Local Church
"In those days there was no king in Israel;
every man did what was right in his own eyes."
"For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry...."
I believe that the question of authority in the local body of believers is vital in this day. We live in a time very similar to the years that the judges ruled Israel. Too many are doing what is "right in their own eyes" without concern for the Body.
We often hear believers say "God told me" to do this or that, then we witness the aftermath of offense, confusion, and alienation. I believe that if we all would take just a moment to ask the question, "how will this affect those around me right now?", "will they be blessed?" before acting - we would avoid much of the fallout. Today, there are many Churches which prohibit any manifestations of the Spirit for this very reason.
Pastors and leaders have been burned by willful and insolent disrespect of their authority. Often, there is no discernment applied whatsoever. Everything goes and every thing is relegated and attributed to the Holy Spirit. Factions and divisions are formed, Churches are divided and ministries destroyed.
This is not God.
Jesus moved in the power of the Holy Spirit because He was perfectly submitted to the Father. He understood authority. When he encounters the Roman centurion in Matthew 8 there is a very revealing exchange:
"And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, imploring Him, and saying, "Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented." Jesus *said to him, "I will come and heal him." But the centurion said, "Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. "For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, 'Go!' and he goes, and to another, 'Come!' and he comes, and to my slave, 'Do this!' and he does it." Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, "Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel."
Notice that all Jesus knew about this man was what he said about authority. In response to this declaration of faith, Jesus commends him as having not just faith but "great faith." There is a vital link between faith and respect and understanding of authority. In my years in the ministry I have seen this play out in people's lives over and over again. Those who are respectful of authority are not only a blessing to their pastors, leaders, and fellow believers - but they also walk in a greater degree of anointing and power. At the same time, I have seen many gifted and talented people forfeit their Kingdom destiny because they refused to be under authority or accountability to a local body of believers.
The Doral Vineyard will grow and prosper as we "submit (ourselves) to one another because of your reverence for Christ." Notice that this verse (Ephesians 5:21) appears as a condition to walking in the fullness of the Spirit. How are we to be filled? As we "speak to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;
always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;
and (being) subject to one another in the fear of Christ."
Hebrews 13:17 connects the act of worshipping and praising God to the obedience of local leaders in the body.
"Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you."
Notice that the Word says "let them do this with joy and not with grief." It is a grievous thing when someone rebels against the authority of the leadership of a local church. And this has nothing to do with being in agreement with them. I often visit other churches, fellowships, and gatherings of believers - I am always careful to honor their authority in those places and would not dare to move in a direction without the release and blessing of the pastors and leaders. If I feel God leading me in a direction, I do not impose my discernment over that house. I always ask the local pastor or elders for release.
Please take a moment to read the article by Dr. Robbins it is excellent. Just click on the link below:
Authority: What Every Christian Should