This Week's Gospel Sermons
March 6 - 11, 2011 Gospel Meeting At Jackson Drive.
Speaker: Jerry Curry
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May 22, 2011
“And Jesus came up and spoketo them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’” (Matthew 28:18-20).
The authority of Christ is supreme. Note the ever reaching dimensions of His authority. First, the height of it — it reaches into heaven. Angels and authorities are subject to Him (1Peter 3:22). Second, breadth of it — it extends over all the earth. He is the rightful ruler of all men. When God raised Him from the dead, He “put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church” (Ephesians 1:20-22). Third, the length of it — it shall endure “unto the end of the world,” or the consummation of the age. “He shall reign,” said Paul, “till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be abolished is death” (1Corinthians 15:25-26).
Jesus, in His ministry on earth, gave proof of the authority He possessed, even the authority to forgive sins while on earth. He healed a paralytic man to drive this point into the hearts of questioning scribes. “‘Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’ — He said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.’” (Mark 2:1-12).
Jesus displayed this same authority even on the cross. Luke records a conversation between two criminals being crucified with Jesus. One rebuked the other for insulting Jesus and then noted, “And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” Luke then gives us the conversation between that criminal and Jesus: “And he was saying, ‘Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!’ And He said to him, ‘Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.’” (Luke 23:39-43). Jesus had the authority to make that statement.
Many today would try to usurp the authority of Jesus and go beyond what Jesus proclaims here. They would claim that any man can be forgiven by saying something like the criminal. Jesus was not, at that point, dead. He spoke with authority directly to the man. There is no one today who can approach Jesus as did the criminal. Jesus has now died, been resurrected, and has ascended to heaven.
In heaven, Jesus is remains vested with authority. There are so many aspects of His authority that Scripture shows us. We must remember that He has ALL authority.
All priestly authority(see the book of Hebrews). As our high priest, Christ has “all authority” to obtain forgiveness. You can forgive the sins your neighbor commits against you, your neighbor can forgive the sins you commit against him, but only through the Lord Jesus can you and your neighbor obtain forgiveness from God. Since Jesus possesses “all” priestly authority, surely there is no such authority left for a “priest,” a “pope,” an elder, or even a preacher. The authority is His!
All mediatorial authority(1Timothy 2:5). It is the heavenly privilege of every child of God to go directly and immediately to the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ without the aid or assistance of any human mediator. Between God and man there are not many mediators, not even two, but “one mediator, Himself man, Christ Jesus.”
All kingly authority(1Timothy 6:13-16). He alone has the divine right to rule and reign over the hearts and lives of men. Since Jesus possesses “all authority” to reign, surely there is no such authority left for any man or angel. Though the elders are overseers of a congregation, their authority is delegated — they rule under Christ, they rule in matters of judgment in the congregations where they are located.
All legislative authority(Colossians 2:4-23). Not only is He our high priest, our mediator and our king: He is also our lawmaker. Since He has “all authority” to make laws for the people of God, there is no such authority left for any man or any set of men. The law of the Lord is embedded in His word. It is not to be found elsewhere. Woe unto that man who expropriates the right to make laws for the church and takes it unto himself!
All authority to raise the dead(Revelation 1:17,18). In His hand He holds the keys of death and Hades. “Keys” symbolize authority. Having “the keys of death and Hades,” Jesus has the authority or power over death and Hades. He alone can raise us from the dead and adorn us with the clothing of immortality. (John 5:28,29).
All judicial authority(John 5:22): “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son.” Jesus also said, “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.” (John 12:48). Jesus alone has the divine right to sit in judgment on the souls of men and determine their destiny.
All who call him “Lord” — that is, acknowledge his authority — should obey him. “Go,” “make disciples,” “baptize,” “teach” — are all at his command. All who call him “Lord” should trust his precious promise — rely upon his supporting presence. All who call him “Lord” should bring every thought and imagination “into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2Corinthians 10:5). It is not enough to merely call Him Lord, we must respect His authority. Those people who call him, “Lord, Lord,” and do not obey Him or respect His authority will hear these awful words from He who teaches with authority: “Depart from Me.” (Matthew 7:21-29).
— S. Scott Richardson Sr.