Faithlife Sermons

God, Who Do You Think You Are? (Part 1)

God's Authority   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Since God is the creator and sustainer of all things, he therefore has total authority to command whatever and whoever he wants.

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Introduction

Lack of respect for or submission to authority has reached epidemic proportions in our nation. Not just in our hateful rhetoric, but in deadly violence. We ask the question, who gives these people the right to tell me what I can or cannot do? “I didn’t vote for them, and I won’t allow them to rule over me”, we say.
At the center of these acts and words of insubordination, is the self-proclaimed truth that, “I am the most important, and if you don’t do it my way or benefit me so that I am happy, you are out!”
So, it begs the question, where did this authority come from, and do I have to submit to it? If we believe scripture, we are told in Romans 13:
Romans 13:1–2 ESV
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.
Romans 13:
So if this is true, the bigger question is, where did God get his authority, and do I have to submit to it? In other words, “God, who do you think you are telling me what to do?”

Text: Read

Pew Bibles page 605

Since God is the creator and sustainer of all things, he therefore has total authority to command whatever and whoever he wants.

Isaiah 45:1–13 ESV
1 Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him and to loose the belts of kings, to open doors before him that gates may not be closed: 2 “I will go before you and level the exalted places, I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron, 3 I will give you the treasures of darkness and the hoards in secret places, that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who call you by your name. 4 For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my chosen, I call you by your name, I name you, though you do not know me. 5 I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, 6 that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. 7 I form light and create darkness; I make well-being and create calamity; I am the Lord, who does all these things. 8 “Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit; let the earth cause them both to sprout; I the Lord have created it. 9 “Woe to him who strives with him who formed him, a pot among earthen pots! Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ or ‘Your work has no handles’? 10 Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’ or to a woman, ‘With what are you in labor?’ ” 11 Thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and the one who formed him: “Ask me of things to come; will you command me concerning my children and the work of my hands? 12 I made the earth and created man on it; it was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host. 13 I have stirred him up in righteousness, and I will make all his ways level; he shall build my city and set my exiles free, not for price or reward,” says the Lord of hosts.

Text: Read

Isaiah 45:1–7 ESV
1 Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him and to loose the belts of kings, to open doors before him that gates may not be closed: 2 “I will go before you and level the exalted places, I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron, 3 I will give you the treasures of darkness and the hoards in secret places, that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who call you by your name. 4 For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my chosen, I call you by your name, I name you, though you do not know me. 5 I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, 6 that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. 7 I form light and create darkness; I make well-being and create calamity; I am the Lord, who does all these things.
Isaiah 45:5–7 ESV
5 I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, 6 that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. 7 I form light and create darkness; I make well-being and create calamity; I am the Lord, who does all these things.

Background

Isaiah’s ministry spanned over 40 years, called the prince of prophets.
Isaiah addresses God’s judgment on Israel (10 northern tribes) by Assyria in chapters 1-35.
Isaiah addresses the remnant of Judah that will return from Babylon and their ultimate deliverance in the remote future in chapters 40-66.
Prophetic because the Babylonian captivity was not in view during Isaiah’s lifetime
Prophesied regarding Cyrus, the Persian king, who would defeat the Babylonians and decree the release of the Jewish remnant more then 100 years before he came to power.

Main Idea

Since God is the creator and sustainer of all things, he therefore has total authority to command whatever and whoever he wants.

1. God’s Authority is Based on Who He Is

God’s Authority is Based on Who He Is

His Name: “I am the LORD”

Phrase used 187x in OT, 84x in Ezekiel alone
Used 3x in this passage alone (vs. 5, 6, 7)
Play on words since the word “LORD”, “YHWY”, seems to be derived for the “to be” verb in Hebrew. It’s like saying, “I am, the I am”
Exodus 3:14 ESV
God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ”
What is the significance?
Means he is unchangeable in position, power, and plan
Malachi 3:6 ESV
“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.
Means he is unstoppable in his decrees
Ezekiel 17:24 ESV
And all the trees of the field shall know that I am the Lord; I bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it.”
Means he is unstoppable in his decrees
Means he is unfathomable in his essence
Romans 11:33 ESV
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
Means he is unreasonable in his commands
Isaiah 55:8–9 ESV
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Is 55:8-9

His Exclusivity: “There is no other” (vs. 5, 6)

A direct link to his name and character
A result of being the originator of all things
A desire not to share his glory
Isaiah 42:8 ESV
8 I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.

2. God’s Authority is Based on What He’s Done

What God has done is inseparably linked to who he is
So what God does is always to display who he is

He equips to make himself knowable through his creation(vs. 5b, 6)

he makes himself knowable through his creation(vs. 5b, 6)
he makes himself knowable through his creation

He Creates (vs. 7)

Who he is becomes evident through his creative contrast: light vs. darkness; well-being vs. calamity.
Light & Darkness: beginning of time
Well-being & Calamity: on going to the present day
What he’s done encompasses all things everywhere at all times. Nothing is left to chance, nor is anything without purpose.
Light & Darkness: beginning of time
Well-being & Calamity: on going to the present day

3. God’s Authority Gives Him the Right To Judge (vs. 9-12)

Isaiah 45:9–12 ESV
9 “Woe to him who strives with him who formed him, a pot among earthen pots! Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ or ‘Your work has no handles’? 10 Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’ or to a woman, ‘With what are you in labor?’ ” 11 Thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and the one who formed him: “Ask me of things to come; will you command me concerning my children and the work of my hands? 12 I made the earth and created man on it; it was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host.
is
“Woe” means that one is pronouncing sorrow, affliction, and anguish on another. It is like cursing another.
The creator has the right to judge what he has created.
The creator has the right to condemn those who question his authority. (verses below not on PPT)
Deuteronomy 11:26–28 ESV
26 “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: 27 the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, 28 and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way that I am commanding you today, to go after other gods that you have not known.

So What?

What authority does God have in your life?
Are there other voices in your life, besides God, to which you listen and obey?
Do God’s commands seem “unreasonable” to you?
God commands men, women, boys, and girls everywhere to repent of their sins and trust Jesus Christ alone; have you done that?

Remember:

Revelation 20:11–15 ESV
11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. 13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
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