Jesus is building his church
Title: Jesus is building his church
Series: Baptism & Church Membership
Belief on Authority
Believing things ‘on authority’ only means believing them because you have been told them by someone you think trustworthy.
Ninety-nine percent of the things you believe are believed on authority. I believe there is such a place as New York. I could not prove by abstract reasoning that there is such a place. I believe it because reliable people have told me so. The ordinary person believes in the solar system, atoms, and the circulation of the blood on authority—because the scientists say so.
Every historical statement is believed on authority. None of us has seen the Norman Conquest or the defeat of the Spanish Armada. But we believe them simply because people who did see them have left writings that tell us about them; in fact, on authority. A person who balked at authority in other things, as some people do in religion, would have to be content to know nothing all his life. - C. S. Lewis
(1) Jesus' path for building his church (v. 21) - a different path to authority
For instance, William Oncken, Jr., in a 1970 Colorado Institute of Technology Journal, gives an analysis of authority that suggests it is comprised of four elements:
1. The Authority of Competence: the more competent the other fellow knows you are, the more confident he will be that you know what you are talking about and the more likely he will be to follow your orders, requests, or suggestions. He will think of you as an authority in the matter under consideration and will feel it risky to ignore your wishes.
2. The Authority of Position: This component gives you the right to tell someone, “Do it or else.” It has teeth. “The boss wants it” is a bugle call that can snap many an office or shop into action.
3. The Authority of Personality: The easier it is for the other fellow to talk to you, to listen to you, or to work with you, the easier he will find it to respond to your wishes.
4. The Authority of Character: This component is your “credit rating” with other people as to your integrity, reliability, honesty, loyalty, sincerity, personal morals, and ethics. Obviously you will get more and better from a man who has respect for your character than from one who hasn’t.
William Oncken, Jr., Colorado Institute of Technology Journal 22 (July 1970): 273.
(2) Jesus' problem in building his church (v. 22)
5291 To Destroy Louis XVII
Louis XVI and his beautiful wife were killed on the scaffold during the revolution. Their son, who was already registered in the rolls as Louis XVII, was taken prisoner.
The people wanted revenge of a worse kind. The child was not only to be kept a prisoner and forever deprived of his right to reign, whatever good in him was to be destroyed.
And so, they placed him under the tutelage of evil men who trained his mind to evil thoughts, his heart to evil designs, and his lips to speak all sorts of evil words. But now and again, the unhappy boy would grasp for higher things and exclaim in anguish: “I can’t say it, I can’t do it, for I was born to be a king!”
(3) Jesus' plea for building his church (v. 24 - 26)
What then does this mean?
(1) Some of you must receive Jesus Christ today!
(2) Others must come to a realization that they have a nature against such commitments to Christ’s work of building.
(3) Some of you are truly part of the church. You are Jesus’ plea for building his church is a plea for are self-denying, cross-bearing followers. Be encouraged!
Going the Way Jesus Went
If anyone wants to learn what it means to go the way Jesus went, he must do three things. First he must give up all right to himself; that is, cease bothering about self-preservation, self-aggrandizement, and self-protection against ridicule, and abandon self-assertion as a way of life. This is how the world is crucified to me (Gal. 6:14). Second, he must take up his cross: that is, settle for a life into which the world’s favor and esteem do not enter. Only criminals going to execution—people from whom the world’s favor has been totally withdrawn—carried crosses in those day. This is how I am crucified to the world (Gal. 6:14). Third, the would-be disciple must follow Jesus by accepting as leader and guide one who was even then on his way to execution and who expected to involve his disciples in sufferings like his own. This, says Jesus, is the only path that leads to life.
Paul wrote: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). This brings together both aspects of the Christian’s identification with Christ; acceptance of Christ’s cross as both the end of the old life and the pattern of the new one.
Your Father Loves You by James Packer, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986, page for January 17