Here is the sermon outline for Sunday, February 26, 2006, as I continue in our series, "Saying 'Yes' To Being His Church."
[size=large]We Are His Body (Part 6): Honoring Authority
1. Since we are called to be the Body, we must recognize that we are not called to be the Head. Romans 13:1
A. God has made Jesus to be the Head of the church.
B. As an outward sign of Christ-likeness, God also calls us to live in submission to the authorities over us.
- Obedience and submission are not necessarily the same thing.
- Obedience includes the outward following of directives. Submission includes the inward satisfaction to obey.
C. All authorities, including the ones we don't like and the ones we disagree with, have been placed over us by God.
- How we respond to authority, especially when we disagree, is representative of our submission to God.
- Where there is a tendency to go against authority, there is the certainty of experiencing judgment. Romans 13:2
- When we support and submit to our leaders, we can be assured of God's blessing.
D. The Bible teaches us that we gain authority as we learn to live in submission to authority. Matthew 8:5-13
2. A submissive heart demonstrates humility. God gives grace to the humble, but He resists the proud. James 4:6, Numbers 16
A. When we dare to undermine our leaders, God will call us to account. Numbers 16:4-7
B. It is important that we all embrace the call to serve the Lord's Body and not look for ways to merely gratify our own selfish desires and ambitions. Numbers 16:8-11
C. We generally choose to justify our lack of submission as we rehearse fears and insecurities, distorting the truth. v. 12-14
- In our sin nature, there is a tendency to resist new direction from authority by over-glorifying the past.
- In our sin nature, there is a tendency to read into the motives of leaders.
- In our sin nature, there is a tendency to cast blame for disappointments and unreached goals.
- In our sin nature, there is a tendency to take up personal attacks when our leaders lead differently than we would.
3. Disagreements with authority are inevitable. God still calls us to walk in submission.
A. Perhaps nothing better demonstrates what's in our heart than the issue of money. Romans 13:6
B. Whether we agree or not, we are still obligated before God to pay taxes, to offer respect and give honor. Romans 13:7
C. The call to submit to authority does not mean there isn't room to disagree. How that disagreement is handled, however, is key to walking in God's blessing.
WHAT DO WE DO IF WE DISAGREE WITH OUR LEADERS OR THINK THAT THEY ARE IN ERROR?
__ Talk to them. If possible, set an appointment to meet together. Let's work to understand their heart as we share ours.
__ Clarify information. Perhaps we possess knowledge that they are unaware of and need.
__ Be open to the possibility that they may be in possession of knowledge that they may not be able to share with us.
__ Choose to obey if that does not require us to sin. God knows how to deal with them and will.
__ Walk with a submissive heart at all times. They have still been appointed by God and deserve respect.
__ Trust God. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective
__ Forgive. Bitterness is a poison pill that will eat us alive and erect walls in our walk with Jesus and with people.