As creator of all things, God has the ultimate authority and he has given this authority to men to accomplish his purpose and good pleasure. This authority of man is always subject to God’s authority, and this is found in the Bible as God’s revelation of himself and his will for our lives. Read these Bible passages: Romans 13:1-7 and Ephesians 6:1-9. Some areas of authority to discuss would be:
AUTHORITY OF PARENTS
- Discuss the way in which Jacob viewed and treated his sons.
- Give some examples of differences between how Jacob’s sons respected and obeyed him.
- Is preferential treatment by a parent just cause for rebellion? Why or why not?
- Ephesians 6:1-3, Colossians 3:20, Exodus 20:12Discuss what these passages tell us about parental authority.
AUTHORITY OF TEACHERS
- In a Christian school, if teachers stand in the place of the parents, does the teacher have the same authority as the parents? How about in the public school, college, or university?
- What if you have a teacher or professor who teaches something that contradicts the teaching of the Bible? How would a Christian student respond appropriately while still honoring the authority of the teacher?
AUTHORITY OF THE CHURCH
- What authority is given to the church in Matthew 16:19and Matthew 18:15-18?
- Discuss the authority of preachers. What gives preachers and elders the right to tell me what to do? Discuss Luke 9:1-2and Titus 2:15.
- What does I Timothy 2:11-13tell us about authority in the church? Does this apply to 2011? After all, women are much more educated today and many women seem to have gifts that would be valuable in the offices of the church.
- If Joseph shaved and changed his clothes when he was called before Potiphar, who had civil authority, what is our responsibility for how we appear in God’s house?
AUTHORITY OF THE GOVERNMENT
- Read and discuss I Timothy 2: 1-2.
- What if a Christian feels compelled to protest a government policy like abortion or same-sex marriage? What action could you take without being guilty of rebellion or dishonoring civil authority?
AUTHORITY IN THE WORKPLACE
- Discuss what Colossians 3:22and Titus 2:9-10tell us about honoring authority in the workplace.
- Explain how we “adorn the doctrine of God our Savior” by a good work ethic.
- Give examples of how Joseph was a godly servant under Potiphar.
- What about labor unions? Don’t we have the right to negotiate a fair wage? What makes unions bad? Would Jesus have joined the carpenter’s union?
- Finally, is it ever right to disobey those in authority over us? If so, when and how?
- Give examples of how we show honor for authority in all areas of life with our speech.