The counterpoint to authority is liberty. The primary word translated liberty is eleuqeria (also free and delivered):
- Matthew 17:26 “Then the sons are free.”
- John 8:32, 33, 36 And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.
- Romans 6:18, 20, 22 Having been set free from sin, … slaves of righteousness
- Romans 7:33 If her husband dies, she is free from that law
- Romans 8:2 …set me free from the law of sin and death
- Romans 8:21 …creation will be delivered…into the liberty of the children of God.
- 1 Corinthians 7:21 – 22 If you [slave] can be made free, rather use it
- 1 Corinthians 9:1 Am I not an apostle? Am I not free?
- 1 Corinthians 9:19 Though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant
- 1 Corinthians 10:29 Why is my liberty judged by another’s conscience?
- 1 Corinthians 12:13, Galatians 3:28, Ephesians 6:8, Colossians 3:11, Revelation 6:15, 13:16, 19:18 …whether slave or free
- 2 Corinthians 3:17 Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
- Galatians 2:4 …to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ
- Galatians 4:22, 23, 30 the child of the freewoman
- Galatians 4:26, 31 But the Jerusalem above is free
- Galatians 5:1 Stand fast in the liberty by which Christ has made us free.
- Galatians 5:13 You have been called to liberty, only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh.
- James 1:25 The perfect law of liberty.
- James 2:12 …those who will be judged by the law of liberty
- 1 Peter 2:16 …as free, not using liberty as a cloak for vice
- 2 Peter 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves
Summary of liberty:
- Under the Law of Moses, individuals were granted authority (Matthew 23:3).
- Many passages contrast law and liberty.
- With liberty comes responsibility.
Summary of honor, obey, and authority:
- To honor is to count someone or something as worthwhile or valuable.
- Three entirely
different words are translated “obey.”
- Hearken: consider advice
as a description of action (not implying authority by the one obeyed) except
- Hebrews 13:17 “Obey those who have hegemony over you” Obey is in the middle voice, adding the concept of choice by the one obeying.
- Titus 3:1 The admonition to obey earthly leaders is absolute.
- The third “obey,” when used as a verb, is always in the middle voice when obeying humans, adding the concept of choice by the one obeying.
- Authority by
humans is given only to apostles and only in two areas: financial support and
- That the translators many times chose “power” shows that the word implies enforcement ability.
- “Power and authority” emphasizes the strength to enforce.
- Christians have authority over themselves. (1 Corinthians 8:9)
- Christians have authority to eat the sacrifice (Hebrews 13:10)
- Christians rule over the nations with Jesus (Revelation 2:26)
- Christians have the authority to eat of the tree of life (Revelation 22:14)
- Apostles have the right to be supported (1 Corinthians 9:4 – 18, 2 Thessalonians 3:9)
- Apostles are the authorities of edification (2 Corinthians 10:8, 13:10)
- Prophetesses were to wear head coverings to illustrate their submission (1 Corinthians 11:10)
No authority (enforcement ability) is mentioned for church leaders. What does the New Testament say about church leadership?
most common leadership model today appoints elders, bishops, pastors, etc.
- All leaders were appointed miraculously? (Titus 1:5, Acts 14:23, Acts 16:4, 1 Timothy 3:1 – 7, 5:22, although Timothy was not told to appoint.)
- No congregations were encouraged to appoint elders.
- Ephesians 4:11 – 16 contains the expiration clause for those miraculously appointed leaders: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. Claiming that they exist today rejects Jesus prayer of John 17:20 – 24.
problems of leadership are mentioned in the New Testament
- Galatians 2:11 – 21 Paul corrected Peter
- 3 John 9 – 10 Diotrephes. Claiming exclusivity is the mark of a false leader.
- Acts 20:28 – 30 From among your own selves …
- 1 Timothy 4:1 – 4, 6:3 – 5 giving heed to deceiving spirits
- 2 Timothy 3:6, 4:3 – 4 itching ears
- 1 Peter 5:1 – 4 not lording it over
- 2 Peter 2:1 – 3 secretly bring in destructive heresies
instructions are given to followers?
- Ephesians 5:21, 1 Peter 5:5 submitting to one another
- Galatians 5:13 do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh…serve one another
- 1 Corinthians 12:12 – 31 God composed the body…greater honor to that which lacks
authority by consent of the followers, is the New Testament generic word for
leadership, meaning that this type of leader is granted the role because it
makes sense to the followers to do so.
Not everyone in a congregation necessarily follows the same leaders.
- Hebrews 13:7, 17, 24 …whose faith follow
- 1 Thessalonians 5:12 – 15 …esteem them highly in love
- Matthew 2:6 …who will shepherd My people Israel
- Luke 22:26 …he who governs shall be as he who serves
- Acts 7:10, 14:12, 15:22 Three examples of hegemony
- Even hegemony can be overdone, but has its own cure (1 Corinthians 1:10 – 17, 3:4 – 23)
- In the early church, who taught? (1 Corinthians 14:26)