For The Good of Your Child – Authority Part I - Lesson III
We have established the fact that God always seeks profit for His children and all things that He does are meant to grow His children into conformance to His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is the pattern, He is the first fruit, and like a fruit tree produces like fruit so too are God’s redeemed children to be like the first fruit.
And like a sculptor hammers off chip by chip from an unformed block of marble God, by chastening, brings his children into conformance with his Son.
God provides this pattern to fathers who in many ways are to conform their son into their image.
I mean this in no robotic way but in the way given in scripture where we are told.
That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.
Father sets his hope in God, Son sets his hope in God. Like father like son!
God is in the business of producing sons, all fit to be beside his Son, Jesus Christ.
And to do this He has delegated all power to Jesus Christ, his Son to bring this about.
When Peter, James and John went up the mountain with Jesus they heard these words from the mouth of God.
This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
So God is pleased with His Son, the first fruit of many and we are told by God to hear Jesus Christ.
Which means to heed and act upon His word that your sons will be conformed to His Son and God will be pleased.
So we see God establishing a chain of command for He has absolute power to do so.
And that chain of command reaches down to the fathers of Earth and their sons that all may set their hope in God.
This chain of command begins with God the Father who holds absolute power for all other power is delegated.
Jesus told us of His delegated power in Matthew 28:18, where He said: All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Given unto me means delegated power.
Everything that takes place in heaven and upon the earth is either directed or else permitted by Jesus Christ.
Delegated authority is just as much authority as is absolute authority or else we would have to conclude that the authority given to the Lord Jesus over heaven and earth by His heavenly Father is less than complete and effective.
Delegated authority is simply restricted to specific areas, yet in the area it covers, it carries the effectiveness and power of the absolute authority of our Heavenly Father.
God delegates authority for it to be used, not put on a shelf, and its effective use brings order and blessing to the area of our lives affected by that delegated authority.
So many failures occur when those given authority, be they fathers or pastors or supervisors, refuse to use it, instead choosing to trim their ways to seek love which is usually the compromise. Be not afraid of their faces, God tells them.
If you have authority, and fathers have delegated authority, God expects you to use it and when you don’t you will be unprofitable for God.
Now there are three institutions given in the Bible where God has appointed a man or men to have authority over other men and they are the home, the civil government, and the church.
According to God’s word, submission to authority in the home and to civil government is required however in the church subjection or submission is voluntary.
God says to children, Obey your parents in the Lord.
This is not to happen only when a child feels like it.
Children are to obey their parents in the Lord even when they do not know what the word “obey” means.
A baby does not know what “obey” means yet can be taught to obey.
Father’s you have the authority and responsibility from God to bring this obedience about.
Now as far as civil government is concerned Romans 13:1-4 is clear:
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Submission to authority in civil government is required and there will be consequences to those who don’t submit.
Have you tested this lately on the highway?
But in the church submission is voluntary for we know our pastor cannot call the sheriff and have us thrown us in jail for too many absences from the services or for not praying as we ought.
But the scriptures, in regard to our church leaders, instruct us in Hebrews 13:17 to:
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
The call is for you to submit voluntarily.
Those to whom authority is delegated may further delegate authority in some cases; however, they cannot absolve themselves of ultimate responsibility to God by doing so.
You can delegate authority but you cannot delegate responsibility.
For example, parents may delegate the authority over their children to a school for the period of time while they are at school.
However, it is the parent that determines the extent of this delegation of authority over their child, but the parent continues to have the ultimate responsibility for what the child receives or does not receive in instruction.
Ultimately it is the parent who must have the final say about the growth and development of the child and in what kind of environment this takes place.
For it is the parent who will answer to God for the child and the use of the authority delegated to that parent for the development of that child.
The parent is given the authority; therefore, the parent needs to know what the Scriptures teach concerning what is in the best interest of the child.
I know from experience that the man who knows God’s word is a man equipped to exercise command and authority.
In too many homes fathers neglect to be equipped to lead by forsaking God’s clear teaching relative to their children.
There used to be a popular saying about things like this and it went: Ignorance is no excuse.
God gives fathers responsibilities and like any good superior God equips them to carry out those responsibilities and part of that equipage is authority, therefore there is no excuse when that authority is not used.
The word authority has in it the word “author”.
We attach the word “author” in most cases today to someone who writes an article, or composes a book.
By the popular use of a word sometimes its broad meaning gets lost in the usual understanding of the word.
But the real definition of the word “author” is much broader than just the writing of an article or a book.
The Latin word for the word “author” is “auctor” which is from the root of the word augeo, which means to increase, or cause to enlarge.
The Latin word for the word authority is auctoritas which shows that author and authority are connected.
The primary sense in the word “author” is one who brings or causes to come forth.
Authority also is that which brings or causes to come forth.
The Centurion of Matthew 8:9, knew what authority was when he responded to Christ.
For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
As God brought all things into existence by His word, authority brings or causes things to come forth by its word.
To be an author then is to produce something, to bring something forth.
Not only is one who writes a book an author but a mother is an author when she brings forth her child.
The mother and the father are both authors of their children and therefore their children can be read by you.
Are their children a good book or a horror story?
Think about that rebellious child you see at the grocery store.
What kind of book is that mother or father authoring with that child?
You read that book cover to cover as you move your cart to some far away aisle.
I try to make it a point to compliment families in eating places when their children give me a good book to read by their demeanor and good manners.
My wife and I had that happen to us one time when we took our young children to a nice restaurant and someone was kind enough to praise our children with kind remarks.
Wow, that experience made us walk out of that restaurant with our shoulders pushed back, head held high, face glowing and praising God for bringing about what he promised in his word.
So an author is a person who creates or brings something into being.
An author is the first mover or cause of anything.
In the case of a book an author brought the book into being.
A translator is not an author because he or she was not the first cause of the thing being translated.
This difference was observed by the people in the time of our Lord Jesus Christ when he finished the Sermon on the Mount as we read in:
Matthew 7:28,29, And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: 29For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
He taught them as one having authority means He taught them as one who authored the words he spoke.
This was compared to the scribes who were trained in writing skills and used to record events and decisions.
Scribes were students of the law, they interpreted the law, they taught it to disciples, and were experts in cases where people were accused of breaking the law of Moses.
But Jesus Christ taught them as one having authorship and not as one who interpreted the author.
He taught them as one who authored the law and not simply as one who interpreted the law.
So we see the connection between author and authority.
They are one and the same.
An author brings forth. One who has authority brings forth.
We see this expressed in the book of Romans where Paul writes in Romans 9:21.
Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
The potter is the author and if he so chooses he can make a rough cup to hang outside at the water spigot or he can take that same clay and make a beautiful piece of china for prominent display in the china cabinet of the finest home.
So authority is always related to the author.
Now that we have established what authority is let us apply that to fathers, for fathers are given authorship, fathers are given to bring forth.
And they do that by authority.
Fathers are given authority by God to author growth in their children, physically, mentally and spiritually.
None of these areas are to be neglected for they all contribute to the child’s setting their hope in God, not forgetting the works of God, and keeping his commandments.
As the farmer travels the rows of his field looking for growth, fathers are also to look each day for growth in their child.
Farmers remove from their fields and add to their fields and each action is done that growth and fruitfulness is insured.
By authority fathers are to remove that which hinders growth and to add that which promotes growth.
I think about the interest of Mom and Dad and Grandma and Grandpa who come to see their little charges at Kindergarten graduation.
What thrills them?
I remember our daughter Jennifer at her graduation standing tall with a tall Uncle Sam hat on her head and saying in the loudest voice imaginable and with a kind of twisted mouth, WELCOME TO OUR KINDERGARTEN GRADUATION!
How glad we were that growth had taken place that year in school.
We felt the school and we had done our duty by her for her good because growth had taken place.
So authority then is that which promotes growth in the child, it is that which is used to bring forth in the child.
When you exercise your God given authority in accordance with God’s word it is “For the Good of Your Child.”