February 1, 2015
Stetson Memorial United Methodist Church
Worship Theme: Authority through the Holy Spirit
Mark 1:21-28 God’s Word Bible
Let us pray… pray for the Spirits leading as I bring the message to God’s people and that His word would be heard through me or in spite of me…
Have you ever heard someone speak and you just hang on to every word they say? You are just so fascinated with them and what they have to say. They kind of pull you in to the subject that they are talking about. What is it about this person that is speaking that is o mesmerizing? Is it charisma? Is it their voice? How about their appearance? Or is more that they speak with like one with authority? They speak with so much confidence and they know the subject they are speaking of so well that they could do it in their sleep.
I like it when we, as a church, do one of Adam Hamilton’s studies. He is such an awesome speaker. When he talks he speaks with such authority and wisdom. He draws you right into the scripture that he is talking about it is as if you are right there in the story itself.
In the scripture from this morning, we heard the story about a day when Jesus went to the synagogue in Capernaum. The people in the synagogue were amazed by the way in which Jesus taught. Now to top it all off Jesus also delivered a man of an impure demon that was within him. Now this type of teaching and this authority was never seen before. The people were so astounded that they went out and told many people what they saw that day. What authority this man had. Even spirits obeyed Him…
Now when we think of authority, what kind of images come to mind? Maybe it’s a boss who is over you at work. Maybe it is a person in your life that has some sort of hold over you somehow. Or maybe you might think of the police who have been given authority to keep the peace…no matter what the cost. The very definition of authority can be kind of scary…
1. the power to determine, adjudicate, or otherwise settle issues or disputes; jurisdiction; the right to control, command, or determine.
2. a power or right delegated or given; authorization :
3. a person or body of persons in whom authority is vested, as a governmental agency.
4. Usually, authorities. persons having the legal power to make and enforce the law; government:
5. an accepted source of information, advice, etc.
6. a quotation or citation from such a source.
7. an expert on a subject:
But when we talk about Jesus’ authority, we are talking about the Authority that comes with the Holy Spirit. Now Spiritual Authority is a mark all Christians should bear. It is the imprint of the Holy Spirit on our hearts. It is given…it is gained…through avenues that society in general has no clue about.
1. Spiritual Authority is not part of the worlds agenda – Jesus did not speak via the political structure of His day. The people were pretty much fed up with the whole “political structure” back then and maybe also today…just sayin. They were glad to hear the Good News that Jesus brought to them…this message of and to the heart. And even those Christians who are in the government structure didn’t and don’t receive this authority through their position but only through the fountain of God that pours out living waters for the soul. Well that makes me kind of happy because I don’t for see myself in some kind of political position in the world in which we live…
2. Spiritual Authority does no rest necessarily upon the powerful – When we look at the world around us it seems that the ones with the biggest and baddest guns and weapons are the ones who are in authority… But just because you have “power” and “authority” as the world sees it, it doesn’t mean you will have “spiritual authority”. Whew…well that makes me happy to know. Spiritual authority is given by and through God and you have to have that relationship with God in order to have it. Now don’t get me wrong. There are those who are in a “position of power and authority” that have that relationship with God and are doing awesome things for the kingdom but the key thought is have that “relationship” that givens them “Kingdom Authority”…
3. Spiritual Authority comes to the humble at heart – As I was saying in the last thought about spiritual authority…it is all about the relationship…it’s all about the heart of the person…not about what they have. In a society where many are about the me and not the thee… it is within the humble heart where the power and authority of God id shown.
4. Spiritual Authority is a liberating quality – You don’t have to pretend to be something you are not. God has given this authority and instead of being stuck…walled in…barred…by the many rules of the church…you are free to be as God would have you be…using His Kingdom Authority for the good of others and further His Kingdom here on earth. Having this authority you have no desire to enslave but the desire to produce a passion for righteousness and freedom through the Holy Spirit.
5. Spiritual Authority assumes responsibility – OK so we have been given Kingdom authority to do God’s work and not our own. We assume responsibility when we realize that it is God’s and not our own agenda that matters and are careful to not transfer our own vision and dream into the will of God. Now this is really hard. We want to do God’s will and we need to make sure we are hearing God and not our own “ideas…vision” in our own heads. The only way to do this is to be constantly in relationship with God, praying and listening for His direction in our lives and in the lives of others that we may have “authority” over.
Every congregation…our congregation…has been gifted by the Holy Spirit with leadership…with people…to do all that God wants to be done within His congregation…what that congregation is called to do. May God give us wisdom and insight to find and us the authority given to each of us through the Holy Spirit…
Let us pray…pray for the spirit’s guidance as we head into the new year…