2 Corinthians 10:8 For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed:
Far too many believers today are guilty of a very dangerous practice of usurping authority that does not rightfully belong to them. As an apostle, Paul was given an elevated level of authority. As expressed in his writings, Paul understood that his authority differed from that of the other believers in Corinth. It is important to recognize that the apostles’ authority ended with their deaths. Believers only have the authority given to them in accordance to the holy scriptures. Unfortunately, many well-meaning Christians attempt to claim authority that belonged only to a special group of men that lived during the church’s infancy. This authority was given to them in order to confirm the word (Mark 16:14-20). Authority today resides within the word itself.
• (For children): God allowed the apostles to do signs and wonders so that people understood and recognized that what they were speaking was from the Lord. Peter had this ability (Acts 5:12-16). Later, he wrote that scripture was more sure (more trustworthy, unquestionable) than anything (2 Peter 1:16-21). Scripture is all we need to know truth (Acts 17:11; John 17:17b).
• (For everyone): Read 2 Corinthians 12:11-12. How does Paul identify the signs that the Lord allowed him to perform? How does this suggest a special authority given to the apostles?
• Why is it important to realize when authority changes? How could this cause a believer to miss the will of God for his life? How could this knowledge help a believer to be more effective?
• Ask God to teach you the different kinds of authority.
• Ask the Lord to help you be more effective for Him.
SONG: HAVE I DONE MY BEST FOR JESUS?