This is the fifth episode in a series I am calling The Bible Mountain Parables. In this series, we are addressing some of the most basic and fundamental questions that we as human beings should answer. In today’s episode we will discuss authority.
First episode: How do we know if God exists?
Second episode: How can I believe in a God whom I haven’t seen?
Third episode: Are we as powerful as we think we are?
Fourth episode: Should we be afraid of God?
(Scroll down below the video if you prefer to read a transcript.)
Thanks for watching this episode of Bible Mountain dotcom. This is the fifth episode in a series I am calling The Bible Mountain Parables. In the first episode, we concluded that when we observe the world we live in, the logical, intelligent conclusion is that there is a living, intelligent being out there somewhere who created the universe and everything in it, including us. In the second episode, we concluded that just as there are historical documents that testify to the existence of people like Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar, so too there are historical documents that testify to the existence of God. In the third episode we concluded that when we observe the world we live in, the logical, intelligent conclusion is that God is by far the most powerful force in the universe and that there is nothing in the universe that can stop God from doing anything He wants to do. In the fourth episode we concluded that just as we need to know when to fear electricity, wild animals, and storms so that we know how to be safe, so too we need to know when to fear God because He is much more powerful than any other force in the universe. In future episodes we will talk about life after death, and the meaning of life, but today we will discuss authority. Does God have the right to tell us what to do? I am using parables throughout this series to discuss these topics, so let’s get started with today’s first parable:
Once upon a time an artist spent hours working on three paintings. He labored over every tiny detail, trying to get the colors and shading just right. After spending 250 hours on these paintings, the artist put them side by side, stepped back, and took a long, hard look at each one. The artist decided to keep the one on the right, he sold the one on the left, but he didn’t like the one in the middle so he destroyed it.
Notice that the artist has the authority to do anything he wants with his paintings because he created them. He can sell them, keep them, give them away, hide them, display them, or destroy them. This is true of all creative endeavors; people who create things have authority over their creations. Whether it is a book, a painting, a sculpture, a script, a table, a video, a machine, a photograph, an article, or anything else, the person who created it owns it and has authority over it until he sells it or gives it away.
The same is true of the universe. God created the universe and everything in it. Since God created everything, He owns everything, He has authority over everything, and He can do whatever He wants with the universe and everything in it, including us. He has the authority to keep us, help us, punish us, or destroy us. Now let’s look at a second parable:
The Speed Limit
One day a motorist drove down the highway at 65 mph. He passed a police officer, but the officer did nothing because the speed limit was 70. The next day, a new law went into effect that lowered the speed limit to 55. On this day the same motorist went down the same highway traveling the same speed of 65 mph and passed the same police officer at the same spot, but this time the police officer pulled him over. The motorist tried to persuade the officer that it was wrong to give him a ticket because 55 mph is a completely arbitrary choice for a speed limit and is no more morally right or wrong than 25, 35, 65, 75, or 95. The officer did not agree and handed the motorist a citation.
Does it matter whether or not the speed limit is an arbitrary choice? No, it doesn’t matter. The government has the authority to set the speed limit at any speed they want, and since the government has the power to enforce their authority, motorists must obey the speed limit or suffer the consequences.
The same is true of God. Several thousand years ago, God performed miracles and rose from the dead to prove His existence and His authority, and He gave us a set of rules He expects us to obey. These rules are found in the Bible. Since God has authority over everything and everyone, including us, and since He has the power to enforce His authority, we must obey God’s rules or suffer the consequences, even when His rules don’t make sense to us. Now let’s look at a third parable:
Once upon a time a coach told his assistant coach to send an email to the team, advising them that practice would start at 9am everyday and that three tardies would result in dismissal from the team. One player decided that the message was not authoritative because it was not delivered face to face and it was not delivered by the head coach himself. This player showed up for practice around 10:00 everyday and after three days he was dismissed from the team.
Does it matter how the coach chooses to communicate to his players? No, it doesn’t matter, because the coach has the authority to set the rules, and if he wants to use his assistant coaches and email to communicate his rules, then that is his prerogative.
The same is true of God. Several thousand years ago, God used a handful of men to write down a set of rules that He expects us to obey. God has the authority to tell us what to do and He has the authority to communicate those rules in any manner He chooses; therefore, we need to obey His rules, or suffer the consequences.
So what is the conclusion from all this?
God created all things, including us, and He is the most powerful force in the universe; therefore, God has the right to tell us how to live and what to do, and He has the power to enforce His authority. God gave us a set of rules that He expects us to obey and we need to obey His rules, or suffer the consequences.
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
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