Join us Sunday

  • 9:30AMCoffee & Donuts
  • 10:00AM Worship & Message

A Challenge to Authority

May 15, 2016 | Pastor James Laughlin | From the series: The Best Life Ever Lived

Guest speaker James Laughlin is the senior pastor of Joy Community Church. He continues our series, The Best Life Ever Lived, by looking into Matthew 21. Through life examples and studying Christ’s example, James teaches on who we are in Christ and the confidence we should have in the authority He has given us.

Listen to the Sermon

Sermon Notes

Matthew 21:23-27 “Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?” 24 But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things: 25 The baptism of John–where was it from? From heaven or from men?” And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the multitude, for all count John as a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus and said, “We do not know.” And He said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

We are called to exercise our authority in Christ!

Jesus faced direct challenge regarding His authority.

  • Verse 23 – they were concerned with protecting themselves and their authority

“Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional.” Roger Crawford

Jesus is not only on your side, but He’s on the inside and it’s the power of God that can grab a hold of your life and walk with you through that situation and give you victory!

Do you resist people in authority?

Jesus was secure in defending His authority.

  • Verses 23-25
  • The Pharisees’ authority was given by man
  • Jesus’ authority was given by God
  • The Pharisees’ authority was traditional
  • Jesus’ authority was relational

Jesus wasn’t afraid of confrontation. He wasn’t afraid of conflict. He wasn’t afraid to speak truth into a certain situation that would make others uncomfortable with Him.

Our authority becomes a crisis in our own lives when we are afraid or intimidates to stand up and say “I’ve got to have some interface time with you”. Most of us get uncomfortable with conflict and confrontation. Jesus doesn’t go into a face to face battle; He uses wisdom and tries to divert evil and wickedness. You can do that as well.

Questions allow you to look at things from a different perspective.

A lot of us have grown up in environments or work in environments where people have been given free reign to bulldoze in our lives. Christians have to stand at a higher level. We have a greater responsibility because we reflect Christ to others. So our behavior has to look differently.

During Ronald Reagan’s term, there was a meeting of leaders in the world at the White House. During the meeting the Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau was strongly reprimanding and scolding the British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. He was telling her, her policies were not going to work and they were dangerous and how dare she lead the way she led. As Reagan watched, he saw Margaret just hold her head up and stood her ground until Pierre walked away. Then Reagan went up to Margaret and asked her why she let Pierre speak to her that way. She answered, “A woman must know when a man is simply being childish.” There are times in our lives when we are being challenged or experiencing conflict due to someone misusing their authority and we only need to stand there, take a deep breath, and understand that the person is behaving in a very child-like manner. We have to take the higher road and say, “I’m going to behave totally different than this”.

“I have great worth apart from my performance, because Christ gave His life for me and therefore imparted great value to me. I am deeply loved, fully pleasing, totally forgiven, accepted and complete in Christ.”  Robert McGee

When our identity is wounded, and when our identity is broken and not built upon Christ then it’s easy to be threatened, it’s easy to be intimidated, it’s easy to feel put down and it’s easy to become victims of other people’s authority. You’ve got to take charge!

Perfect love casts out all fear. Not some fear, not a bit of fear, ALL fear! All intimidation! All bullying! You have victory and freedom in Christ.

You have the Word. God wants you to speak the Word into situations that are difficult.

We must stand confidently in Christ’s authority.

  • Verses 26-27
  • Fear, manipulation, and lack of faith robs us of our authority
  • Our confidence is in the fact that Jesus has given us the authority. Matthew 21:21-22 “So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done.  22 And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.””

How secure am I in who God has made me to be?