How to Establish Authority in Religious Matters
In society there is both the presence and the need for standards of authority to exist in order to govern people and to keep order. The supreme authority in the universe is God. He has revealed His wordof truth as the authoritative standard to guide and direct us in our decisions and to weigh our actions. We should always seek to know and to implement His divine authority in matters of morality, religion and spiritual things.
Before Jesus' crucifixion and after His resurrection, He claimed to possess the divine right to command and to judge men's lives. Jesus said, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth." (Matthew 28:18) The Son's authority is revealed in the gospel of Christ as recorded in the New Testament. The New Testament is the complete, absolute and infallible authority and standard for us today.
"...And some pastors..."
The Lord Jesus determined that there ought to be pastors in His church (Ephesians 4:11-12). He possesses the right to organize the church because He is the Head of the body (Ephesians 1:22; 5:23). Who are these pastors?
Men have a history of corrupting the doctrine of Christ. Biblical principles and terms are often taken out of their context and misused. As a result doctrinal error then spreads. In the New Testament the word “pastor” is not used to refer to all preachers, nor is it simply a title. It is a description of a man who tends to herds or flocks – literally or metaphorically. A pastor is a shepherd. Jesus is the chief Shepherd (I Peter 2:25; 5:4). The good Shepherd gave some to be pastors in His church.
Antichrists - Opponents of Christ
A great spiritual war is in progress. Since the Garden of Eden, the devil has been deceiving and enslaving mankind. He is God’s adversary; he is man’s adversary. Christians are instructed to resist him (James 4:7). His schemes are many. Thus disciples of Christ must equip themselves with the armor of God because they wrestle “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Remember the Cross
Jesus Christ knew beforehand where His path was leading. He foretold the twelve, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again." (Matthew 20:18-19). He was fully aware of His approaching death. He came to give His life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).
Baptism - A Commandment
Many are confused about the New Testament doctrine of baptism. Unquestionably baptism is a Bible topic. Since the Lord placed significance on baptism, we must not assume it is unimportant, nor inconsequential.
Baptism in water was introduced during the ministry of John the Baptist (Matthew 3:5, 6). Jesus was baptized by John to fulfill all righteousness (3:13, 15). Baptism required “much water” (John 3:23), and the person being baptized would go down into the water and then come up from the water (Matthew 3:16; Acts 8:38, 39). These descriptions illustrate what the Greek word for baptism actually means – to dip, to immerse, to submerge.