"Men qualify for freedom in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains on their own appetites. Society cannot exist unless a controlling power is put somewhere on will and appetite, and the less of it there is within, the more of it there must be without."

- Edmund Burke, 1774



The authority of God
2) authority of the Father


You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.

- Nehemiah 9:6 NIV


2.3 God the Father: the source of authority.

For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; it is he who will save us.

- Isaiah 33:22 NIV

God, or God the Father, is the source of divine authority by reason of his position over us in terms of power and perfection. Although the person of God the Father is not as clearly distinguished in the Old Testament as in the New (Deut. 32:6, Psa. 2:7, Isa. 9:6), three distinctions of his authority can be found in the above quotation of Isaiah; each accentuating God's superior position. In this passage, God is described as holding three different offices representing three unique positions of authority.

First, consider the words "the Lord is our king". The word king reflects the position of a ruler; of a sole monarch to whom allegiance is expected. Thus the office of king conveys the presence of singular authority. Isaiah confirms this in recording,

Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. (Isaiah 46:9 NIV).

Paul likewise reflects in the New Testament:

One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Eph. 4:6 NASB).

Throughout the Bible, God is always presented as ruling with kingly authority.

How can we know when we are living under God's kingly rule? By his kindness he has allowed us to know what those rules are, for, second, "the Lord is our lawgiver".
The office of lawgiver denotes the announcement of God's authority. God has announced his authority over mankind by giving us laws and commands which exemplify his character. These laws and commands he intends for us to learn and follow:

See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse - the blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord your God... (Deut. 11:26-28a NIV)

Third, the office of judge, "the Lord is our judge", reminds us of the enforcement of God's authority. God must judge because without judgment there is no authority. God's judgment will be impartial:

Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. (1 Peter 1:17 NIV)

And his judgments will be everlasting, never to be reversed:

Everyone whose name is found written in the book - will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. (Daniel 12:1b-2 NIV)


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NEXT: The authority of God - part three

See also:

The authority of the Bible

Biblical authority and humanity

Conclusion: A story of the S.S. Titanic

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This chapter briefly describes the authority of God as Scripture applies it to God the Father.