HOW TO GET MORE AUTHORITY

 

Jesus is everything to us.

 

He is our Savior, Redeemer, Substitute, Friend, Great High Priest, and the list of titles he holds could (and does) trail off into eternity. Could we loudly exclaim all the descriptions Jesus is to us, all the time that heaven affords would not seem sufficient for what we have to say of Jesus.

 

But what makes the person of Jesus so dazzling is not the mere quantity of titles he holds. The measure of his titles is impressive, but the diversity of them is blinding. Spellbinding. Enthralling. Have the paradoxes, these diversities about Jesus, ever lit your worship on fire before? Jonathon Edwards called the paradoxes of Jesus diverse excellences. It surely is a marvelous thing that Christ is powerful, but that he is simultaneously gentle accelerates our awe. Powerful and gentle: diverse excellences.

 

In the book of Philippians, there are two titles given to Jesus that can make of our brains a pretzel when we try to hold them together. Jesus is Lord (Phil. 1:2) and Servant (2:7). One of the questions we wrestled with in Sunday’s sermon was: how can a lowly servant rule as a lord?

 

The answer Jesus gives us is: that’s the only way somebody can rule as a Lord. This answer is scandalously consistent with the entirety of Jesus’ life and death: does Jesus wash feet or does he uphold the universe with the word of his power? Does Jesus heal the sick with empathy or does he rebuke the self-righteous with power? The answer to these questions is a profound and emphatic yes! If you and I beeline to the cross, is this blending of lordship and servanthood true of the crucifixion of Christ?

 

The cross sure looked like the world was exercising its authority on Jesus, didn’t it? It sure looked like Pontius Pilate was exercising his leadership authority by handing Christ over to be executed. It sure looked like the crowds were exercising their citizenship authority by demanded Christ to be crucified. It sure looked like Satan was exercising his satanic authority by murdering the Messiah. To the world, he doesn’t look much like a Lord, a measly body hanging from a cross.

 

Oh, on the cross more than ever, it was Christ who was exercising his authority over the world. Even when the world wanted the Roman Empire to be conquered rather than their personal sins defeated, Jesus exercised his lordship authority by willingly dying on the cross. Even when the world wanted the savior to establish a worldly kingdom, Jesus ushered in an upside kingdom by willingly dying on the cross. Even when Satan wanted death ushered in by having Christ killed, Jesus wanted life to break in by giving himself to be killed. To the Father, he never looked as much like a Lord as when his measly body hung victoriously from that rugged cross!

 

Jesus teaches us that the cross is not an expression of authority. It is the expression of authority. This should radically alter how you understand whatever position of authority you have been given! Mothers, when your children call you mother, fight to hear what the gospel calls you in a whisper between those two syllables: servant. Married men, when your wife calls you husband, fight to hear what the gospel calls you in an echo after those two syllables: servant. Christian, when the world calls you believer, hear what the gospel calls you: servant.

 

You want more authority in your life? In an upside-down world, we have a tendency to view the loud, harsh, iron-fisted leaders and conclude: “wow, that’s authoritative!” The gospel retrains us to view the lowly, apron-wearing, floor-scrubbing servants and conclude: “wow, that’s authoritative!”  Again, you want more authority in your life? Die.

 

FOR SUNDAY

 

CALL TO WORSHIP: PSALM 73:25-28

 

REJOICE: PHIL 1:3-8

 

The good work of Jesus accomplished in the life of

the saints,

Will lead us to the end, we have no need to faint!

Help us to rejoice in You!

He will not abandon, so may our hearts take heed,

In the Son of God, who on our behalf does intercede.

Help us to rejoice in You!

On that beautiful day our faith will be made sight,

In faith may we run, in faith may we fight.

Help us to rejoice in You!

 

REJOICE: AMAZING GRACE

 

Our hearts are drawn out in thankfulness to Thee,

Your amazing grace is sweet to the taste and it sets captives free

Help us to rejoice in You!

Your are eternally wise is your judgements, you have no error

The workings of you will are pure, there is no comfort better

Help us to rejoicse in You!

Our souls yearn for You, the God of all grace,

Sweeter is one day in Your presence then a million outside that glorious place.

Help us to rejoice in You!

 

 

THE APOSTLES’ CREED

 

Let us hold fast to our confession of hope,

We believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.

 

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,

We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died, and was buried;

he descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again;

he ascended into heaven,

he is seated at the right hand of the Father,

and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

 

Let us hold fast without wavering,

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic and apostolic Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting. Amen.

 

BENEDICTION:

 

Our father who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done,

on earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power, and the glory,

For ever and ever.  Amen.

 

 

 

MORE NOTES