The Authority of God

Mike Johnson

Everyone is subject to authority today.  Many are employees and are subject to the rule of their employers.  All of us, whether we want to be or not, are under the authority of our government.  There is authority we put ourselves under by choice, and there is authority we find ourselves subject to due to circumstances.

There is one authority to which all people are subject.  People are subject to this authority, whether they want to be or not; they are subject to it no matter where they live.  This authority is the authority of God.

Authority can be either inherent or delegated.  The word inherent means “intrinsic.”  It, according to the dictionary, exists “in someone or something as a natural and inseparable quality, characteristic, or right.”  It is an indwelling essence or characteristic.  Delegated authority, on the other hand, is authority given or appointed to or by another. God possesses His authority inherently or intrinsically.  This means He received His power from no one.  It did not come to be.  God has His authority simply BECAUSE OF WHO HE IS.

Consider some reasons why God inherently has authority.  First, He is the creator of the universeGenesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”  The Creator does not need to obtain his rights from that which He has created.  Second, God is the owner of all thingsPsalms 50:10-12 says, “For every beast of the forest is Mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field are Mine . . . For the world is Mine, and all its fullness.” Finally, God is the sustainer of all (note Acts 17:25-28).   We need God:  He does not need us.

Sometimes a person will ask, “Who gave God the right to tell man what do?”  The person who asks this question does not understand the inherent nature of God’s authority.  As we have seen, His authority was given to Him by no one.  Further, no one can deny Him His authority.  We must be willing to submit to God’s authority.