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YWAM Crossroads DTS Authority and Submission notes from lectures by Steve Aherne
Our struggle with authority
The problem is never authority; the problem is the use of or abuse of
authority. We should have no hang ups with authority. Don't throw the baby out
with the bath water. Two wrong extreme responses to authority: doormats,
slaves or rebels. The ultimate authority is God and authority comes from God.
The battle is won or lost
in the heart.
What is the difference
between submission and obedience, are they synonymous?
God is the Father of my
2:41-52 tells of
Jesus at age 12 going to the Temple. He was there legitimately to learn. He
continued to grow in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man.
If Jesus had to grow in
wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man, so do we.
Our opinion matters to God, what you think is important.
Prayer is the switch that
kick starts change. Persistence in prayer is taught in Matthew 6.
What God plans for us is
an unfolding revelation.
There are five circles of
authority: individual, family, church, work, and government.
Be subject to one another in the fear of
For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an
opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your
freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
14 For the whole Law is
fulfilled in one word, in the statement, "YOU SHALL
LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF."
But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not
consumed by one another.
Philippians 2:3 (NASB) Do nothing from selfishness or empty
conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than
Freedom can be used two ways: biting,
devouring and consuming one another or in loving and serving one another. How
do you spend your freedom? Do you make others feel special and important?
Ephesians 5:22-33 (NASB)
22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands,
as to the Lord.
23 For the husband
is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself
being the Savior of the body.
But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be
to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave
Himself up for her,
26 so that He
might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
27 that He might present to Himself
the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but
that she would be holy and blameless.
So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He
who loves his own wife loves himself;
for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just
as Christ also does the church,
because we are members of His body.
FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL
LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE,
AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.
32 This mystery is great; but I am
speaking with reference to Christ and the church.
33 Nevertheless, each individual among you
also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it
that she respects her husband.
Build self esteem in your wife, lay down your
life and minister to her. Just as I am aware of, and respond to, symptoms in my
body, I am to be that sensitive and responsive to my wife. The number one need
for women is affection.
1 Peter 3:1-7(NASB)
In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if
any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the
behavior of their wives,
they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.
3 Your adornment must not be merely
external braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses;
4 but let it be the hidden person of
the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is
precious in the sight of God.
For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to
adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands;
6 just as Sarah
obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do
what is right without being frightened by any fear.
7 You husbands in the same way, live
with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a
woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your
prayers will not be hindered.
Don't focus on your rights but rather on your
responsibilities in your role.
1 Peter 5:1-6(NASB)
1 Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as
your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also
of the glory that is to be revealed,
2 shepherd the flock of God among you,
exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the
will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness;
3 nor yet as lording
it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.
4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of
5 You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you,
clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for
GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE
PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the
mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,
1 Peter 2:18-21(NASB)
Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who
are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable.
19 For this finds favor, if for the sake
of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering
20 For what credit is
there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But
if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this
finds favor with God.
21 For you
have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving
you an example for you to follow in His steps
All work for the
Christian should be sacred work, because:
a Your Heavenly Father gave it to
b. You take the Father with you.
c. You do whatever you do for His
d. You practice His presence
Colossians 3:23-24 (NASB)
23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,
knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is
the Lord Christ whom you serve
1 Peter 2:13-17 (NASB)
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every
human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority,
14 or to governors
as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do
15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the
ignorance of foolish men.
16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a
covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.
17 Honor all people, love
the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. Every
person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities.
For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist
are established by God.
Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they
who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.
3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for
good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what
is good and you will have praise from the same;
4 for it is a minister of God to you for
good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for
nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who
5 Therefore it
is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for
6 For because
of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves
to this very thing.
7 Render to
all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to
whom fear; honor to whom honor.
Church is the authority
which offers mercy, government is the authority providing justice and punishing
guidance for the Christian, like a seesaw with the Bible as the fulcrum
submission to the various circles of authority are on the one side and words we
believe to be from the Lord are on the other, thus providing guidance.
Submitting to authorities is saying this is not decided, what do you think?
What is God saying to you?
Sometimes your family
will think you are crazy. You have an attitude of submission but do what you
believe God wants you to do.
Mark 3:20-21 (NASB)
And He came home , and the crowd gathered again, to such an extent that they
could not even eat a meal.
When His own people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for
they were saying, "He has lost His senses."
Steve reffered to the
Trinity as the trinity brothers or trinity boys, quite disrespectful, but
emphasizes the equality between the persons of the Godhead.
The parable of the sower,
Steve says, is not about salvation but rather discovering the will of God. He
says that if you can overcome the Enemy, the world, and yourself, you can do the
will of God. Your worst enemy is you.
Steve taught extensively
on big G little g, saying we can change our environment and co-create with God,
which I strongly disagree with. He says, stuff doesn't happen because the little gods
don't cooperate. "Without God man cannot, without man God will not."
He quoted from Nelson Mandela.
"Our deepest fear is not that we
are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is
our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I
to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to
be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's
nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure
around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make
manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's
in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other
people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our
presence automatically liberates others."
Steve said, "God plans things but we
still make choices. God and His relationship to creation is not static but
This teaching is called open theism
an attempt to explain the foreknowledge of God in
relationship to the free will of man. The argument of open theism is essentially
this: human beings are truly free; if God absolutely knew the future, human
beings could not truly be free. Therefore, God does not know absolutely
everything about the future. Open theism holds that the future is not knowable.
Therefore, God knows everything that can be known, but He does not know the
Open theism bases these
beliefs on Scripture passages which describe God “changing His mind” or “being
surprised” or “seeming to gain knowledge” /span> IIn
contradiction to open theism, Psalm 139:4, 16 state, “Before a word is on my
tongue you know it completely, O LORD...All the days ordained for me were
written in your book before one of them came to be.” How could God predict
intricate details in the Old Testament about Jesus Christ if He does not know
the future? How could God in any manner guarantee our eternal salvation if He
does not know what the future holds?
Open theism fails in that it attempts to explain the
unexplainable—the relationship between God's foreknowledge and mankind's free
will. Just as extreme forms of Calvinism fail in that they make human beings
nothing more than pre-programmed robots, so open theism fails in that it rejects
God's true omniscience and sovereignty. God must be understood through faith,
for “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). Open theism
is, therefore, not scriptural. It is simply another way for finite man to try to
understand an infinite God. Open theism should be rejected by followers of
Christ. While open theism is an explanation for the relationship between God's
foreknowledge and human free will, it is not the biblical explanation
Steve spoke on what he
called essence relating to the Holy Spirit infilling us and the oneness we have
with the Trinity. The phrase "Essence of God" is a theological term used to
refer to God's personal characteristics, or to the facets of His personality.
Sometimes the term "Attributes of God" is used to refer to God's essence. The
"attributes", or the "essence", of God are His primary characteristics.
Each of the Persons of the Trinity are separate individuals. Father, Son, and
Holy Spirit. However, each of the members of the Holy Trinity are God, and they
are united in essence by each of them being fully God. Christ is unique among
the members of the Holy Trinity in that He became one with humanity in the
incarnation – becoming one in essence with us. However, He did not lose any of
His God Nature in this process. He still remains fully God.
The love of God is unconditional, the favor of God is
Taking an absolute and
making it a relative is liberalism. Taking a relative and making it an absolute
What God is saying to
The five circles of
authority, the stories from the book of Daniel are very familiar to me. I have
used this model for guidance that I learned from Bill Gothard of Basic Youth
Conflicts, based on sound biblical principles. You may be asked to do something
wrong against God. Will you trust
God and obey Him instead? Probably this was Jesus that was in the fiery furnace
with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Jesus promises to never leave us or
When I worked for the phone company I tested phone line and dispatched
repairmen. When a customer called into 611 for repair service they were
given a time commitment when their phone would be fixed. We had a cut
cable and many phone lines were out of service. We repaired their phone
lines but about two hours after the commitment time. My supervisor came to
me and asked me to type them into the computer as fixed two hours earlier.
I refused because that would be lying. He became very angry and threw all
the trouble reports on the floor. But I took a stand for what is right.
I was reminded to submit
to authority in attitude and honor the position even at times when I cannot
honor the person's behavior or character. A good example Steve gave was in
honoring President Bill Clinton.
This is an excerpt from chapter 10 of my book
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Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible®
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by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission.
"What is Open Theism?" Gotquestions.org