What Resources Does the Church Have?
1. Which is more impressive to you, the power of might or the power of right?
a. Why is it important that Jesus have both?
b. Why does Jesus say that all “rights” have been given to me in Matthew 28:18-20?
c. How does Jesus primarily mediate his “rights” or authority according to verse 20? (hint: notice the words “all that I have commanded”)
2. Secondarily, Jesus exercises his authority in this world through those whom he appoints to be officers in the local church.
a. What are the officers according to Eph.4:11? Which of those officers do you think are still in local churches today?
b. According to 2 Corinthians 10:8, what kind of authority do church officers have that other church members don’t have?
c. Paul quite often appeals to his apostolic authority. But should pastors appeal to their “moral” authority (their influence) or to their official authority (their official title) more frequently?
d. What are some other doctrinal truths that place limits on the authority that God has given the Elders?
3. Thirdly, Jesus exercises his authority (or rights) over all things through the members of the church as a whole. Discuss how the following passages teach congregational authority:
a. Galatians 1:8-10
b. Matthew 18:15-20
4. One of the most powerful manifestations of authority that Jesus exercises in this world is when his word is preached by those who hold the office of Elder and then when the congregation grows in conformity to Christ as a result of the preached word. That kind of authority is so powerful that not even the gates of hell can stop it from advancing in this world.
a. How can we better exercise that authority as a church family?
b. Explain how each of the pieces of God’s armor in Eph.6 are the exercise of Christ’s authority in this world through a growing believer.