The Absolute Authority

By Bob Dickey

The greatest peril of modem man is his rejection of absolute authority. The rejection of authority, and the failure to respect it, is the primary cause for the problems being experienced in our homes, schools, and in our nation. In the spiritual realm, it is the source of disaster for multitudes.

For most professed religionists, everything is relative today. There seems to be few absolutes, no right and wrong, no black or white  everything has run together until it has become a dull gray. Everyone wants to be his own director. Each wants to elevate his own opinion to be the supreme court. All want to be their own boss. Surely, the words of Judges 17:6 have a familiar ring, “. . . every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” But every generation that has tried that has gone down in moral disgrace.

What we need is a recognition of absolute authority. To that end the Apostle Paul wrote, “… let God be found true, but every man a liar” (Rom. 3:4). This instruction, when humbly received and obeyed, could bring reason to the moral insanity that is all around us today. We need to see three important truths inherent in this statement:

1. Let God Be Absolute Authority

Look at the simple clarity and force with which the writer stated it: “let God be true”! One would think this would be the normal thing for all to do  especially those who are claiming to love the Lord. But there is much evidence that few will let him be that for their lives. We know that the Lord is true. He is the embodiment of all truth (John 14:6). The Bible tells us that God cannot lie (Num. 23:19; Tit. 1:2; Heb. 6:18; 2 Tim. 2:10-13). In spite of this, there are few who will”let God be true” or the absolute authority over their wills.

The great civil war that has raged since the sin of Adam is the struggle between the authority of God and the will of man. So many today are impressed with their own ability to reason things out. It has become evident that the majority of people will follow their own reasoning in whatever they do. Then, when the Word of God goes against their reasoning, they allow their own will to be absolute authority. They may very well hold God to be an authority figure, but they alone will command their own lives. It is high time we learned not to make God an authority; he must be the authority. Let God be absolute authority!

2. Let Man Be Absolute Vanity

Look at the text again: “… let God be found true, but every man a liar.” The Amplified New Testament makes it more emphatic: “. . . let God be found true, though every human being be false and a liar.” Our lives often say, “Let every man be true (especially ourselves), and God a liar.” Secular humanism deifies man. Moral choices are made on the basis of a modem situation ethics. Even in the Lord’s church we are divided over an institutionalized course of pragmatism, and brethren have defied God’s Word by allowing so-called expediency to override authority.

Most cannot bring themselves to see that anyone and everyone is wrong who goes contrary to the word of God. Now be certain you see that includes you, your loved ones, your friends, teachers, and preachers. “Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity” (Ps. 62:9). We must all say with Jeremiah, “0 Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23). As right as it may seem, the way of man’s going ends in death (Prov. 14:12; Rom. 6:23; Jas. 1:13-15). Let us remember that wrong is wrong  even if everyone is doing it, and right is right  even if no one is doing it. Let man be absolute vanity!

3. Prove Your Loyalty To God By Your Obedience

When we “let God be true” and recognize his absolute authority, we will demonstrate our loyalty by our obedience to his word. He has placed a high premium on obedience: “. . . Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry” (1 Sam. 15:22-23). Jesus told his disciples, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matt. 16:24). “If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Then, and only then, are we allowing God to be absolute authority. Only then can we be truly blessed. cr

Guardian of Truth XXXVIII: 6, p. 6
March 17, 1994