Grace Protestant Reformed Church

Honoring God's Authority

Date: AM
Text: I Peter 2; Lord's Day 39
Psalters: 275, 217, 322, 223
Series: Heidelberg Catechism (2012-13)
  1. Authority is the God-given right to rule (not determined by greater size, power, wisdom, or any other ability).
    1. It is the right to set the standard for others of what is right and wrong.
      1. All authority is God's because He created, upholds, and governs all things (Rom. 11:36).
      2. God delegates the exercise of this authority to certain positions, called offices.
    2. Among men God gives His authority in four areas of life - all called father.
      1. Natural fathers beget or adopt us into their family (Heb. 12:9).
      2. Domestic fathers are masters (II Kings 5:13; Titus 2:9,10).
      3. Political fathers (Isa. 49:23) are vested with God's authority (Rom. 13; Prov. 8:15; I Peter 2:13-17).
      4. Spiritual fathers are office-bearers (I Cor. 4:15).
    3. The home/family is the school in which God teaches the art of obedience.
  2. How must we respond to God’s authority in our “fathers”?
    1. God would have us “honor,” render respect, a submission of the soul.
      1. Honor is an inner respect and esteem, to think highly of them, giving reverence (Heb. 12:9; Lev. 19:3).
      2. Fidelity is faithfulness shown also when parents are old; there is no age limit to the honor commanded.
      3. All requires our all, not something half-hearted; and it must be shown (not just empty words).
    2. Honor is the basis for our obedience and submission.
      1. Obedience is a yielding of ourselves to do as commanded.
      2. Honor submits when we may not obey, being willing to bear the consequences of not obeying them.
  3. Why are we to honor God’s authority?
    1. First, this is well-pleasing to God (Col. 3:20).
    2. Also, this is the first commandment with promise.
    3. Show your love by patiently bearing with God's will to put these weaknesses and sins.