Steve Ham, AiG–U.S., explains why the Great Commission carries the full authority of God and must be obeyed by all believers.
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” (Matthew 28:18)
Today’s big question: what is the extent of Christ’s authority?
Jesus came born of a virgin. He knew the Scriptures and could teach the teachers. He healed the blind and the lame. He rebuked the leaders. He calmed the sea and turned water into wine. He raised the dead. He forgave sins.
If you want to see absolute authority, just look at Jesus. Jesus not only has but actually displayed ultimate authority. He came from the Father, completed the task He was sent for, and is now risen and exalted at the right hand of the Father on the throne (Hebrews 8:1). All was done with full authority as the Son of God, the second Person of the Trinity.
When Jesus told His disciples He has full authority in heaven and earth, His declaration came before giving them a direction: “make disciples of all the nations.” Although originally given to the disciples, the Great Commission applies to every Christian because Jesus told the disciples to teach their followers everything He had commanded, which would include this command to make disciples. Since this instruction came directly from Jesus it carries the greatest possible weight. The Son of God, the I AM (Exodus 3:14), now exalted and glorified, commands us to evangelize.
Answers in Genesis is a biblical authority ministry, and our particular focus is to defend the historical foundations of biblical truth in the first 11 chapters of Genesis. We do this because our calling is to uphold the authority of the Word of God. Often we come across people eager to do the same—to uphold truth and authority in the Bible.
Yet we easily forget that the implication of biblical authority is much more than defending truth. In the case of Matthew 28:18–19, upholding the authority of the Bible is about doing. If God’s Word is authoritative, we must not overlook any directive in it. We should never consider one passage more authoritative than another.
The all-encompassing authority of Jesus Christ from Genesis to Revelation is to be upheld by every believer. We may stand for truth and authority, but we need to understand the scope of truth and authority. We must defend the truth of the historical narrative of Genesis without de-emphasizing the authoritative directive to share the gospel with all people and vice versa.
Over the next few days, we will be looking at many more passages that give us authoritative instructions. We should think through these directives and ask ourselves if we view them with the same authority as the truths we most often strive to defend. After all, Christ’s authority is all-encompassing.
Today’s big idea: every word in Scripture from Genesis to Revelation comes with the full authority of God.
What to pray: pray for obedience to the authority of Jesus.