The Authority of the Father

And Our Responsibility to God

John 20:17 Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.'"

The key to verse 17 is found in verse 16 where Mary calls Jesus "Rabboni" instead of Messiah. Rabboni simply means teacher which would indicate her lack of knowledge. It must be noted that women did not have the educational opportunities that men had in first century Israel. As a result, Jesus spoke to her in simple language that she would understand. A much different situation occurred when Thomas first saw the risen Messiah. Thomas declared "My Lord and my God!" Obviously, Thomas was much smarter than Mary was since he was the first disciple to understand that Jesus was going to Jerusalem to die. (John 11:16)

Our responsibility as true Christians, providing we have understanding, is to acknowledge Jesus as our Master and God. Paul declared this fact in Titus 3:5 by declaring we are to be "looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ." An additional responsibility would be for Christians to be in love with Jesus Christ since He appeared only to those who loved Him after His resurrection. (John 14:21; Eph. 6:24)

 

Ephesians 1:3-6 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.

Since God wants order (1 Chronicles 15:13; 1 Corinthians 14:40) and the universe was created with order (Genesis 1:31), there is order within God ('elohim). Between the distinct persons ('elowahs) within God or 'elohim, there is a hierarchy. For example, Jesus proclaimed the Father was greater than He is at John 14:28.

Our Christian responsibility rests with making Jesus Christ our Lord or Master. The Father wants us to be in Christ and that in Him we will be declared without blame (Romans 3:21-26). Accordingly, we will be accepted by the Father if we are in the Beloved (Jesus Christ). Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1-2)

 

Ephesians 3:14-19 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height; to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Again there is a hierarchy within God in that the Father is greater than the Son. When writing to churches in highly polytheistic societies (Acts 17:16) of the Roman world, Paul often would use God instead of Father so as not to confuse new Christians. This is evident at 1 Corinthians 11:3 where Paul writes "and the head of Christ is God." However, when writing to the Hebrews who are strictly monotheistic, Paul referred to Christ as God at Hebrews 1:8.

My Christian responsibility began when I asked (received) Jesus Christ to come into my life (John 1:12-13). This only can be in faith not through a comprehensive understanding of who God may be (Galatians 3:26). After having received Jesus Christ into your life through faith, you should be rooted and grounded in love through which you will receive Godly knowledge about the love of God or Christ (1 Corinthians 1:24). Our hope of glory rests with having the fullness of God or Christ in us (Colossians 1:27).

 

Revelation 3:12 "He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name."

The Father is greater than the Son in authority within God or 'elohim. The Son, however has all authority in the universe outside of God (Matthew 28:18). Together, the Father and the Son are together doing the work of God. "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works." (John 14:10) Together, the Father and the Son will be the future spiritual temple which the nations will look to as recorded in Revelation 21:22-23. But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it, and the Lamb is its light. This should not be surprising since Jesus Christ is the light of the world (John 8:12).

Jesus commended the church at Revelation 3:8 for having kept His word. In context, Christian responsibility begins with keeping the commandment of Jesus Christ. Jesus declared His commandment at John 15:12 to be that we Christians love one another. This is manifested by serving others instead of yourself. (Galatians 5:13-14) Additionally, by serving others you will be great in the Kingdom of God as Jesus promised in Mark 10:43-45.

It is also the Christian's responsibility not to deny the name of Jesus as found in Revelation 3:8. A true Christian will first realize that there is no other name given that can eternally save a person. (Acts 4:12) Secondly, a true Christian will place their faith into the name of Jesus which represents His person. (Acts 3:16) Thirdly, the true Christian will be sanctified and justified by the name of Jesus. (1 Corinthians 6:11) Next, a true Christian will tell people about the name of Jesus. (Acts 8:12) Lastly, a true Christian will pray in the name of Jesus. (John 14:13-14; Colossians 3:17) Conversely, the judgment of God will be visited upon those who do not sincerely place their trust or belief into the name of Jesus. (John 3:18)

An additional responsibility for a true Christian is to be an overcomer. In verses 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21; 21:7 of Revelation are listed the benefits of being one who overcomes. The context of these verses would indicate the world with its temptations and persecutions. The author of Revelation gives us the definition of a overcomer in his first epistle. "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" Have you placed your sincere trust or belief into Jesus Christ? (1 John 5:4-5)

The benefits of being a overcomer are obvious from Revelation 3:12. You will be a child of God having His name given to you by Jesus Christ. Secondly, you will be in the presence of God forever. Jesus Christ will make you a pillar in the temple of God and you will never have to leave. Thirdly, Jesus Christ will also have a home for you which is the New Jerusalem which comes down out of heaven. Jesus has prepared this place for all true Christians. (John 14:2-3)

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