Functional Authority

By: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne

Publish date: 07/09/2023

Foundation Scripture:
Proverbs 18:16

1. Functional Authority.
a. There is authority in the way you function.
b. Meaning that you have authority according to your abilities—whether it be by birth, training, or impartation.
c. People are born with certain natural abilities—music, singing, creativity, athletics, academic, etc.
d. Or you may have a particular spiritual gifting—imparted to you by the Spirit of God.
e. Acts 4:13 KJV — Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
f. If you have an ability in a particular area, it will show up.
g. Proverbs 18:16 KJV — A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.
h. If you have a gift from God, whether it comes at birth, by training, or by impartation, that gift will make room for you.
i. Because some people have diligently trained and developed abilities in a particular area, authority is produced in their lives—and they are enabled to function with authority in that area.
j. We need to know our position in the Body of Christ and understand what we are called to do.
k. As we train and develop, we can move up to higher things.

2. Function in Your Authority.
a. The same principles apply in the home.
b. We are to function in our abilities as husband, wife, parent, or child.
c. Most of the time, we miss it when we try to do things we are not qualified to do.
d. Ephesians 5:21-22 KJV — Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. 22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
e. The husband is the head of the house, as intended by the Lord, and responsible for leading his home in love.
f. The wife is responsible for submitting to the husband, in love, as unto the Lord.
g. Marriage is intended to be teamwork—where one is weak, the other is strong.
h. We are to complement one another and be a blessing to one another.
i. Find agreement in delegation of responsibilities according to each one’s gifts and abilities.
j. And then let each one function in their abilities and excel in their gift/gifting.
k. Do not allow your marriage to become frustrated by trying to exercise authority where you have not taken responsibility.

3. Wrong and Right Authority.
a. Many people try to exercise the wrong kind of authority in the wrong situation.
b. Acts 23:1-3 KJV — And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day. 2 And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth. 3 Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?
c. The high priest commanded Paul to be struck in the mouth contrary to the Law.
d. Therefore, Paul protested and appealed to the higher authority of the Word of God.
e. Acts 23:4-5 KJV — And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God’s high priest? 5 Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.
f. When it was pointed out to him that he was rebuking the high priest, Paul deferred to the Word of God.
g. Even though Paul was correct in what he said—and Ananias was in the wrong—Paul yielded to the ill-treatment.
h. The Word of God had the higher authority in Paul’s life.
i. As it should in ours.

4. Usurping Authority.
a. Matthew 20:20-24 KJV — Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. 21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. 22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. 23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father. 24 And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren.
b. James and John tried to elevate themselves above the others, because they were functioning in a worldly realm and operating with a carnal mindset.
c. The Kingdom of God does not function like a natural kingdom.

5. Serving People.
a. Functional authority is in operation in serving people.
b. Ephesians 2:19-20 KJV — Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.
c. The Church is built on Jesus Christ—and then on the apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, and evangelists.
d. They support, serve, and minister the Word of God.
e. They do not Lord it over the Body of Christ, nor rule from the top—but they hold up the Church from below.
f. 1 Peter 5:2 KJV — Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind.
g. Ministers of the Gospel are responsible to prepare and deliver God’s Word.
h. Then it is the people’s responsibility to receive it and act on it.
i. 2 Corinthians 1:24 KJV — Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.