Stipulated Authority

By: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne

Publish date: 07/02/2023

Foundation Scriptures:
Genesis 29:18-27

1. Stipulated Authority.
a. The delegated authority may authorize you to act on their behalf.
b. You must qualify that authority and specify exactly what you are responsible for.
c. This is a stipulated authority.
d. You enter into a legal contract.
e. Stipulated authority works both in the natural and the spiritual realm.
f. Genesis 29:18-19 KJV — And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter. 19 And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me.
g. Jacob entered into an agreement—a contract; a covenant—with Laban, Rachel’s father.
h. It was a stipulated agreement because there was a time limit on it.
i. Jacob worked for seven years and fulfilled the terms of the stipulated agreement.
j. Jacob asked Laban to do his part and give him Rachel as his wife.
k. However, there was a custom he did not know about.

2. Authority in Custom.
a. Genesis 29:22-27 KJV — And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast. 23 And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her. 24 And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid for an handmaid. 25 And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me? 26 And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. 27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.
b. Jacob had a a stipulative agreement with Laban; however, another law—the authority of custom—superseded it.
c. Laban made this law work to his advantage.
d. Whether it was fair or not, it was the customary law.
e. Had Jacob known this, he would have, or could have, negotiated differently.
f. After one week, Jacob was able to marry Rachel, but he was required to work for Laban for seven more years.

3. Understanding Laws.
a. At all times, both in the natural and the spiritual realms, there are many different laws in operation.
b. We must apply ourselves to understand these laws.
c. We must know and understand which laws complement each other, and which laws are reciprocal (opposites).
d. For example, when flying an airplane, we must understand the opposing laws that govern flight, to use them to our benefit.
e. The law of gravity and the law of lift; the law of thrust and the law of drag.
f. It is imperative that we also understand complementary and opposing spiritual laws, in order to walk in the blessing of God.

4. Custom.
a. 1 Corinthians 11:16 KJV — But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.
b. Paul is saying that when there is a custom, it carries authority, and must be observed.
c. Custom means: convention; a usual or habitual practice; typical mode of behavior; the usual way of acting in given circumstances; the long-established habits or traditions of a society collectively.
d. If you go into a church where the congregation does not lift their hands and praise God, you will feel the influence of their authority when you lift your hands.
e. Their authority in custom will affect your behavior.
f. In a church where it is customary to lift hands up to praise God, you feel free to do likewise.
g. Custom should be dictated by God’s Word, not man’s traditions.

5. Tradition.
a. Tradition carries authority, but do not make the mistake of putting custom, or tradition, above the Scriptures.
b. Matthew 15:1-9 KJV — Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, 2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. 3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? 4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. 5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; 6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. 7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
b. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for teaching and observing man-made religious traditions, instead of Bible doctrines.
c. 1 Peter 1:18-19 KJV — Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.