Christians Must Speak with Authority
Main Point: Many people are uncertain about life these days; they seem to have more questions than answers. But because Jesus spoke with authority, so must we, as Christians.
Discussion Starter: Speak with Authority
Taylor Mali is a teacher by day and a pretty cool comedian by night. He specializes in the arena that is known as slam poetry or poetry jam. Instead of the usual stand up material of our day, he talks a lot about education and parenting and culture and identity. Two things are true about his act: it will make you laugh and it will make you think.
In this clip, Mali is denouncing the sissy way in which many people talk these days. He claims that every declarative statement, for some reason, now ends with an invisible question mark. He says it doesn’t make sense, and he also says for us to stop it! He says we must begin to speak with conviction and authority.
That’s really good advice for all people, but especially Christians.
The clip is available on YouTube by clicking here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTSKU0FgZts
I really like that clip for a couple of reasons. First, it makes me laugh. But second, it makes me think. It makes me wonder if I do that. It makes me wonder if I am uncertain about life, or if I really believe and speak the truth. And more importantly, if I do believe and speak the truth, do I do so with conviction and authority? You see, over and over again in the Gospels, we’re told that Jesus taught “as One with authority.” Even the crowds recognized that Jesus was different from all the other teachers of their day. As Christians, we should also speak with authority, as well. Let’s spend a few minutes talking about how we do that.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and our favorite comedians.
- ASK A FEW: Do you think people really do “invite others onto their bandwagon of uncertainty” like Taylor says? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: Why is it that so many people seem to do that which Taylor describes? Why is it that we seem so uncertain about so many things?
- ASK A FEW: Taylor thinks the problem might be that we have nothing to say. Do Christians have something to say?
- ASK A FEW: Taylor gets serious at the end of the clip and says, “Speak with conviction.” What does it mean to “speak with conviction”?
- ASK A FEW: Is it important for Christians to speak with authority? Why or why not?
Read the following passage:
Titus 2:1-15 (NIV)
You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. 2 Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. 3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. 6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. 9 Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, 10 and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive. 11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope– the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.
I love it when we can get together and laugh. I also love it when we get to learn through laughing!
The video clip we watched tonight allowed us to do just that. We laughed and learned. Some of us learned a lot about ourselves. Some of us saw ourselves in the mirror. Some of us now know some changes we have to make in the way we speak.
Then, we looked at a passage of Scripture that almost said the exact same thing. Paul told Titus to “encourage and rebuke with ALL authority.” That’s quite a big challenge. “Hey Titus, teach everything I’m teaching you, and do it with authority!” But the only reason Paul was so pushy about it was because he knew what hung in the balance: eternal life!
I want you to know that, as Christians, we must speak with authority. We have the most important message in the world. We don’t need to sound confused by it. We don’t need to sound bored with it. We need to be excited about it, and adequately teach others why it’s so important.
Speaking with authority is just another way we can identify with Jesus as His followers. Listen to what the Bible says about Jesus in Mark 1:21-28.
They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, 24 “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are– the Holy One of God!” 25 “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” 26 The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. 27 The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching– and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him.” 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.
Jesus taught with authority unlike anyone else they knew! That’s impressive! That’s important.
OK, you and I aren’t as smart as Jesus. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never created an entire Universe. And I’m not as courageous as Jesus, either. But I want honor Jesus by following his example. And so, I need to learn how to speak with authority.
God has given us a powerful truth to share with others. Let’s be confident as we talk about His love with the world. Let’s spend a few minutes in prayer, asking God to help us do this. Let’s ask God to give us courage to speak with conviction and authority.
Close in Prayer
Written by David R Smith
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.