Clinton D. Hamilton
In these last days, God speaks to us through His Son. "God, having of old time spoken unto the fathers in the prophets bv divers portions in divers manners, hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in His Son" (Heb. 1:1-2.) Christ then is the one through whom God makes known His will. To disregard the instructions of Christ is to disregard the instructions of God.
Jesus affirmed that He could do nothing of Himself, "but what he seeth the Father doing: for what things soever he doeth these the Son also doeth in like manner" (Jn. 5:19.) All judgment has been given to the Son (Jn. 5:43.) To Come in one's name means to come with authority. Consequently, Christ's teaching was not His own but the Father's. "My teaching is not mine, but his that sent me (Jn. 7:16.) "And he that sent me is with me; he hath not left me alone; for I do always the things that are pleasing to him" (Jn. 8:29.)
Whatever the Lord says is the commandment He received from the Father. "He that rejected me, and receiveth not my sayings, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I spake, the same shall judge him in the last day. For I spake not from myself; but the Father that sent me, he hath given me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life eternal: the things therefore which I speak, even as the Father hath said unto me, so speak" (Jn. 12:48-50.)
These statements from the Son of God leave no doubt about His authority. One who does not yield to the authority of Christ is in rebellion to God Himself. This lesson needs to he stamped deeply on the hearts of all men. But what is the practical effect of this? It means that one who is not obedient to the gospel of Christ is in rebellion to Him. This further means no one can say that he knows the Lord while not obedient to the gospel ( I Jn. 2:3-4.)
What is Christ's will? Just before He ascended back to the Father, He gave His apostles this injunction called the Great Commission: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned" (Mk. 16:15-16.) Working, under this commission, the apostles ccmmanded those who had believed to repent and to be baptized for the remission of their sins (Acts 2:38.) These conditions of salvation Christ authorized. No one can say that he has obeyed Christ until such time as he submits himself to these commandments. Christ said that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him (Matt. 28:18.)
The apostles were to bind what had already been bound in heaven (Matt. 16:19; 18:18). They were also to teach men to observe the things Christ had commanded. Speaking through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the apostles revealed what Christ had taught them and the truths revealed by the Spirit (Jn. 14:26; 16:13). Hence the words were the Spirits (I Cor. 2:12). Christ is the authority men should acknowledge and the New Testament is the expression of His will to men. As the Father sent Christ, He sent the apostles who had the power to give the conditions of remission of sins (Jn. 20:21-23).
Men who refuse to yield to the commands of the gospel thus fail to recognize the authority of Christ. Those who become obedient to the gospel in fact acknowledge the authority of Christ. Since judgment has been given to the Son and since we will be judged by His words, we should make certain that we yield to His authority now. He speaks with the full authority of His Father and calls on all men to submit to the will of the Father. Do you really live in subjection to His authority?