These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no
man despise thee.” (Titus 2:15)

In the sermon last week, we saw how Titus was exhorted by the Apostle
Paul to preach with all authority in the church of Crete. What is this
authority? And what exactly does it mean to preach with all authority?

1. This authority involves a divine call.
The pastor must be aware that he is called by God to preach when he
ascends the pulpit. He is not there by human but divine appointment.
Paul in the epistle to the Galatians made it clear that he was the
Apostle, “not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the
Father, who raised him from the dead” (Gal. 1:1). So is every true
pastor whom the Lord has called to have oversight of the flock.

Nevertheless, the pastor must be aware that this authority is but
 . Romans 13:1 made it clear that there is no
authority except from God. Any authority which exists is established
by God. Thus, a pastor should never conduct himself as a lord or
dictator. He is but an under-shepherd. Once he ascends the pulpit, he
must take heed to preach only what God wants him to preach and
nothing else.

2. This authority is biblical authority.
As the preacher has no authority of his own, he must make sure that he
faithfully preaches from God’s Word. He must never dodge what is
clearly taught and commanded in God’s Word and turn it into an
option to be considered. When the preacher says, “I think”, or “I
share” rather than “God’s Word says”, wherein is the authority?

On the other hand, he must never command people simply based
on his word. He must explain and show clearly from the Scriptures
the commands and principles that God expects us to follow.
Preaching that is accurate and faithful to God’s Word is preaching
with all authority.

God’s people must also realise that when the pastor instructs, exhorts
and rebukes with biblical authority, the message must not be ignored,
but received readily in the heart. When one brushes faithful preaching
aside, he is rejecting biblical and divine authority. Preaching with
biblical authority is for the benefit and protection of all of God’s

3. This authority involves duty and accountability.
Just like a commander is responsible for the lives of the men fighting
under his authority, and the captain of the ship is responsible for the
safety of all the passengers in the vessel, so the overseer is responsible
for the souls which God has placed upon him to be cared for. These
are souls which God has purchased with His own blood (Acts 20:28).
When there is sin among the congregation, the Lord will hold those
who transgress accountable. However, if the pastor failed to preach
against the error, he will also have to give an account to God for his
negligence. Why did he not confront the wickedness and errors, and
instruct the congregation to walk in the path of righteousness? “When
I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not
warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to
save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his
blood will I require at thine hand.” (Ezek. 3:18)

Why then do pastors and preachers fail to preach with all authority? They
let the fear of men and circumstances fester in their hearts rather than
focusing on Biblical and divine authority. Kowtowing to faces and
refusing to count the cost, they do not apply the Word directly to the
hearts of hearers. Thus, the sermons lack any authority.

Everyone of us must take heed to the authority of God’s Word. Are our
hearts fully surrendered to God’s authority?

A Modern Application

Continuing with the theme of biblical authority, we see in recent years how
many arose to attack the doctrine of the Verbal Plenary Preservation of the
Scriptures. We will learn more about this in the church camp. In the mean time,
we here reproduce an extract of an article, “The Authentic Scriptures”, written

by Rev (Dr) Jeffrey Khoo in Vol. XX No. 1, of the weekly of True Life Bible-
Presbyterian Church.

“False preachers and teachers present themselves openly bearing the name of
Christ but are subtly undermining that very name and all His claims. They do
this by great cunning and malice. They not only attack the perfection of the
Scriptures, they also attack those who teach it. Calling white black, they label as
“heretics” those who believe and teach the twin doctrines of Verbal Plenary
Inspiration (VPI) and Verbal Plenary Preservation (VPP).

“Against such attackers of the Scriptures and false accusers of the saints,
Whitaker wrote, ‘Mark well, I beseech you, with what solicitude, vigilance, and
cunning, these men [false Christs and false prophets] maintain their own
kingdom! They prevent their people from reading our books, and forbid them to
have any intercourse with us, that so they may provide against the influence of
that contagion which they fear. Surely this is wisely done. Who can deny it? For if
we be heretics, as they, though falsely exclaim, it is but a just consequence of that
opinion of us to denounce us as persons to be carefully avoided by all who are
under their control…. Hence unskilful persons are easily deceived;… We avoid
the acquaintance of no one;… This is all well, if your aim and desire be to
reclaim them from their errors, and if you are able to do this, and see that there is
any hope of them remaining. Those who are perverse and desperate should be left
to themselves; you can do them no service, and they may do you much damage.

“Whitaker encouraged all Bible-believing Christians to be faithful and
courageous in Christ and His Word, which be our only shield and defence against
the false teachings and accusations of their persecutors. ‘Such are the reasonings
of the [false pastors and teachers] themselves; who, although they seem to spin
their threads with greater skill and artfulness, yet fabricate nothing but such
cobwebs as may easily be broken by any vigorous effort. Be ye, therefore, of good
cheer. We have a cause, believe me, good, firm, invincible. We fight against men,
and we have Christ on our side; nor can we possibly be vanquished, unless we
are the most slothful and dastardly of all cowards. Once wrest from [false pastors
and teachers] what they adduce beside the scripture, and you will presently see
them wavering, turning pale, and unable to keep their ground. Yet I do not
ascribe to myself all those gifts of genius, judgment, memory and knowledge,
which are demanded by such a laborious and busy undertaking. I know well and
acknowledge how slightly I am furnished with such endowments; nor can any
think so meanly of me as myself. But “I can do all things through Christ who
strengtheneth me;” relying upon whose assistance I enter upon the combat. They
come against us with sword, and shield, and armour: we go against them in the
name of Jehovah of Hosts, of the armies of Israel, whom they have defied.’”

Can those who attack the doctrine of VPI and VPP ever preach with all authority
from God’s Word? Never! And this is to the great hurt of the souls who seek to
hear the Word of God from them.