The Divine Authority
"And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority" (Matt 21:23)? Here we find two questions that these chief priests and elders asked Jesus concerning all the wonderful things that He did. They wanted to know by what authority He was able to do the things He did and who gave Him the authority in the first place. We know that God is the one who has all authority. The apostle Paul said "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God" (Rom 13:1). God later gave this authority to His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus said: "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth" (Matt 28:18). God told all man to listen to His Son (Matt 17:5).
Why Must We Receive Instruction From Jesus?
First of all we MUST listen to the words of Jesus and obey Him because it is He that has all authority to instruct us in righteousness today (Matt 28:18). We learn from the Word of God that Jesus is the head of man and therefore we must obey Him. Paul writes in Colossians 1:18: "And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence." See also Colossians 2:19. In addition, we are commanded to do everything as Jesus has instructed us. "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him" (Col 3:17). If we do not receive our instruction from Jesus or change it to suit our own needs or wants then we WILL be destroyed. "And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people" (Acts 3:23). See also Matthew 7:21-23; Gal 1:7-9; 2 John 9-11)). The prophet referenced here is in fact the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
What Has Jesus Authorized Us To Do?
There are several things that Jesus has authorized us to do by His authority, given to Him by God, and passed on to the Holy Spirit, who instructed the apostles what to record in God's book, the Bible. Jesus has authorized us to preach the word to all creation. In Mark 16:15, Jesus told His disciples to "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." See also Luke 24:47. We also need to lead people to believe (Acts 10:43), and to repent. In Luke 24:47, Jesus told His disciples "that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." We know this was done when Peter preached His first sermon on the day of Pentecost and many responded to the gospel by repenting and being baptized into Christ (Acts 2:38). It is also necessary for us to confess Jesus (Phil 2:11), and to be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 10:48).
But that is not all, Jesus has authorized us to worship Him (Mar 7:7; Heb 1:6), and to do so in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). Those that do not obey Jesus and insist on doing their own thing, contrary to the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, must be disciplined. The inspired apostle Paul addressed the Corinthian brethren that were having fellowship with a brother who was committing fornication. He instructed the church in Corinth to discipline that brother so he will be shamed into repenting and doing what is right before God (1 Cor 5:4-5). Let us ensure that whatever we do and whatever we say, that we are doing and saying those things to the glory of God (Col 3:17). Are you acting by Divine Authority in everything you do in the name of religion? If not, won't you repent and follow Jesus Christ, the one that has ALL AUTHORITY?