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50 Bible Verses About Authority

    Authority is a fundamental concept deeply rooted in the teachings of the Bible. It is found throughout its narratives, from the Old Testament to the New Testament. Comprehending God’s plan for authority gives believers a spiritual compass to navigate life and make sense of societal structures. It provides a framework to understand relationships, examine individual responsibilities and uphold moral order.

    Who Holds Ultimate Authority?

    The Bible makes it clear that God is the ultimate authority, over every aspect of creation. Genesis establishes God as the creator of the world, the initiator of human life and the definer of moral order. This authority isn’t confined to physical realms but extends to spiritual spheres as well. The Christian faith proclaims that God has total, unquestionable domination over the universe. His authority is independent, and it’s in His nature to rule, govern and decide, demonstrating His wisdom and justice.

    What is the Nature of God’s Authority?

    The Bible illustrates the nature of God’s authority as loving and not tyrannical. God’s sovereignty is tied inextricably with His goodness, righteousness, and love. It serves His divine purposes, expressing His perfect wisdom, boundless power and unfathomable love. In His authority, God is meticulous, purposeful, and triumphant, forming an inseparable part of His divine being. This principle of God’s loving authority offers comfort and guidance for His followers.

    When Does Human Authority Come Into Play?

    The Bible contains explicit recognition of human authority as a component of divine design. God granted humanity the responsibility to steward His creation in the book of Genesis. Authority was entrusted to mankind to take care of the earth, exhibiting the respect that God has for human agency. Thus, human authority in the Bible refers to the responsibility and privilege to govern aspects of God’s creation under His overarching control. It’s God’s way of permitting humans to participate in His divine plan.

    Why is Obedience to Authority Emphasized?

    Obedience to both God’s authority and to human authorities is underlined in the Bible. Reverence towards God’s will is considered an expression of faith and love. Likewise, respect for human authority is not always about the individual in authority. Often, it’s about acknowledging God’s design for an organized and peaceful society. Abiding by lawful authorities promotes order, peace, prosperity and serves for the common good. However, this doesn’t mean blind obedience. Actions contradicting God’s moral law are not to be obeyed according to the Bible.

    Where Does Authority Apply in Personal Relations?

    The Bible extends the concept of authority to various relationships: from familial relationships where parents are given authority over their children and spouses over each other, to faith communities where church leaders are given authority over their congregations. This dynamic is a reflection of God’s relationship with humanity. It helps to maintain love, respect, order and harmony in society. The exercise of this authority, however, is always to be conducted with love, patience, humility and guided by God’s principles.

    Below is our full list of bible verses on authority (King James Version – KJV) provided in ranked order.

    Most Popular Bible Verses About Authority

    Romans 13:1

    1 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.”

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    Matthew 28:18

    18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”

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    Acts 5:29

    29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”

    Related Themes: Respecting Your Parents Obedience Morality Pleasing God Politics

    Luke 10:19

    19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

    Related Themes: Power Dominion Empowerment Police

    Hebrews 13:17

    17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”

    Related Themes: Respecting Your Parents Discernment Reverence Manipulation Leadership

    1 Peter 2:18-20

    18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.”

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    2 John 1:9

    9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.”

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    1 Timothy 5:17

    17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.”

    Related Themes: Reverence Respecting Your Parents Honor Appreciation Leadership

    1 Peter 2:13

    13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;”

    Related Themes: Reverence Police Democracy

    Romans 13:1-7

    1 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.2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.”

    Related Themes: Respecting Your Parents Politics Morality Sovereignty

    Philippians 2:10-11

    10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

    1 Peter 2:13-17

    13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.”

    Related Themes: Reverence Police Democracy

    2 Corinthians 2:9

    9 For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.”

    Matthew 16:15-19

    15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

    2 Thessalonians 3:14

    14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.”

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    Luke 9:1

    1 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.”

    Related Themes: Omnipotence Sickness

    1 Thessalonians 4:8

    8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.”

    Related Themes: Holy Spirit

    James 4:7

    7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

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    1 Samuel 15:22

    22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”

    Related Themes: Sacrifice Obedience Pleasing God Obedience

    Mark 1:27

    27 And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.”

    Titus 3:1

    1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,”

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    John 20:19-23

    19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.”

    Related Themes: Peace Discipline Sin

    John 19:11

    11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.”

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    1 Peter 5:5

    5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”

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    Proverbs 11:14

    14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellers there is safety.”

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    Luke 20:25

    25 And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.”

    John 16:13

    13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”

    Related Themes: Holy Spirit Telling The Truth Guidance Truth Discernment

    1 John 4:4

    4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

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    Mark 16:17-18

    17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”

    Related Themes: Miracles Deliverance Sickness Healing

    Ephesians 6:1-4

    1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

    Related Themes: Respecting Your Parents Children