25 Bible Verses About Authority (With Commentary)

25 Bible Verses About Authority (With Commentary)

The concept of authority is an important topic in the Bible, with several verses offering guidance and perspective on how we should approach those in positions of authority. Whether it be within our families, workplaces, or government, the Bible has wisdom to offer on how we can honor and submit to authority while also standing firm in our faith.

Today, we will explore some powerful Bible verses about authority and their relevance in our daily lives.

Bible Verses About Authority

Romans 13:1

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”

This verse teaches us that all authority is established by God. It reminds us of our responsibility to submit to the authority that is over us, whether it be a government, a boss, or any other legitimate authority figure.

Matthew 28:18

“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’”

This verse highlights the ultimate authority of Jesus Christ. As believers, we are called to recognize and submit to His authority in all areas of our lives.

1 Peter 2:13

“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority,”

Here we are reminded again of our duty to submit to human authorities, not just for our own sake but for the Lord’s sake. Our submission to authority is a reflection of our obedience to God.

Titus 3:1

“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good,”

The Apostle Paul encourages believers to be subject to rulers and authorities, emphasizing the importance of obedience and being ready to do what is good. Our submission to authority should not be reluctant but characterized by a willing and obedient heart.

Hebrews 13:17

“Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.”

This verse reminds us of the role of leaders in our lives and the importance of our obedience. By submitting to our leaders’ authority, we make their work a joy and support their responsibilities and accountability before God.

1 Timothy 2:1-2

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”

This verse encourages us to pray for those in authority, including kings, rulers, and leaders. Through our prayers, we can seek God’s guidance and wisdom for those in authority, with the ultimate goal of living peaceful and godly lives.

Ephesians 6:5-6

“Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.”

This verse speaks specifically to slaves but can apply to employees or anyone under authority in the workplace. It emphasizes the importance of obedience, respect, and sincerity in carrying out our responsibilities, not just to please our earthly masters but ultimately to serve Christ.

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Colossians 3:22

“Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.”

Similar to the previous verse, Colossians 3:22 teaches us to obey our earthly masters in everything, showing sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Our obedience to human authority is ultimately an act of obedience to God.

Acts 5:29

“Peter and the other apostles replied: ‘We must obey God rather than human beings!’”

This verse reminds us that even though we are called to submit to authority, there may be moments when we have to choose to obey God rather than human beings if their commands contradict God’s principles and teachings.

James 4:7

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

This verse directs us to submit ourselves to God, recognizing His ultimate authority and sovereignty. By doing so, we gain the strength to resist the devil and his temptations, as he has no power over those who submit to God.

Proverbs 21:1

“The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.”

This verse portrays the sovereignty of God over the hearts of kings and rulers. It reminds us that God has the power to influence and direct the authority figures in our lives, aligning them with His purposes.

Daniel 2:21

“He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.”

This verse reassures us that it is God who appoints and removes kings and rulers according to His divine plan. It also affirms that God grants wisdom and discernment to those who seek Him.

Romans 13:2

“Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.”

This verse warns against rebellion and disobedience to authority, reminding us that those who rebel not only defy human authority but ultimately rebel against God Himself. It alerts us to the consequences that disobedience brings upon ourselves.

1 Peter 5:5

“In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’”

This verse emphasizes the importance of humility in our interactions with others, specifically instructing younger individuals to submit themselves to their elders. Humility is a characteristic that aligns us with God’s favor and positions us in a posture of submission to authority.

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1 Chronicles 29:11

“Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.”

This verse echoes a declaration of God’s ultimate authority and sovereignty over everything in heaven and on earth. It reminds us that all authority flows from His greatness and serves to exalt Him as the head over all.

Matthew 20:25-26

“Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,”

Jesus teaches us that the exercise of authority should be different for His followers. Rather than seeking to dominate and control, true greatness and leadership lie in being a servant to others. This verse challenges us to redefine our understanding of authority and leadership.

Luke 22:25-26

“Jesus said to them, ‘The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.”

Similar to the previous verse, Jesus reminds His disciples that the way the world perceives and exercises authority should not be their model. Instead, true greatness is found in serving others, and those in leadership should adopt a humble and servant-hearted attitude.

Mark 10:42-43

“Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,”

Jesus reiterates His teaching that earthly rulers tend to exercise authority to dominate others. In contrast, His followers are called to lead through service. True greatness is achieved by humbly serving others rather than seeking power and control.

Matthew 7:28-29

“When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.”

This verse highlights the authority and power with which Jesus spoke. As believers, we can place our trust and confidence in the teachings of Jesus, knowing that His words carry the weight of divine authority.

2 Corinthians 10:8

“For even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up rather than tearing you down, I will not be ashamed of it.”

In this verse, the Apostle Paul acknowledges the authority given to him by the Lord. He speaks of using that authority to build up and edify others rather than tearing them down. It reminds us of the responsibility that comes with authority, to use it for the good and well-being of others.

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1 Corinthians 11:3

“But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.”

This verse establishes the divine order of authority within the context of God, Christ, man, and woman. It reminds us of the submission and roles within these relationships, as God has ordained them.

What Does the Bible Say About Authority?

The Bible provides guidance and wisdom on various aspects of life, including the concept of authority. The Bible addresses the idea of authority in several ways:

  1. God’s Ultimate Authority: The Bible teaches us that God is the ultimate authority in the universe. He is sovereign over all creation, and His will is supreme. We are called to acknowledge and submit to His authority in our lives. (Psalm 103:19; Romans 13:1)
  2. Human Authorities: The Bible also emphasizes the importance of respecting and obeying human authorities, such as governments and rulers. It teaches us that these authorities are established by God, and we should obey them, as long as their commands do not contradict God’s principles. (Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17)
  3. Parental Authority: The Bible instructs us to honor and obey our parents. This is not only a commandment but also a promise of blessing for those who do so. Honoring our parents is a way of respecting the authority structure that God has put in place. (Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:1-3)
  4. Church Leadership: Within the context of the church, the Bible talks about the authority of pastors, elders, and leaders. We are encouraged to submit to their leadership and follow their guidance, as they are appointed to shepherd and care for the spiritual well-being of the congregation. (Hebrews 13:17; 1 Timothy 5:17)
  5. Authority in Marriage: In marriage, the Bible teaches that husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the church, and wives should submit to their husbands. This submission is not about inferiority but about a loving and respectful partnership that reflects the relationship between Christ and the Church. (Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18-19)
  6. Spiritual Authority: The Bible also speaks of spiritual authority in the context of church discipline and correction. When a fellow believer is in sin, we are instructed to approach them with humility and love, seeking restoration and reconciliation. (Matthew 18:15-17; Galatians 6:1)

In summary, the Bible teaches us that authority is a part of God’s divine order for our lives. While recognizing and submitting to authority can sometimes be challenging, it is ultimately a way of honoring God and living in harmony with His plan. We are called to exercise authority, when entrusted with it, in a manner that reflects God’s love, justice, and wisdom, always seeking to align ourselves with His ultimate authority.

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