The Question of whether the believer has the authority of God to correct others is of great interest. Jesus clearly warned against correcting others when you are at fault yourself - "first make the inside of the cup clean".

There is an election of grace, and only those with faith are elected. It is impossible to please God without faith. The only authority over the non-believer is that they have no faith to be corrected upon, rather than requiring to be corrected on their faith. Unbelievers are either then called with faith or left to their sins, there is very little authority granted us from God over the unbelief of others. The result is that only the believers in God require correction, as theirs is the greater error.

Error is principle to the idea that there is any authority to correct others. Those that have bought a false gospel or lie are more heavily invested in their beliefs and do more damage in the name of God than do all unbelievers. Apostasy is worse than heresy - it is this exceedingly troublesome phenomena that requires insight: For it makes little sense to fruitlessly correct a hindu's faith when they are worse off from God's (and our) point of view than an unbeliever - clearly judgement begins with the house of God that may be fruitful, and authority is primarily present only over the error of other Christians.

Let The Dead Bury Their Dead
I put forward a couple of conditions for the authority of the believer. Authority is upon those that believe and may appear from those that are not saved, it is counter intuitive but makes perfect sense that divine authority is present in us only when we are the ones corrected. We may be corrected by an atheist if that is God's choice. It also follows that there is no greatest amongst us, but God only. We are not appointed to wrath - we are not chosen to visit God's displeasure upon the ungodly. Instead the example for us is to remain separate and follow after God whom is able to judge correctly with true authority.

The Mote In Your Eye, Brother
A brief run down of the implications of correcting others, does being forgiven actually grant divine authority? If it is effective, then we have been vessels for the authority of God - leading one more into salvation: yet this is only possible in the gospel. As imperfect creatures we are counted as perfect by Christ's authority and not our own.

Authority Is An Ultrafilter
Authority then has an ultrafilter in the manner it has been defined: I will give this a few treatments - yet the authority to correct on the basis of law under God is only meaningful to the believer, there is no interest in those that are going to eternal rewards elsewhere. Why would anyone come to the conclusion that correcting those that do not care to listen is a positive thing to do? We are not to be like lost children sitting in the marketplaces, calling to their fellows mourning their disinterest in the faith, we are called to strengthen each other and give each other a clean conscience. With those that are happy with their conscience and those that are happy with their lack of virtue there is no result but for the gospel to move on elsewhere.

Without The Truth, Is One Corrected?
The question of authority is such that we are either powerful or weak, there is no knowledge in us of how effective we are unless we measure ourselves against each other. The disciples did the same thing, as we do today - we expect we are approved yet there are hundreds of thousands of different sects and cliques in the "church" and not all of them may be correct - for the most part they have no correcting influence on each other because they have lost their salt. There is no genuine light of truth shining out that people flock in: either that or they are involved in part of the great "falling away" where the doors are flung open and anyone let in with no correction inside at all. There is no reason for any to enter in or remain inside institutions such as that, instead one must be elected into the Israel of God, Christ's body.

The Bottom Line - Hard to Swallow
The bottom line on authority is not whom has it or how much is exercised. Authority is also an ultrafilter generated by fault on L(G) and if we wish to be great in authority it is in ministry to each other only for their benefit, and not to wow the audience in debate or with miracles. Jesus Himself taught justly that the greatest should be prepared to minister as if he were the least, even washing His disciples' feet. However, there is the flip side that the unbelieving are not to be the focus of our ministry - there is a greater element of faith involved in our internal ministering to each other - waiting on tables was a better choice than was outward ministry in my opinion. Why would Peter et al abandon the ministry of "Feed my sheep" for accepting those others - Pharisees zealous of the law for example? It did not end up well when the famine eventually arrived. Also, many spurious doctrines went out showing that some teachers were not of the true faith. At Jesus' ground zero, they would have done better for each other allowing the grace of Christ to bring others in, not as the latest "popular thing". The prostitutes and tax collectors would indeed have gone into the kingdom before the Pharisees, scribes and lawyers!

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