The Faith of the Centurion

New Philly Hongdae
Preached by Christian Lee on April 26, 2015, Sunday.
Duration: 63 minutes (audio)

NP Hongdae


Discussion Questions

Under Authority, In Authority

  1. Review Matthew 8:1-13. This Roman centurion had an astonishing faith in the power of Christ’s word. What contributed to this Gentile having such great faith?
  2. What were your past experiences of being under authority or what are your current experiences?
  3. Why is it important to be under authority, whether it’s your employer, teacher, pastor, CG leader, or the word of God? What are the fruits of being under authority and what are the fruits of refusing to be under authority?
  4. PC’s testimony:
    For most of my life, I had an automatic disdain for authority. But at each stage of my life, God put me under authority. Whether it was my 5th grade Bible study teacher, my karate sensei, my wrestling coach, college ministry director, my employers, or the senior pastor of Jeilsungdo (the Korean ministry that New Philly has grown under), God has always placed me under authority. When I became a pastor in 2008 I grew quickly impatient with the Confucian culture I saw in the Korean church and at the seminary I attended. I felt that being under the authority of Korean pastors and professors would be a waste of my time so I dropped out of seminary and took on an attitude of doing the minimum of what I was asked from Jeilsungdo. When I found Pastor Benjamin (an African-American) to cover me as my spiritual father, I was so blessed and relieved to find someone that spoke with anointing and authority and understood me well. But then to my surprise when I allowed P. Benjamin to speak into my life with authority, he advised me to step up my honor for the authority of Jeilsungdo’s senior pastor and to honor his wish for me to finish seminary and get ordained. I thought it would stunt my authority and put a pause in New Philly’s momentum. But when I re-enrolled in seminary, New Philly’s leaders stepped up and it kept growing. When I went out of the way to honor the senior pastor of Jeilsungdo, things got temporarily tougher to be under his authority that same year. But after 5 years, I now realize that God didn’t put me under the authority of Jeilsungdo to stunt my authority but to develop it. In these past months New Philly has legally become an independent ministry with the full support of Jeilsungdo as my authority has grown. And I believe being under authority made all the difference in preparing pastor Erin and myself for this new level of stewardship. Being under authority is not always easy. But when you are tempted to quit or isolate yourself, be reminded that God surrounds you with authority in order to prepare you for bigger assignments. And as the faith of the Roman centurion shows us, authority is the key to develop a faith that experiences the power of God’s word!

  5. In the sermon, what were the concerns PC mentioned about Christians who exercise authority but refuse to be under authority? Keeping in mind that Christ himself walked under the authority of the Father while on earth, what are your thoughts or experiences on this matter? If PC refused to be under authority, how would it affect the way you honor or follow his leadership?

  7. Once you’ve matured while under authority, God wants you to develop and exercise the authority Christ delegates to you. In what ways or in what areas is God calling you to exercise authority in this season? How do you feel about it (gladness, fear, insecurity, etc.)?


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