Overseer of God’s Remnant Assembly Akintayo Emmanuel Looks at the Pillars of Honoring Spiritual Authority

The Bible is an unfathomably deep and inestimably valuable source of instruction, insight and inspiration. Yet at the same time, it is also important — and indeed, often necessary — to rely on spiritual leaders for interpretation of scriptures and apply Biblical truths to our modern times; especially since so much of the New Testament is composed in glorious parables and rich metaphors, and it can be difficult and daunting to ensure that we stay on the path in a complex, fast-paced, and constantly changing world.

According to Akintayo Emmanuel, the Overseer of God’s Remnant Assembly, here are the three pillars of honoring spiritual authority to which every true follower of Christ should subscribe:

1. Love

The first and most important pillar is to love those who represent spiritual authority, and appreciate the often-difficult responsibility to which they are called. As proclaimed in 1 Thessalonians 5:12–13: “And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.”

Comments Akintayo Emmanuel, who also serves as the CEO of Global Leadership and Intercultural Studies Initiatives: “We are not to value and esteem spiritual authority for their own sake, because that is nothing but an ego and power trip. Rather, we are to love and appreciate them for the sake of their work, which is to spread God’s message, vision, love and plan.”

2. Submission

In addition to love, submitting to the guidance of spiritual authority should also be done in honor and gratitude — because failing to do so is pointless rather than beneficial. As proclaimed in Hebrews 13:17: “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groanings, for that would be of no advantage to you.”

Akintayo Emmanuel claims that “understandably, it can be challenging at times working with people with different ideologies; especially since such work may include cautions, warnings, reprimands, rejections, and reproaches. However, when this is required, it is always done with love and compassion, like a parent who earnestly wants his or her child to stay on the right path, rather than veer off onto the wrong path and face many hardships now and in the future.”

3. Obedience

Listening, reading, or reflecting on the messages of spiritual authority is not enough. Those who truly follow Christ must also take action by changing their attitudes and actions; including in ways that may not be convenient or easy, such as treating everyone with kindness and compassion, being generous to those in need, honoring one’s parents, and many other decrees. As proclaimed in Titus 3:1–2: “Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.”

Akintayo Emmanuel states that “together with love and joy, obedience is at the root of honoring spiritual authority. We are merely deluding ourselves when we claim to be compliant, but our thoughts, feelings and behaviors demonstrate otherwise. We can never fool God; any more than an infant child can fool a loving and attentive parent. At the same time, we must respect those who are obedient. We must lead by example and inspire them to change, rather than criticize and undermine them.”

Dr. Akintayo Emmanuel

Written by

Overseer of God’s Remnant Assembly. Married to Pastor Sarah Emmanuel, founders of GRA Mission Squad.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade