Faithlife Sermons

1 Introduction to Authority

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There are few subjects relating to the Christian life concerning which there is so little exact knowledge as that of the authority of the believer. This is not because such authority is the property of only a few elect souls. On the contrary, it is the possession of every true child of God. It is one of the "all things" received in Christ. Its reception dates from the soul's contact with Calvary. (The Authority of the Believer, J.A. MacMillan, Christian Publishing, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania)#. Jesus Delegated Authority To His Disciples

    1. In Luke 10:19 we see the word power used twice in the KJV. The NKJV translates this verse more correctly according to the Greek.
      1. "Behold I give unto you authority..." (Luke 10:19)
        1. As we study exousia and dunamis, the Greek words translated authority and power in Luke 10:19 we find that the NKJV is very accurate.
        2. Exousia means delegated influence. (see definitions)
        3. Dunamis means force or might. (see definitions)
      2. I like the Wuests translation of Luke 10:19, "Behold, I have given you the authority to advance by setting foot upon snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will in any case harm you."
    2. The Church has authority over the devil and his kingdom.
      1. This authority was ours the moment we were born again. The devil knows it and works to keep the Church ignorant of it!
      2. We must have the eyes of our understanding opened to this wonderful and life-changing truth. (Eph. 1:18-23)
        1. Paul prayed this prayer for the church at Ephesus.
        2. Paul said in verse 15 that he had heard of their faith and their love, but in verse 18, he began to pray that they would get the revelation of the victorious resurrection of Jesus and the power that is ours through it.
        3. Our spiritual eyes must be opened to the fact that when Jesus defeated the devil, He did it for the Church.
        4. We should pray Paul's prayers for ourselves that we would begin to receive this revelation. Faith and love alone won't get the job done. Paul knew it and that's why he prayed this way for the Ephesian Church.
        5. We see another one of Paul's Prayers in Eph. 3:14-20. This is another good prayer to pray for ourselves and for other believers.
  1. Jesus Delegated Authority To The Church After His Resurrection
    1. "All authority (exousia) has been given unto me in heaven and on earth..." (Matthew 28:19)
      1. His next words to the Church were, "Go ye therefore..."
        1. We must meditate on these words until they register clearly on our hearts. We have authority over a defeated devil.
        2. He may have power over unbelievers, but his power and authority over the church has been completely defeated.
        3. The devil knows this and will do anything in his power to deceive you into thinking it isn't so.
        4. But we should meet him head on with the Word of God and boldly say, "it is so!"
        5. Jesus won the victory for us, and we are commanded to come behind his victory and enforce it in the earth.
      2. How should we go? (Mark 16:15,16)
        1. In the NAME of Jesus.
          1. The name of Jesus is above every name, of things in heaven, on the earth and under the earth. (Phil 2:9-10)
          2. In the book of Acts, the Pharisees were greatly disturbed about the name of Jesus. They commanded the disciples to quit speaking in the name of Jesus. (Acts 5:40)
          3. It was the same name that Peter used to healed the lame man at the gate of the temple. (Acts 3:6)
      3. What should we do?
        1. Cast out devils...
        2. Lay hands on the sick...
        3. It takes authority to cast out devils and heal the sick.
    2. Jesus makes another powerful statement about authority in Matt. 16. "And I will give you the keys of the kingdom..." (Matt. 16:19)
      1. "Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven"
      2. "Whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven"
        1. Our minds can't comprehend it.
        2. God wants us to get a revelation of it in our heart!
        3. Does the Church really have this authority?
        4. Think about our responsibility if we do!
  2. Who's in Charge of the Earth—God, Satan, or Man?
    1. How you answer this question is directly related to how you will deal with adversity. There are varying opinions of the true answer to this question in the body of Christ.
      1. Some believe that God is charge of everything in the earth.
        1. This type of Christian accepts everything that happens to them as the will of God.
        2. They think they have to endure everything that comes their way to please God as they believe it is the will of God.
        3. They are often heard saying, "Oh well, I guess was meant to be."
      2. Another type of Christian says, "We are going to heaven all right, but the devil is the god of this world and he's in charge of everything down here. We just have to endure it the best we can."
        1. They are more aware of the devil than God.
        2. They live a very defeated life.
        3. They have never been taught the Word of God. Jesus said "the truth will set you free." (John 8:31,32)
      3. Others say, "I believe in prayer, but it seems like very few of my prayers are answered."
        1. It is a major step forward to believe in prayer, but this type of believer needs to be taught the principles of believing prayer. The kind of the prayer that works is the prayer prayed in FAITH.
        2. This type of Christian knows there is victory in Christ, but does not experience it.
      4. The mature believer says, "I am who God says I am. I can do what He says I can do" then takes their place in the body of Christ and enters into the greater works. (John 14:12)
        1. They understand their true position—raised and seated with Christ in heavenly places. (Eph. 2:5-6)
        2. They walk in the revelation that the devil is under their feet. (Rom. 16:20)
        3. They understand their God-given responsibility to exercise the authority that is theirs in Christ.
    2. Is God waiting on us? The responsibility for the affairs of the earth have been delegated to the Church. Unfortunately, because of our ignorance of that fact, a stalemate is created as the Church is waiting on God to do something about the devil, and God is waiting on the Church to do something about the devil. This is a most tragic situation as it gives the devil the liberty to promote his plans unhindered.
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