Faithlife Sermons

Our Authority in Christ

The Power of the Resurrection  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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We have been given authority the moment we were saved and we have to exercise that authority

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Ephesians 1:15–23 ESV
15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

John 8:28 ESV
So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me.
Paul says that there is immeasurable great power at work which is the very power that raised Jesus Christ from death. How many of us have ever thought of our bodies being vessels that carry the power of God, the very power that raised Jesus Christ from death? Let's say this aloud together: "The power that raised Jesus from death is resident in me."
Question is why a lot of us are not experiencing God’s power in our lives?
There are two words that we want to see from this passage:
“far above all rule and authority and power and dominion”

Authority - ἐξουσίας or exousia.

From the Strong’s Concordance found the following definitions:
“far above all rule and authority and power and dominion”
Power of Choice - Liberty of doing what one pleases
The ability or strength with which one is endued, which he either possesses or exercises.
The power of influence or of a right.

Power - δυνάμεως or dynamis.

We don’t experience God’s power in our lives because:
We don’t experience God’s power in our lives because:
Which we studied last time, that while as children of God we have the power of the risen Christ working in us.
Acts 1:8 ESV
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
So these words are two different things:

The authority we have is the legal right to do the things Jesus commanded us to do.

The power that He gave us is the operation of the Holy Spirit in us.

We don’t experience God’s power in our lives because:
The answer is that a lot of Christians do not know the authority that

1. We don’t know we have the authority.

See also ; ; ;
We have authority over sickness.

The origin of Jesus Christ’s authority

It is given by God the Father

We have authority to be Christ’s witnesses to the world.
John 3:35 ESV
The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand.
We don’t know we have the authority.
See also ; ; ; ; ; ;
Since we don’t know, we don’t live out the authority that we have in Christ.
We face giants in our lives and immediately not exercise our authority over them!
Story of a female police officer in Santa Cruz County.
You know why? She has a badge that has a position of authority that says "I have all right and authority vested in me to exercise that. You must do what I say. And if there's any problem with that, I have some power on my leg that can enforce it immediately."
You are a child of the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Your badge is your position in Christ. And you have on your side the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God. And demons must believe and obey and respond to the authority of every child of God who takes the Word of God and shoots the bullets of God. What you have to do is claim and exercise the authority you have in Christ.

It is limited by the Father

2. We have given up the authority.

John 10:10 ESV
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
We do not submit to a higher authority.
Mark 10:40 ESV
but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”
We stand against house invasions. Just the news of someone breaking in someone’s house especially in broad daylight evoke the natural defense mechanisms in us. We install security systems, cameras to prevent it but once some intruder gets inside your homes what would you do? You will defend your home and family and do everything to stop the intruder, fight back and drive him out.
The enemy often tries to “break into our house” and steal, kill, and destroy God’s blessing in our life. The problem is we often let him do it. We hear of so many home invasions, but did you realize that the enemy constantly tries to invade your life every day? It’s time for us to enforce our rights and stop his invasion through fears, addictions, sickness, financial or emotional oppression, and broken relationships.
I heard the story of an old lady returning home from a church service and finding an intruder robbing her house. "Stop!" she yelled. Then she quoted"" which says, "Repent!" The burglar stopped dead in his tracks and she called the police. The officer came, handcuffed the thief, and then asked: "Why did you just stand there? All the lady did was quote a Bible verse." "A Bible verse?" the burglar replied. "She said she had an axe and two .38s!" This may be a funny story, but this old lady knew how to stand in God's authority. 
3. We do not submit to a higher authority.
We know that we have an authority in our homes and we would not let an intruder break in or some stranger to just live inside the house and live like he owns it.
I remember a story many years ago about a family that discovered a stranger has been living inside the attic of their house for a year without them even knowing it.
This is a picture of how many Christians have relinquished their authority to Satan. Not only have they allowed him to invade their homes, they have also allowed him to stay and put his weight around the house.
Know your enemy!
1 Peter 5:8 ESV
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Winston Churchill once said:

An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last. (Winston Churchill)

Drive the devil out of your literal house as well as your spiritual home. Don’t let him wreak havoc in your life.
James 4:7 ESV
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
See also ;

3. We do not submit to the higher authority.

It is questioned by others

We have not submitted to Christ and aligned our lives to His.
When we agree with someone, we give them influence in our lives.
Matthew 12:24–28 ESV
But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.” Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
See also ;
When we submit to another person, we give them authority over our life.

The authority of Jesus Christ is seen in his works

Two baseball teams agree to play a game together and are all set for the opening pitch.  To the surprise and shock of everyone, the first batter strolls up to home plate dressed in a tennis outfit rather than a baseball uniform!  The player declares in a bold and confident voice, ‘I have decided that I don’t want to wear a baseball uniform, but it is better for me that I wear this more comfortable outfit.  Also, I am going to use this cricket bat (which is at least twice as wide as a baseball bat) rather than a regular baseball bat.  Moreover, I expect to receive 5 strikes instead of 3, I will be running to third base instead of first, and all of the fielders are required to close their eyes while I am at bat. I believe that is fair, right for me, and will allow me to achieve the most happiness and success in my time here today.’

He has authority over nature

Expecting to receive an understanding response and compliance with his requests, the baseball player is shocked when hears the crowd and opposite team burst out in a roar of laughter and astonishment at his requests. ‘That is absurd,’ declares a young child in the stands.  ‘You are a fool!’ shouts the umpire, ‘That is not how the game of baseball works!’  Another person comes up and tells him, ‘You have no right to redefine the rules of baseball, and cannot expect us to follow your distorted understanding how things should be.’  The player is astounded by the lack of tolerance in the crowd and opposite team; to his surprise, everyone understood him to be a fool without any authority to make the claims he thought so sensible and prudent.
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As absurd as this sounds, we all do the same thing with God as we reject his authority, words, and moral standards.  We live our lives the way we want to live them–spurning God’s authority.  We believe that we are wiser than God and should create our own standards–rejecting what God’s wisdom.  We make up our own rules for how to get to heaven–ignoring what God’s standards and solution for our tragic state.  All of these things are done in spite of the fact that we live in God’s world, we are God’s creation, and only God has the right to make the rules and declare how we ought to live.  If do not turn from our folly and embrace Christ as the Lord and only Redeemer, we also will be a fool without authority.

He has authority over sin

Story of .
I talked about the difference between authority and power. A distinction between power and authority is shown in : "All the people were amazed and said to each other, 'What is this teaching? With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits, and they come out.'" says, "He called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal all diseases."
Authority is the capacity we have due to our position. I have the authority of God in me due to my union with Jesus Christ. Power is the capacity I have due to my life posture. For instance, Jesus said in the beginning of that he had given his authority and power to the twelve, and they went out and did amazing miraculous signs and wonders. A little bit farther in , Jesus is on the Mount of Transfiguration with Peter, James, and John. A man comes to his other disciples down below and says, "Will you heal my son, for he is caught up in these seizures by demonic activity?" They were not able to heal him. When Jesus comes down off the Mount of Transfiguration, the man comes up to him and says, "I asked your disciples if they would heal my son, and they couldn't. Will you?" Jesus then heals the son.
Was it God's will for the son to be healed? Yes. Had the disciples received authority to do that? Yes. Why was the power not released for it to happen? Well, that was the question the disciples had. They asked, "Jesus, why weren't we able to heal him?" And Jesus says, "This kind comes out by prayer."
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We have authority over the enemy.
Now I don't know all that was meant in Jesus' response to that, but here's what I think it means. I think Jesus was saying, You guys were depending only on yourself. Where was the prayer? Where was the sense of your dependence on God?
Ongoing prayer in preparation for ministry is certainly needed, but I just wonder if it's not possible that they may have been relying on their own capacity, and nothing happened. Sometimes there are strongholds—places where the enemy has a base of operation, such as pride—marginalize the release of the authority of God in our lives. God resists the proud, but he gives grace to the humble.
Rebellion will also marginalize the power of God, the power that raised Jesus from death, from being released in my life.
Fear and lack of faith has the same affect. At Kadesh-Barnea, when the Israelites had the option of going into the Promised Land, they heard about the giants and in fear said no, and then judgment came. God called them an evil generation because of their fear. Sometimes we look at fear as being unfortunate, while God calls it evil and wicked.
Remember, when Jesus was in Nazareth, Scripture says he could not perform miracles there because of their lack of faith (). Unbelief can compromise the release of God's power in me.
Authority is an absolute that we have in Christ, but power is relative. It's related to life posture. That's why my being set free, my restoration, and living free is more than just about me. It's about others that I'll minister to. It's about the lives that God wants me to be used in. It's about seeing the kingdom of God advancing so the gates of Hades cannot withstand it. When there's an encounter between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light, the kingdom of light will win every time. So the kingdom of darkness must try to compromise the power of God in me through pride, fear, unbelief, rebellion, and other sinful thoughts and emotions.
Therefore, we want to align our lives to release power and authority. There's a difference between striving and aligning. By aligning, I mean bringing ourselves in alignment with God's truth. We want to bring our lives into greater and greater alignment with God and his truth so his power can be released in our lives in an increased measure. He's given me the power that raised Jesus from death. He's given me the Holy Spirit. With all that he's given me for weapons and resources, I have all I need for life and godliness. I just need to start operating in it.
1. We have authority over the enemy.
1. We have authority over the enemy.
Luke 10:19 ESV
19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.
2. We have authority over sickness.

He has authority over sickness

2. We have authority over sickness.
Luke 9:1 ESV
1 And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases,
3. We have authority to be Christ’s witnesses to the world.
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Acts 1:8 ESV
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

He has authority over evil

What would it be like to see every believer, every marriage, every family in this church moving fully operational in the authority and power of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit? Hell would not be able to withstand it.
We will be winning victory after victory for the cause of Christ.
Know your authority in Christ.
Stop giving up authority to the devil.
Submit to the Higher authority.

He has authority over death

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The authority of Jesus Christ is seen in his teaching

Jesus Christ claims authority for his own words

Luke 4:18 ESV
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
See also ; ; ; ; ; ; ; The use of the phrase “I tell you the truth” emphasises Jesus Christ’s authority; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; The “I am” sayings in John’s Gospel emphasise the divine nature of Jesus Christ’s authority;

His authority is recognised by others

Matthew 7:28–29 ESV
And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.
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His authority is questioned and opposed by others


Jesus Christ delegates his authority to others

His followers preach in his name


His followers continue his works

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His followers pronounce his forgiveness and judgment

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The results of Jesus Christ’s authority

He receives honour and glory

John 5:22–23 ESV
For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.
See also ;

He arouses amazement


He is opposed

Matthew 12:14 ESV
But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.

He is feared

Luke 8:37 ESV
Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned.

His disciples are opposed

Acts 16:16–24 ESV
As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour. But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers. And when they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, “These men are Jews, and they are disturbing our city. They advocate customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to accept or practice.” The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

The authority of the exalted Christ

He is Lord

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He is Lord of creation

Colossians 1:16–17 ESV
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

He is Lord of the church

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He is judge


He is Saviour

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He is interceder

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