I. Understanding Authority.
A. Every Christian, every disciple of Christ, has authority in this world. However, many believers either do not realize that they have this authority, or they simply do not operate and it.
B. What is authority?
1. In Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, the word authority is defined as: "power to influence or command thought, opening in, or behavior; persons in command."
2. Within the Greek language, the Word authority means, "the right to exercise power."
3. Authority is the right to command or exercise power.
C. What is power?
1. Within the same Dictionary, the Word's "power" is defined as: "the ability to act or produce; strength."
D. Therefore, authority is the right to exercise the ability to act, or the right to exercise strength.
1. Without authority you have no right to use power.
2. Without power, your authority is meaningless; you have no ability or strength with which to produce something.
II. Jesus Has Been Given All Authority.
A. In Matthew 28:18, Jesus stated, "All POWER is given unto me in heaven and in earth."
1. The Greek word translated as "POWER" in this verse is the Word for "AUTHORITY."
2. The New American Standard Bible reads, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth"-Matthew 20:18.
3. That authority to exercise power, given to Jesus, covers all of heaven and earth.
B. Jesus is in a position of authority- Ephesians 1:19-22.
1. Jesus has been raised from the dead and seated at the right hand of the Father God - verse 20.
2. Jesus is in the position of authority above all principalities, powers, might and dominion in this world and in that which is to come - verse 21.
a) Verse 21 in Young's Literal Translation Of the Holy Bible reads, "far above all principalities, and authority, and might, and lordship, and every name named, not only in this age, but also in the one coming."
3. All things have been put under Jesus' feet. Verse 22.
4. Jesus is ahead (in the position of authority) over the church - verse 22.
III. All Authority and Power Is Found in the Name of Jesus - Philippians 2:9-11.
A. "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" - Philippians 2:9-11.
B. At the name of Jesus, every knee must bow and every tongue must confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!
IV.Because Believers Are in Christ, Authority Is Given to Them.
A. What does it mean to be in Christ?
1. Being in Christ is referring to someone who has made Jesus their Savior and Lord; a believer who lives his or her life as a disciple of Christ - Romans 10:9-13; 2 Corinthians 5:17, 18.
2. The Father God has delivered you from the power of darkness and placed you in the Kingdom of His Son, Jesus Christ - Colossians 1:12, 13.
B. You are part of the body of Christ.
1. You are in Christ. You are part of His Body, the Church.
2. Christ Jesus is ahead of His Body - Colossians 1:15-18.
C. What is your position in the body of Christ?
1. Your spirit has been made alive through Christ Jesus. You have been raised with him as part of His Body, you have been seated with Him in heavenly places. That a sure spiritual position as part of His Body - Ephesians 2:1-6; Colossians 2:10-12.
2. Christ Jesus was raised far above all principalities, power, and might, and He is seated at the right hand of the Father in the place of authority - Ephesians 1:20, 21.
a) As the Head of the Body and the Body itself are part of each other, when Christ Jesus was raised to the right hand of God, the body was also raised - Ephesians 1:20; 2:6.
b) Right now, you walk on earth for a period of time, but your position in the family of God is sitting with Jesus at the Father's side and walking boldly in the authority that belongs to Him. YOU CAN USE THAT AUTHORITY HERE ON EARTH BECAUSE OF YOUR PLACE IN THE BODY OF CHRIST.
D. Jesus gave you His authority - Luke 10:19.
1. "Behold, I have given you authority… over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall injure you" - Luke 10:19 NASB.
2. You have the authority now. You have the same authority, ability, responsibility, and position that the Church had immediately after the mighty work of Jesus Christ was completed and he ascended to be with the Father.
E. Jesus expects you to use the power in His name to do His work here on earth - Mark 16:17, 18; 2 Corinthians 5:18, 20.
1. There is great power in His name! (Philippians 2:9-11).
2. You as a believer have the authority (the right) to exercise the power that is in the name of Jesus.
3. In John 14:12-14, the original Greek word translated as “ASK” means: "TO ASK FOR; DEMAND."
a) This definition fits with John 14:12 where Jesus told you to do His work.
(1) He commissioned you - verse 12.
(2) He gave you the right to use His name - verse 13, 14.
b) As you use Jesus' name to do His work, the enemy must flee and the work will be accomplished. (Also see James 4:7).
4. This principle of demanding in John 14:12-14 is not referring to prayer; it is referring to doing the works of Jesus.
a) In Acts 3:6, Peter, at the Gate Beautiful, DID NOT PRAY for the lame man; he commanded the man to rise and be healed in Jesus' name. In doing so, Peter was DEMANDING THAT THE ENEMY'S AFFLICTION LEAVE.
b) You are not demanding of God; you are demanding that the enemy leave.
c) Remember, the power is in the name of Jesus. You have the right or authority to use that name and the power that is in it.
V. You Have an Adversary.
A. Have you seen sickness, destruction, famine, or death? What is the work of the faith, Satan - John 10:10.
1. Satan is not nice. He is intelligent. His plans are subtle and not always easily identified, and they are hellish.
B. Jesus Christ DEFEATED Satan and his evil spirits - Colossians 2:15.
1. Because you are in Christ, you participate in His victory. You live in Jesus Christ and use the power of His name, the enemy cannot defeat you.
C. Your adversary, the Devil, walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour - 1 Peter 5:8, 9.
1. He cannot devour the Christian who uses the powerful name of Jesus to resist him - James 4:7.
D. You cannot use your authority against people. That does not work.
1. "for we wrestle not against flesh and blood…" - Ephesians 6:12.
2. You deal with the evil spiritual forces of Satan.