Power and Authority
Three Things You Need to Know About Your Authority in Christ
You and I are living in the most intense time in human history. It’s no time to cower in fear or even to allow darkness and evil to prevail – it’s a time to use the authority God has given us!
In Luke 10:19 Jesus told us, “ Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
I believe there are three things we must be aware of in order to use this authority Jesus has given us:
* We must know what it is
* We must know that it belongs to us
* We must know how to use it
1. WHAT AUTHORITY IS
The authority that Jesus is talking about in Luke 10:19 is not brute force power. It’s delegated power, much like a policeman possesses. When a policeman steps out in front of traffic and holds up his hand to stop it, he’s not stopping cars and trucks with his own brute strength – he’s stopping them with the delegated authority that comes from wearing the uniform. He’s backed by the law.
That’s the authority you have in Christ. You’re not stopping the forces of darkness (sickness, fear, evil, lack) with your own strength – you’re stopping them with the delegated authority given to you by God in Christ. You’re backed by all the power of God.
How amazing is that -- God Almighty Himself is the power behind your authority! Ephesians 6:10 says, Be strong in the Lord and the power of HIS might. That means you can step out in front of the devil, hold up your hand and say no, backed by the power of God’s might.
2. IT BELONGS TO US
The Bible says that you are the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27). Jesus is the Head, we are the Body -- and His authority is perpetuated through the Body. When Jesus rose from the dead, He transferred His authority on earth to His Body, the Church.
3. HOW TO USE IT
The door to exercising your authority in Christ hinges on Ephesians 1:20 and Ephesians 2:6, the verses that say we are seated with God in Christ.
Then when adversity arises, use your authority by speaking out what His Word says, using the Name of Jesus. For example, you could say, “Sickness, I command you to leave my body in Jesus’ Name according to 1 Peter 2:24 – by His stripes I am healed!”
The authority is in the name.
Think about that! When you use the Name of Jesus, believing that you’re seated with Him at the right hand of God, you are backed by all the power in heaven! Every knee must bow to that Name (Philippians 2:10).
Jesus made it very clear that His Name is the key to all authority: “Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:13-14).
In Acts 3 when Peter & John encountered a lame man at the Gate Beautiful, they said, “In the Name of Jesus, rise up and walk” and he did! It wasn’t their own anointing or power that raised the man – it was the authority in the Name of Jesus. That same authority belongs to us – using the Name of Jesus is how we use it!
Our Authority In Christ
One of the most astounding teachings in the Bible is about the Christian’s authority in the spiritual realm — which ultimately affects what we see in earth’s natural realm. For many years this concept has been ignored, and only in very recent times has it once again gotten the attention of the Church. I would like to examine the authority of the believer, by comparing it to the authority of our earthly law enforcement system.
We understand that police officers have authority which is backed up by the government which they serve. Assuming you are a law-abiding citizen, there is no question in your mind or the police officer’s that when you hear the sirens and see the flashing lights, you had better pull over.
We who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ should understand that in His name we have an even mightier authority than that of the police officer. In Matthew 28:18, Jesus said, …All power [authority] is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Jesus has given the authority He has on earth to us, His followers.
Luke 9:1, 2 says, Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.
Mark 13:34 tells us, for the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. … And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
Mark 16:15, 17, 18.
Clearly, Jesus has promised His authority to those who are His own. The problem is that we do not believe it and therefore do not exercise it effectively.
Many Christians refuse to believe that Christ’s authority belongs to the Church today — although there is no Scripture that in any way hints that His authority would not be available to the Church through all ages. Many are content to get goose bumps by reading about the miracles which take place in third world countries when the authority of Jesus is put to use there. Some of us may go so far as to dare to command a sickness or a demon to be gone from someone we are praying for, but we are fairly complacent when nothing happens. It is what we were expecting anyway, isn’t it? What we are forgetting is that the devil is not a law-abiding citizen. He is the lawless one.
What happens when the police officer attempts to use his authority, and finds himself resisted? Does he shrug his shoulders and say, “Well, I guess that didn’t work!” No, he turns up the heat of his authority. He pursues and subdues the law-resister. Sometimes there is a stiff fight — but the lawful authority wins in the end!
So it is with our authority as believers. We need to understand that the infinitely powerful government of heaven backs us up. Jesus Himself is the One who has given us authority in His name. Sometimes — in fact, most of the time — there is going to be a stiff fight. Hell doesn’t want to let go of its victims all that easily. We need to pursue, press in, and insist on being obeyed.
“And from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force — Matthew 11:12.” Sometimes the police officer needs to use force. Sometimes the believer does, too, in the process of obtaining the desired answer.
There are some qualifications which we must meet in order to have rightful authority in Christ. Let’s continue to look at parallels between the police officer and the Christian.
1. The police officer must be under authority himself, obedient to his superiors. He goes where he has been assigned, not outside his jurisdiction. We believers must be doing what Jesus has said, according to the Bible and His personal word to us as well. We cannot be out doing our own thing for our own pleasure. A clean, submitted heart is imperative.
2. The police officer must continue to stay in contact with his superiors, and he must get their direction as needed in difficult situations. We need to be in constant communication with our superior officer, Jesus.
3. The police officer must know how to use his weapons, or his opponent will run roughshod over him and maybe kill him. We must be skillful in the use of our weapons — the blood of Jesus, the name of Jesus, our faith. Especially, we have to know the Word of God and use it properly. Appropriate the Word.
4. The police officer must understand the law and not step outside its boundaries. He can’t arrest people if they haven’t broken the law. We must understand what Jesus has given to us and what He has not. If it’s in the Book it’s ours to use.
If it’s not clearly in the Book, we’re on shaky ground. We need to research from Genesis to Revelation to make sure we’re getting it right. Know the Word.
Remember whose authority it is in which we operate. We have no authority to come against the powers of darkness in our own strength. We come against them in the name of Jesus. It is His authority, not ours.
Attempting to execute authority for anything other than His plans, His will, and His desires is presumption. It will most certainly fail, and it may put us in grave danger as well.
If something is important to you, you will go after it. The things God has promised us in His Word should be vitally important to us — enough so that we are prepared to take hold and struggle for them at any cost until we obtain them.
Anything worth having is worth fighting for.
Rubsam, Lee Ann (2016).
The Believer’s Authority in Christ.