Key Scripture: Ephesians 6:10-12
Introduction: So far, we have learned about our enemy, our Lord, and the weapons of our warfare. Tonight, we need to learn about the authority that we as believers have.
What is authority? When I think of authority, I think of what the Centurion said to Jesus Christ. “I am a man of authority. I say to this one go and he goes, come and he comes. Just speak the word and my servant will be healed. You do not need to come under my roof.” Just like this Centurion and Jesus, we as believers need to exercise authority by words, and utter them in faith. In the scripture with the Centurion, authority is defined as “the legal and moral right to exercise power.”
What Is Meant By Legal Right? - Consider This Illustration: Policemen are identified by the uniforms they wear and sometimes the vehicles they drive. They only have to raise their hands to traffic and vehicles will pull to a stop. They do not use their own strength to stop vehicles. They are not as physically powerful as the vehicles are, but they have the backing of the law behind them. Therefore, they are able to stop the vehicles by exercising authority over the drivers who control the vehicles. Failure of the drivers to comply with their order would result in terrible consequences for them. As believers, we have God’s backing to stop sicknesses, and works of the devil, by exercising authority over the evil spirits who operate (drive) those works (vehicles).
What Is Meant By Moral Right? - Consider This Illustration. - A parent, teacher, or church leader loses their moral authority to command a child, student or congregants to cease from a flirtatious lifestyle if they are themselves living in immorality. One has to be walking morally upright to have and exercise moral rights. The prince of this world must not control our lives. He must know us not as sons of Sceva but in the same regard as he did of Jesus Christ and Paul. The demons once said, Jesus I know, Paul I know. But you, who are you?”
What Is The Authority Of The Believer? - It is the delegated power invested in us by the Lord Jesus Christ. When we pray and ask things in the name of Jesus, we are standing on the basis that our prayer is being offered under the authority of Jesus Christ. We have no power of our own. Jesus Christ is the source of our strength and power. This authority of the believer is not a special impartation or gift to some believers. It is every child of God’s inherent right.
What Are The Meanings Of Exousia (authority) And Dunamis (power)? - While authority is the right to use power; power is the ability to enforce authority. Every believer has the right to use God’s power; however, they need power within, to enforce that authority. We need to work at building up power within. We need Dunamis. For example, solar power, hydro power, electrical power, etc. is made available for every human being. Additionally, the power to exercise authority is made available to all believers. The only thing each person must do is tap into this power. In other words, wire your house and connect it to the main power source. We
need to wire ourselves spiritually in God and stay connected to the main power source (Jesus Christ). Without being connected to the main power source, we will be like a policeman who was authorized to arrest a thief and ended up being beaten by the criminal. Remember, Exousia and Dunamis are both essential.
The Authority Of Jesus - What is the source of Jesus’ authority? Jesus Christ’s authority began by divine ordination of God himself, when he sent him to the world as Messiah. God is the source. The source of His authority also lies in His triumph over the devil at the cross, the resurrection, His elevation into the seat at God’s right-hand side, and divine appointment as Head over all things, as God has established. His triumph over the devil on the cross, death, resurrection, and place where God has seated him has been the source of his authority. As we can read in the book of Acts, Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit. (Acts 10:38)
What Happened In The Resurrection? – Colossians 2:13-15 tells us that when we were dead in our sins and in the uncircumcision of our sinful nature, God made us alive with Christ. He forgave us of all our sins. Jesus’ resurrection canceled the written code, with its regulations, that were against us and that stood opposed to us. He took it away by nailing it to the cross. Additionally, Jesus disarmed all other powers and authorities. He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
Jesus On The Cross - Jesus Christ disarmed all authorities and powers. The Lord Jesus Christ gave the devil such a severe beating, and publicly disgraced him so much, that it terrified the devil and has taught him to keep out of Jesus’ reach. It has taught him to know that Christ has power and authority over him in every respect.
Jesus In The Tomb - By the time Jesus Christ was laid in the tomb, the devil knew it was better not to tamper with His body. He knew that he had to stay far away from it, for dread of the consequences. Even though there was no breath in in Jesus’ body at the time, yet so much power surrounded it to make Satan tremble. It was by the same power that Christ was resurrected. Jesus was the only man who had power over His own dead body! No other person, magician, occultist, or idol has ever been able to give himself to death and raise himself up. They die and perish!
Final Story Illustration - There was a certain dog that thought he was the terror in its neighborhood, so he barked and terrified other dogs that he came in contact with. One day it stopped threatening other dogs in its neighborhood when it got itself beaten mercilessly by another dog that he tried to attack. Perhaps that is how terrified the devil must have felt after Jesus Christ triumphed and made a public show him. “It was power pass power!”
Conclusion: We will continue this study in Part 2 of “The Authority Of The Believer.” We will also establish in another scripture next week that Christ Jesus has been placed above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and He is the head of the church. Everything is under the feet of Jesus. Christ Jesus has all power. He is above all else. The source of his authority is by virtue of this appointment, placement, and elevation. Guess what? We as believers have power and