The Authority of the Believer (part 1)

THE AUTHORITY OF THE BELIEVER (Part 1)

(Pastor Lee Jackson FFWC)

I) INTRODUCTION – THIS PAST WEDNESDAY EVENING, I LAID A FOUNDATION FOR MY MESSAGE THIS MORNING ON THE AUTHORITY OF THE BELIEVER.  THE TOPIC WAS THE AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE: (2 PETER 1:20-21, 2 TIM 3:16).   JOHN 1:2 TELLS US THAT “THE WORD BECAME FLESH AND DWELT AMONG US.”  THE AUTHORITY OF GOD’S WORD WAS PERSONIFIED IN THE PERSON OF HIS SON JESUS CHRIST, BUT THAT IS NOT THE END OF IT, ONLY THE BEGINNING, AS FAR AS BELIEVERS ARE CONCERNED.

 THIS MORNING I AM GOING TO SHOW YOU ON THE AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE THAT JESUS HAS DELEGATED HIS POWER AND HIS AUTHORITY TO THE CHURCH AND TO ALL BELIEVERS.  THE AUTHORITY THAT GOD HAD GIVEN TO THE 1ST ADAM, AND TO THOSE WHO WOULD FOLLOW AFTER HIM, WAS   LOST BECAUSE OF HIS DISOBEDIENCE, HAS BEEN RESTORED TO US THROUGH THE OBEDIENCE OF JESUS CHRIST, THE 2ND ADAM.  IT IS GOD’S WILL FOR EVERY BELIEVER INDIVIDUALLY AND HIS CHURCH CORPORATELY TO EXERCIZE THE POWER AND AUTHORITY, THAT HE HAS GIVEN US, TO ACCOMPLISH HIS PLAN AND PURPOSE.  WHEN THERE IS AUTHORITY THERE IS A CHAIN OF COMMAND: 1) ALL AUTHORITY BEGINS WITH GOD,  2) GOD’S AUTHORITY AND POWER IS VESTED IN CHRIST, 3) CHRIST HAS DELEGATED HIS AUTHORITY TO THE CHURCH AND SPIRIT FILLED BELIEVERS.  BUT DON’T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT, LET’S LOOK AT WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS.

II)    1ST, THE AUTHORITY OF GOD IS VESTED IN AND EXERCISED THROUGH JESUS CHRIST HERE ON EARTH.

A)   Mat 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

B)   GOD HAS GIVEN HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST, ALL AUTHORITY BOTH NOW AND IN THE FUTURE.  IT WILL REMAIN THIS WAY UNTIL JESUS QUASHES THE REBELLION THAT BEGAN WITH SATAN IN HEAVEN, AND GIVES IT BACK TO THE FATHER: Psa 110:1   “The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” 2 The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion; you will rule in the midst of your enemies. 3 Your troops will be willing on your day of battle. Arrayed in holy majesty, from the womb of the dawn you will receive the dew of your youth. 4 The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” 5 The Lord is at your right hand; he will crush kings on the day of his wrath. 6 He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead and crushing the rulers of the whole earth.

C)   GOD WANTS US TO UNDERSTAND OUR ROLE IN THIS:  Col 2:8 BEWARE lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9 FOR in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. 10 AND ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:  (KJV) THE NIV READS: Col 2:9-10: For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.

III)   JESUS CHRIST, THE 2ND ADAM, SUCCEEDED WHERE THE 1ST ADAM FAILED.  JESUS HAS RESTORED TO BELIEVERS AND HIS CHURCH WHAT SATAN HAD TAKEN FROM US.

A)   1 Cor 15:22-28:  For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. (TALKING ABOUT THE RESURRECTION) 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. (NOTICE TIMING SET BY GOD THE FATHER.) 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

B)   Col 2:13 – 15:  When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. (HE RESTORES OUR SPIRUAL LIFE 1ST THEN OUR PHYSICAL LIFE AT THE RESUCRRECTION.) He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, (THAT HELD US IN BONDAGE THROUGH OUR FALLEN NATURE) he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

IV)  JESUS CHRIST HAS BEEN APPOINTED BY GOD AS THE LORD OF ALL CREATED THINGS (INCLUDING US) AND THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH (THE ECCLECIA).

A)   Col 1:15-20: He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;(SATAN & DEMONS (FALLEN ANGELS) CREATED BEINGS) all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

B)   Hos 4:6  My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…Eph 1:18-23: I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

C)   IN THE NEXT SECTION WE HOW CHRIST WORKS THROUGH HIS BODY, THE CHURCH TO ACCOMPLISH HIS PURPOSE AND WORK ON EARTH.

V)   JESUS CHRIST’S AUTHORITY IS EXERCISED THROUGH HIS BODY, THE CHURCH

A)   Luke 10:17-21: The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” 18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions (DEMONS) and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” 21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned…”

B)   NOTE JESUS DID NOT TAKE AWAY THE ENEMY’S POWER BUT HE GAVE THEM (AND US) POWER TO OVERCOME THE ENEMY’S ATTACKS: 1 JOHN 4:4  “GREATER IS HE THAT IS WITHIN YOU THAN HE THAT IS IN THE WORLD.”

C)   JESUS GIVES US SPECIFIC AUTHORITY: Matt 28:18-20: Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

D)   MARK GOES EVEN FURTHER: Mark 16:15-18: He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

E)   Eph 3:7-13: Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, (I BELIEVE THAT THIS REFERS PRINCIPALY TO SATAN AND HIS EVIL EMPIRE.) 11 according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence

F)    Matt 16:17-19: Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.  19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”  LOOSE MEANS “TO ALLOW”, BIND MEANS “TO FORBID” AMONG OTHER THINGS.  REFERS TO APOSTOLIC AUTHORITY, BUT THE LIMITS OF THIS AUTHORITY ARE NOT ENTIRELY CLEAR TO ME.  I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT WE CAN UNIVERSALLY BIND AND NULLIFY SATAN UNIVERSALLY BECAUSE THAT OCCURS IN REV. 20:2 WHEN SATAN IS BOUND FOR 1000 YEAR.  GOD COULD END SATAN’S REIGN ANY TIME THAT HE WANTS. 

VI)  THERE ARE SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLES RELATING TO SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY:

A)   IN ORDER TO HAVE SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY WE MUST FIRST SUBMIT TO GOD’S AUTHORITY AND THE AUTHORITY OF GOD’S WORD: James 4:7-8: Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

B)   OUR SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY IS SUBJECT TO AND LIMITED BY OUR SPIRITUAL CONDITION.

1)    Mar 9:28 -29  And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? 29  And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.

2)     Act 19:11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them. 13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.”  14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.  DEMONS ARE NOT IMPRESSED JUST BECAUSE WE INVOKE THE NAME OF JESUS OR SAYING THE RIGHT WORDS.

 VII) HOW IS THE BELIEVER TO EXERCIZE HIS / HER SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY?

A)   EPHESIANS CHAPTER SIX GIVES US A VERY PRACTICLE ILLUSTRATION OF HOW WE TO EXERCIZE OUR SPIRITUAL POWER AND AUTHORITY: Eph 6:10-13  “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breast plate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. (NIV)

B)   NOTE THAT WE DON’T GO LOOKING FOR A FIGHT, BUT WHEN THE ENEMY ATTACKS WE STAND OUR GROUND AND GO ABOUT DOING GOD’S WORK (PREACHING, TEACHING, MAKING DISCIPLES, BAPTIZING, ETC), CLOAKED IN THE ARMOUR OF GOD, WEILDING THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT THE WORD OF GOD.  JESUS DID NOT GO LOOKING FOR SATAN WHEN HE WAS IN THE WILDERNESS, HE DID NOT SLANDER OR BERATE SATAN BUT HE USED THE WORD OF GOD TO DISARM THE ATTACK.  IF WE HAVE THE WORD OF GOD HIDDEN IN OUR HEARTS AND ARE WALKING IN OBEDIENCE TO THAT WORD WE CAN DO THE SAME.

C)   Jud 1:9  Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

VIII)       I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT WALKING IN SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY PUTS US ABOVE SATAN’S ATTACKS IN FACT I BELIEVE THE opposite IS TRUE.  THE MORE EFFECTIVE OUR MINISTRY THE MORE SATAN WILL TARGET US.

A)   THE APOSTLE PAUL’S MINISTRY WAS VIGOROUSLY OPPOSED BY SATAN:

1)    2Co 11:24 – 27  Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25  Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26  In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27  In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

2)    1Th 2:18  Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.

B)   2 Tim 1:6-7:6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

 IX)  CONCLUSION – THE WORLD IS WAITING FOR THE MANIFESTATION OF THE SONS OF GOD: “ Rom 8:18-20 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be Revealed.THE SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF GOD ARE TO BE MIGHTY MEN AND WOMEN, IN WHOM GOD HAS VESTED HIS POWER AND AUTHORITY TO DO HIS WORK IN THE EARTH.  WE WERE ALL ONCE SLAVES TO SIN, HELD CAPTIVE BY SATAN.  JESUS HAS SET US FREE. THE BIBLE SAYS “WHOM THE SON HAS SET FREE IS FREE INDEED.” FREEDOM AND AUTHORITY ARE INTERLINKED IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD.  WE CANNOT WALK IN AUTHORITY UNTIL WE OURSELVES ARE FREE FROM THE BONDAGE OF SIN AND WALKING IN OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S WORD.  JESUS TOLD THE 72 WHO WERE GIVEN POWER OVER DEMONS NOT  rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

 

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