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Understanding Your Authority In Christ

 

pastor michael

 

 

 

 

 

By Pastor Michael Olawore
New Wine Church, London 

 

 

Foundation Scripture: Romans 5:17 

Sunday 2nd October 2016

 

I begin a new series titled, ‘The Believer’s Authority’. Many Christians today are not taking advantage of the authority that Christ has given to us, and are being deprived of exercising their dominion. No circumstance should be allowed to dominate or overpower us as God’s children. I have titled today’s message: ‘Understanding Your Authority In Christ’.

 

Let’s read our foundation scriptures in Romans 5:17; ‘It is true that through the sin of one man death began to rule because of that one man. But how much greater is the result of what was done by the one man, Jesus Christ! All who receive God's abundant grace and are freely put right with him will rule in life through Christ’ (GNT).


I believe that this series will awaken each of us to the reality of our authority in Christ and recognising our position in God. Satan has distracted believers for too long and as a result, we have become unwittingly blasé about our God-given authority. Our prayers are becoming increasingly devoid of power and authority. Instead of authoritative statements of confidence in God, our utterances are now weak and feeble, as if to confirm that we are victims of the devil. Our authority is barely recognised, let alone exercised. However, it must be clearly stated that God’s mandate to us as His children is this: we are called to establish His mandate here on earth as it is Heaven. As ambassadors of Christ, we are called to establish His interests as He desires in this world.


God’s grace is released to us primarily to grant us legitimacy to reign on earth through Christ Jesus. We’ve been called by Christ to exercise the dominion given to us. We are called to maintain what Christ has obtained for us on the cross. The work of Christ on the cross redeemed mankind once and for all time. He took control from Satan and handed it back to us. Sadly, as believers we have done virtually nothing with this authority. Genesis 1:26 reads: ‘God said, Let Us [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] make mankind in Our image, after Our likeness, and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the [tame] beasts, and over all of the earth, and over everything that creeps upon the earth’. God’s plans for mankind included having control over all the earth.


Satan took control of the world after the fall of man. Romans 6:16-17 explains it this way: ‘Surely you know that you become the slaves of whatever you give yourselves to. Anything or anyone you follow will be your master. You can follow sin, or you can obey God. Following sin brings spiritual death, but obeying God makes you right with him’. And this was the premise upon which the devil made an attempt to tempt Jesus. Here is Luke 4:5-8; ‘Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ” The dominion handed to the devil at the fall of man was reinstated into man’s possession by Jesus. This was of utmost importance if man was to enforce the Kingdom of God on earth, as God initially intended. Matthew 18:11 sums it up this way: ‘For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost’. Consequently, the work of Christ on the cross was to establish this order.


After Jesus’ resurrection, his words to the disciples confirmed this truth. Matthew 28:16-18 reads: ‘Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth...” As Christians, that authority now becomes ours as a result of placing our trust in the work that Christ has already accomplished on our behalf on the cross.

 

Throughout the ministry of Jesus, the bible records that the disciples were given authority by Jesus to perform signs and miracles. Luke 10:19 reads: ‘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’. (See also Matthew 10:1). After Jesus’ resurrection, the authority thereafter remained perpetually with the disciples.


Matthew 8:5-11 records the story of the healing of the centurion’s servant. ‘Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.” And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard it, He marvelled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven’.


Let me share three truths from this story:

(a) The centurion recognised Jesus as the source of authority required to establish healing: Jesus is the source that we, as Christians also require to accomplish the will of God in our lives.

(b) To exercise authority, a person must also be under that same authority: The centurion recognised this, as revealed in this story. As Christians, since we are under Christ, we have the mandate to exercise his authority. Acts 19:11-17 records the story of the seven sons of Sceva who had no authority over an evil spirit. Eventually, the evil spirit overpowered them and chased them out of the house.

(c) The centurion was convinced that whenever authority is exercised by a legitimate representative of that authority, there must be corresponding response: As Christians, whenever we exercise Christ’s authority, there should be a corresponding result.


Mark 16:14-18 unfolds from Mark’s perspective the authority that Jesus gave to his disciples: ‘Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” This same authority is available to us, as God’s children.


Acts 3:1-9 reveals how the apostles exercised the authority handed to them by Jesus. ‘Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God.'


Like the apostles, as Christians we also have authority. It is vital that we recognise that Jesus has empowered us to reign on earth – that can only become a reality when we begin to exercise our God-given authority.

 

 

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