The Authority Of Jesus
Everyone understands authority. When we have a problem at a store and are frustrated we ask for someone in authority, hoping to get our problem solved. Perhaps the person we are talking to disappears through a door with a sign “Authorized Personnel Only” on it. We hope she comes back with someone with the authority to fix our problem.
Today we’re going to talk about the authority we have as a Christian. Before we do, let’s clarify the difference between power and authority. Power is the actual ability to do things. A weight lifter has the physical power to lift things. A trained physician has the power to heal when she diagnoses an illness and prescribes treatments.
Authority is different. It’s delegated power, not actual power. The manager at the store has no intrinsic power to give you a discount or adjust your bill. The company delegates that power to the manager who is entrusted to use it appropriately.
All Christians have the authority of Jesus Christ. There are five areas in which we’ve been entrusted with the power of Jesus. We have authority in these five areas to use wisely and effectively on Jesus’ behalf.
5 Areas of Authority Jesus Delegates to His Followers
- to represent Jesus and share the good news of His free offer of salvation to everyone! Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8
- over our spiritual enemies, the flesh, the world and Satan and his followers to resist and defeat them when they attack us. Luke 10:1, 17-20, Ephesians 6:10, 1John 2:15-17, Romans 6:6-14
- for leaders to lead in the church in spiritual issues. 1 Timothy 5:17, Titus 2:15-16, Matthew 18:17-18
- to do good works on behalf of Jesus, even greater works than He did on earth. John 14:12, Mark 13:34
- to accomplish things through prayer. James 5:13, 16
With authority comes responsibility. Just because we have authority doesn’t mean we will use it or that we will use it right. It’s fascinating that God our Father, Jesus our Savior and the Spirit of God our Helper have entrusted this authority to us. Four of the five areas of authority mentioned above are delegated to all Christians.
On the one hand we might think, “Wow, I have that authority!” It is heart-warming to think our heavenly Father trusts us enough to give us that authority!
On the other hand we might think, “Oh, I have that authority. Oh, dear!” It is a great responsibility to be given authority.
Remember, it’s Jesus’ authority. He’ll lead you and guide you and work through you as you share your faith. He’ll empower you as you seek to do good works in His name. He’ll lead you even as you pray and as you join with others in praying you will see Him work through your prayers. He’ll give you wisdom as a leader to lead like Jesus. He has given you all the authority you need to defeat any spiritual enemy!
Jesus leaves it completely up to you to use the authority He gives you. I think that’s a pretty good deal.
How have you seen the authority of Jesus work in your life? Please leave a comment or question below.