The Light of Life Magazine
A ministry of Christian writing




August 2011

BELIEVERS' AUTHORITY


Dipankar Nath

Authority and responsibility go together.

Most of the time we donít understand the authority which was given by God through His Son Jesus Christ. We forget what we have and what we should do with that. When we get the understanding on the authority in Christ Jesus, we will no longer fight with each other and our life-style will be changed forever. First of all, we have to understand the difference between power and authority. With our own power we canít do anything. The authority is delegated by God through His Son Jesus Christ through which we can do extraordinary things in our life. By his own power a traffic policeman canít stop a running truck or bus; but when he uses the authority given by the government, he can stop a big truck and bus by simply raising his hand. This is the main difference between power and authority (Lk.10:19). Jesus has delegated His authority to His disciples (us). When we know our authority, we will no longer fear the devil or tolerate him in our lives. Satan does not want that we should know that we have the authority in Jesus. He wants to keep the churches blinded to the truth that Jesus has given us authority over all the power of darkness. Satan is busy trying to bring disunity and deception in the lives of the church leaders as well as the church members. He is not afraid of the Christian who does not know that he has authority over him; but he runs in terror from a believer who knows and acts on the authority Jesus Christ gave to His people. With the authority, God has also given us responsibility. Authority and responsibility go together; we cannot practise authority without the responsibility.

Before we execute authority, we have to understand our position in Christ Jesus. Jesus is the Head and we are the body. The head and the body have risen together. It is not that only the head has risen from the death. The head and the body are one (Eph.1:19-23;2:4-6). The head will not do anything. It just gives direction to the body and the body executes the direction of the head. In the same manner, whatever direction Jesus gives us, we as the body should execute His will. The head always controls the body, as Jesus always controls His body, the Church. We cannot separate the body from the Head. Yes, I have seen men without eye, hand, leg or other parts of the body. But I have never seen any man on this earth without head. He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him (1Cor.6:17). We are one with Christ Jesus. The authority given by God through Jesus is for all believers; all believers receive this authority at the moment of new birth. Authority is not delivered to us on the basis of Christian maturity, good works or good theology. A new born Christian has the same authority as someone who has been Christian for 50 years (Lk.10:19;Matt.28:18-20). Jesus transferred His authority to the Church at the time of His ascension. He gave us the authority with a purpose that we should destroy the works of the devil (1Jn.3:8), do the works that Jesus did on this earth and greater (Jn.14:12) and represent Jesus and establish His kingdom on this earth (2Cor.5:20).

Who Is The Devil?
The Bible reveals much about devil and his origin, nature and activities. His names are Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub; he was an angel (Ezek.28:14) kicked out of heaven (Lk.10:18) and he is a spirit (Eph.6:12). The devil is a spirit, and not a person with flesh and blood. God has given us authority over the devil--all spiritual wickedness--and not the people. The devil is under our feet, not the people. He is the god of this world (2Cor.4:4) but we have authority over him. As believers, we can change the world by using the authority. He is the father of lies (Jn.8:44), a thief (Jn.10:10), and he walks about as a roaring lion, but he is not a real lion (1Pet.5:8-9). He is a defeated enemy, stripped of his power (Col. 2:15).

What Are His Works?
He brings sin, temptation, sickness, poverty, worry, fear, depression, inferiority, low self esteem, guilt, doubt, disunity among the brethren, confusion, etc. We are told in James 4:7 and 1 Peter 5:9 that we should resist the devil. We donít have to fight because he is already defeated. If we are not resisting the devil, then we are actually welcoming him in our life and in our church.

Ways People Tolerate The Devil
By our ignorance. We donít know the Word of God; because of that, devil takes advantage and brings doubt in our lives. Sometimes we think, maybe it is Godís will, and sometimes we tolerate some situation because we donít know the will of God in our lives. When we are in this kind of situation, we are waiting for God to do something about the devil. But we forget that whatever we need in our life God has already done through His Son Jesus on the cross of Calvary. Most of the time, we pray to God to come and resist the devil on our behalf, but we do not know that God is waiting for us that we should take and execute His authority over the devil and be a winner in our Christian life. In order to get the victory over the devil we should use the name of Jesus, which has power (Mk.16:17), and the Word of God (Heb.4:12; Lk.4:1; Rev.1:16). We should wear the armour of God (Eph.6:10-17). We should use our mouth and speak directly to the negative circumstances as Jesus did (Lk.4). Do not waste time thinking we are waiting for God to act.

Use God-given Authority
Without submission to God, we canít use the authority. Submission means that we should submit our thoughts, imagination, plan etc., to God. It includes being submitted to the authority that God has ordained over us on this earth. If we want to execute the authority, then we have to learn to submit ourselves to the authority which God has installed over us. Some people say, "I donít submit to anyone but God." It is actually rebellion against God. It is God who established the position of authority on this earth (Rom.13:1-2). God is the highest in authority and He is the source of all authority. He has delegated the authority over His people on this earth. God expects us to obey those who are in authority over us just as we would obey Him. We canít say that we are submitting to God, if we are not submitting to the God-given authority, except when we are told to do something contrary to Godís Word.

God wants to see us as head not tail, giver not lender; but as Christians we do not know the actual authority. We are in the last times and devil is very tricky; he doesnít want us to know the authority which is given by God. Now is the time we have to wake up and teach / preach the things of God that we may live like kings on this earth. Let the Spirit of God move in our heart and let us find out the actual adversary against us. Brothers and sisters are not our enemies, but the devil who does his work through them is the actual adversary.




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