EXERCISING YOUR GOD GIVEN AUTHORITY
By Pastor Michael Olawore
New Wine Church, London
Foundation Scriptures: Romans 5:17
Sunday 9th October 2016
We began a new series titled, ‘The Believer’s Authority’ last week. Having understood the authority that Christ has delivered to the church from last week’s message, let us focus today on exercising it. Today’s message is titled: ‘Exercising Your God Given Authority’.
Let’s read our foundation scriptures in Romans 5:17; ‘For if because of one man’s trespass (lapse, offense) death reigned through that one, much more surely will those who receive [God’s] overflowing grace (unmerited favor) and the free gift of righteousness [putting them into right standing with Himself] reign as kings in life through the one Man Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)’ (AMPC).
We have been called by God to reign as kings in this life through Jesus Christ, according to our foundation scripture. A king rules over a kingdom or a domain. As Christians, we have the right and authority over Satan and his demons, over sickness, circumstances and challenges of life.
Authority can be defined as the right to command, delegate power or enforce order. The believer’s authority is an empowerment from heaven, to enforce the will of God here on earth. With the authority given to us by God, we can break through every barrier and limitations that oppose the purpose of God. The believer’s authority introduces us to the supernatural. As the church of God, we must understand that certain things will not happen in our lives until we enforce them.
The authority that we exercise as believers is primarily God’s. This authority is unmerited favour – it wasn’t given to us because we worked for it, deserved or earned it. It was simply bestowed on us, by grace when we received Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour.
Each of us as believers has got what it takes to exercise our God-given authority. Matthew 10:1, 5-8 records an account of Jesus’ disciples experiencing this in their lives. ‘Jesus called his twelve disciples together and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and every sickness. These twelve men were sent out by Jesus with the following instructions: “Do not go to any Gentile territory or any Samaritan towns. Instead, you are to go to the lost sheep of the people of Israel. Go and preach, ‘The Kingdom of heaven is near!’ Heal the sick, bring the dead back to life, heal those who suffer from dreaded skin diseases, and drive out demons. You have received without paying, so give without being paid’ (GNT).
As Christians, we’ve been commanded to use what we’ve been given. Since we are God’s ambassadors on earth, the responsibility to teach about Christ, heal sicknesses and diseases and cast our evil spirits, rests on us. God isn’t obligated to do what He has empowered us to do, so we must rise up and do what we’ve have been called to do.
James 4:7 reads: ‘So then, submit yourselves to God. Resist the Devil, and he will run away from you’. 1 Peter 5:8-9 reads: ‘Be alert, be on watch! Your enemy, the Devil, roams around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Be firm in your faith and resist him, because you know that other believers in all the world are going through the same kind of sufferings’ (GNT). These passages reveal to us that we have authority over Satan and demons – when we resist him and stand our ground, he will flee from us.
Jesus made it clear in Luke 10:17-19 that Satan is a defeated foe. ‘The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you’.
This implies that as Christians we are not warring to defeat the enemy, we are simply enforcing the defeat of the enemy. Besides this, we need to recognise this truth, believing that we have what it takes to see this occurrence taking place, because we already have the victory in Christ.
After his resurrection, Jesus gave his disciples the authority to go out in his name, representing the interests of Heaven. Here is Matthew 28:16-20; ‘The eleven disciples went to the hill in Galilee where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him, even though some of them doubted. Jesus drew near and said to them, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always, to the end of the age.” Mark 16:14-20 also records the Great commission from a slightly different perspective: ‘Last of all, Jesus appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating. He scolded them, because they did not have faith and because they were too stubborn to believe those who had seen him alive. He said to them, “Go throughout the whole world and preach the gospel to all people. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. Believers will be given the power to perform miracles: they will drive out demons in my name; they will speak in strange tongues; if they pick up snakes or drink any poison, they will not be harmed; they will place their hands on sick people, and these will get well.” After the Lord Jesus had talked with them, he was taken up to heaven and sat at the right side of God. The disciples went and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and proved that their preaching was true by the miracles that were performed' (GNT).
Just like the disciples of Jesus, we also have the authority given to us by God. It’s time to begin to exercise our God-given authority!
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