Two powerful messages on how the devil is defeated and who we are in Christ. This is great stuff, and listening to these will lift you to a higher level and help you see yourself the way God sees you!
Whenever you start teaching on the authority of the believer, you start hearing people ask questions like “what do I need to do to get that authority”, “how can I have that authority”. So the foundation I want to lay in the next couple of posts is this: YOU ALREADY HAVE THE AUTHORITY OF THE BELIEVER!
Did you know that salvation already belongs to the sinner? Jesus is the propitiation not just for our sins but for the whole world (1 John 2.2). The worst sinner in the world is someone who Jesus died for, just like you and just like me. We are not supposed to tell people they are off to hell – our mission is to tell people the good news, and we are supposed to tell people they are reconciled to God.
However, all that provision of salvation will never benefit anyone unless they believe it. Every sinner will go to hell with their debts cancelled already unless someone tells them, they believe it and then they benefit from it.
And that’s the same with Christians and the authority of the believer. We already have it. It was ours all along!
Ephesians 1:3 reads, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us [the whole Church] with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” The American Standard Version renders “all spiritual blessings” as “every spiritual blessing.” This means every spiritual blessing there is. In Christ, all spiritual blessings belong to us. Authority belongs to us whether we realize it or not!
My wife and I were once entertaining at our house, and we realized we didn’t have enough cheese to complete the dish my wife was making. So with the man of the couple we had round, we walked to the local corner shop to pick up some extra cheese. We got there and we picked up the cheese and a couple of other things, and we got to the till, and I had forgot my wallet. Feeling very embarrassed, I had to ask my guest to pay for the food! What a bad host!
What was even worse was on the way home, for some reason I patted my shirt pocket, and I realized that I didn’t have my wallet but I did have my bank card in the shirt pocket. I had taken it out of my wallet in the morning because I was going to buy somethings online!
I had the ability to buy the food all along, but due to ignorance, I didn’t and couldn’t. You see it is the truth that sets us free. It is not knowing things that destroys us! You need to realize right now that you don’t have to do anything to gain the authority. It is already ours!
Today I am starting a new series on the authority of the believer. It goes hand in hand with the stuff I am teaching on heart at the moment!
I think that many Christians today are very confused on the issue of the believer’s authority. The underlying deceit that brings confusion is firstly the lie of the traditional denominations that the authority that Christians had in the 1st century has somehow passed away. The second lie is the deceit of the charismatic churches that only special anointed people have the authority in this world.
The truth is that when we got every spiritual blessing in Christ, the day we became Christians, we got the authority of Jesus Christ to wield on the planet.
It’s really, really important that you understand this. You need to know the awesome power you have and the great responsibility you have as a believer to examine, investigate and utilise this power to make the world a better place. The enemy of our souls, the devil, has worked overtime to bring confusion here and make sure that God’s people do not know how much authority they have.
He blinds people still (2 Cor. 4.3-4) and many Christians are sadly so, so blind and do not believe how much authority they have.
To grasp authority and how much authority we have in Christ, our first foundational truth is we have to learn the difference between authority and power. Sadly, there isn’t a single translation of the New Testament that correctly translates the words for “power” and “authority”, and so people have got confused. For example in Luke 10.19 in the KJV it says:
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
That is a bad translation, sadly. The accurate truth from the Greek is that Jesus has given us authority over the power of the devil. The image is of a road, traffic is surging past, high powered vehicles are racing by and suddenly a man in uniform steps and raises his hand. Every vehicle stops.
Why? Because of the man’s great power? No – he is not more powerful than a juggernaut. But he has authority. Authority always triumphs over power and we have authority in Christ.
When you realize that you have authority over all the works of the power of the enemy, then you can face the devil without fear, without any sense of inferiority, without any hesitation or remorse. You have the same authority as Christ right here right now.
Next week: where does that authority come from (it’s a good one)
As Christians, our mandate and commission is to extend the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. To do that requires character, humility, grace and peace.
Unfortunately, you see many people are just after their own glory, their own reward, their own empire. They don’t want to help and love other people, and they don’t really want to grow in Christ, they want political position and increase. People like that will stab you in the back the first chance they get. They will want to use you and take what you have built, but will never want to contribute to the building. They are loyal in one situation because it suits them, but when it doesn’t suit them they will act as if you never existed.
Empire builders can and will split churches, bring confusion, bring division between brothers, and cause chaos in your life. Firstly, we have to commit to being kingdom builders no matter what anyone else does. Our priority is to honouring and glorifying and extending His name and His glory. It’s all about Jesus and His love and His work on the cross. Empire builders are obvious because they cannot cross boundaries to extend the kingdom. It has to happen in their empire or in their mind it doesn’t exist.
- I am going to bring some of my people this week to hear Jerry Savelle preach in another church. I don’t care it’s not my church, it’s the kingdom! It’s going to be a great message and a great time!
- Yet there are people within walking distance of Tree of Life who love the grace message who wouldn’t even come to hear Duane Sheriff preach at our church, because they care more about the empire than the kingdom! It’s tragic but true! They only go and hear their favourite speakers when they speak in places they like.
- We support many other events by other ministries. We advertise them, we plug them, we fund people to go to them. We give big when we go there.
- Always beware of people who only support their own events, their own ministry, their own people. They can only see as far as their own empire, and if you cease to be useful to their empire, you will be invisible.
- Money is a big determination as to whether someone cares about the kingdom or their empire. Where does the money go. 10% of all money raised in Tree of Life goes out of Tree of Life to help support other ministries.
- Empire builders cannot give. They tithe to themselves, they give to themselves, they are involved in themselves.
- Kingdom builders are gracious. They allow for differences in style, in theology, in ways of doing things.
- Empire builders have it their way or the highway. That is dangerous. That sort of arrogance is closed to learning, and that is not healthy for anyone.
Paul said in Philippians 2, that only Timothy was out for the kingdom, describing the other ministers around he said “All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ.” None of the other ministers would go and help the Philippians when Paul was in need because Paul started that church and it wouldn’t directly help their ministry. Don’t be like that, don’t become those people. Be willing to help the whole body of Christ, to support the whole body of Christ, to love the whole body of Christ.
We need to have this mentality. Today, I mentioned to another pastor I was tired and he said “why not come and stay with a friend of mine in a beach house for a while and rest? I have people who can help with the church and take a month off on us”. That brought me to tears, that is a kingdom mentality. That is the kind of person you can run with.
Be a kingdom person today. It’s the best way to live!
treeoflife is on Mixlr http://mixlr.com/treeoflife