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THE AUTHORITY OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST: Part 3 of 6: Victory in Christ
REVIEW: In Part 2 we saw that God originally created man to govern over all the face of the earth. This governorship was relinquished and the devil assumed the position wherever and whenever he could. Since Genesis 3:15 Mankind was given the promise that the Christ would deliver us from our enslavement to sin and the devil. The Christ came and delivered us by dying on the cross for all of our errors. Jesus as the Christ will eventually govern over all of the earth and heavens under God in a time soon to arrive. Every knee will bow to his Lordship. We await that promised day. He has already been positioned over everything, having ascended into heaven and being governmentally seated in the right hand of God. The devil has been defeated by the cross of Jesus Christ.
Until the day when “his enemies shall be made the footstool of his feet,” (Hebrews 10:13), the Body of Christ IS the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ here upon earth. We are given the privilege of exercising the Lordship of Jesus Christ in its power, authority and dominion.
Part 3 - Victory in Christ
INTRO: God, your Father, is building you into being a strong, fully equipped team player. This series isn’t for babes in Christ. Those who are still fighting the basic doctrines/truths given to the Church concerning our position in Christ shouldn’t be submitting themselves to these types of teachings at this time, due to their advanced nature (Hebrews 5:12-14). Basic doctrines/truths include…
- The RIGHTEOUSNESS of God: that God never holds anything against us (Romans 4:6-8, Romans 6:7, Romans 8:1, Romans 8:32-34, Ephesians 1:4, Hebrews 10:12-14, etc.).
- SANCTIFICATION: That we are also sanctified through Jesus Christ. We are cleansed and set apart as holy ones from anything that is not holy or cleansed, unto the service and worship of God. We are the saints of God (Romans 1:7, 1 Corinthians 1:2 and 1:30, Romans 6:13, etc.).
- REDEMPTION: We have been redeemed, purchased by the ransom payment of Jesus Christ’s blood and delivered from every aspect of sin including Adam’s act of disobedience. This includes sins and any consequences of those sins be it weaknesses, sicknesses, death, all fears, anxieties, inferiorities, all lack of any kind, etc, etc. This is not to say that any of these consequences of sins never popup in your life, but that you don’t hold onto them because you hold onto the truths of Jesus Christ’s redemptive work.
JESUS IS GIVEN ALL AUTHORITY AS THE CHRIST:
Matthew 28:18: Jesus said, “all authority is given unto me in heaven and upon earth.” “All” means all. Jesus made this statement after he died and was raised from the dead. The devil was defeated by the cross, remember? This leaves the devil without any authority.
- “authority” (see Luke 10:19 note on power from Part 2).
- “is given” (see note on Hebrews 2:14 regarding the “aorist tense” in Part 2).
JESUS DELEGATED HIS AUTHORITY TO HIS FOLLOWERS:
Luke 9:1-2 “1 And having called together the twelve, He gave them power and authority over all demons, and to heal diseases. 2 And He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” EMTV
Luke 10:17-20: “17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. 18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 19 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. 20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”
- In verse 18 Jesus said, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven". In the Eastern culture something higher is in authority over anything lower. The thing that is lower is subject to what is higher. Jesus was saying that he saw Satan fall from his authoritative position to be trodden underfoot by the followers of the Lord, the church.
- “Power” (1st use of this Greek word in what people refer to as "The New Testament") is exousia in the Greek. It means “delegated authority; liberty or authority to do anything; combining the two ideas of right and might.” (E. W. Bullinger). The disciples found that as they would wield the name of Jesus Christ even the devils were in submission to them. This word exousia is explained by Kenneth Hagin in Authority of the Believer in the fifth edition on page 8 as follows: "What is meant by authority? In rush-hour traffic when great numbers of cars are crowding the streets, policemen can be seen directing traffic. These policemen merely raise their hands and cars stop. These men don’t have the power to stop cars. What could one man do? He couldn’t hold back these mighty machines if they wanted to go. He doesn’t have the power. His most strenuous efforts couldn’t stop those fast-moving cars. However, he is invested with the authority of the government which he serves. The moving crowd, including strangers in the city, recognize this authority and obey it. Authority is delegated power!”
“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.” Luke 10:19 EMTV
GOD HAS DELIVERED US AND SEATED US WITH CHRIST IN HIS POWER, AUTHORITY AND DOMINION:
A) Colossians 1:13: “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his beloved Son:”
- “delivered” is in the aorist tense in the Greek, meaning that the action was done, and usually includes the idea of ongoing results. “Delivered” means “to draw or snatch to one’s self; hence, generally to draw or snatch from danger, to rescue, to deliver.” (E. W. Bullinger)
- “power” exousia means “delegated authority; liberty or authority to do anything; combining the two ideas of right and might.” (E. W. Bullinger). Also, the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed).”
- “darkness” “the absence of light” (E. W. Bullinger). God is light. The things of God are described as the things of the light. The absence of light would then refer to the absence of God, and the things of God.
- “translated” means to transpose, transfer, remove from one place to another. A change of situation or place.
- “kingdom” means “the royal dominion, including the power and form of government, with the territory and the kingdom.” (E. W. Bullinger).
Expanded Literal: God has drawn us to Himself and rescued us from the perils of the governing authorities of spiritual darkness (where we were absent from God and the things of God), and He has transferred us into the kingdom of His beloved Son, into which we have new citizenship, and we are under Christ’s authority and his form of government.
B) Ephesians 1:19-23: “19 What is the surpassing greatness of his (God’s) power to us who believe." God’s power is realized by us who believe. The word “power” means potential power or ability. God’s power sits dormant until it is believed.
- vs. 20-21: God seated Jesus Christ above everything and everyone “not only in this age but also in the one to come.” Will all things be brought into subjection to Christ in the end? (See 1 Corinthians 15:24-28.) Then, Christ’s being over all things in this age, today, is compared with the age to come (v. 21).
- vs. 22-23: We are the Body of Christ. God put all things in subjection “under his (Christ’s) feet”. Then all things are under our feet as the church. (See Genesis 2:26-28 and notes on Luke 10:17-19 in Part 1.)
- To live this doctrine to the church we must accept the context of Ephesians. We were dead, but we were made alive with Christ as stated in Ephesians 2:1 & :4-5. Our old self was crucified with Christ. We were raised from the dead in identification with this same Christ, in his position OVER all things. Has God opened our eyes of understanding to the richness of this reality?
- Then Ephesians 2:6 goes so far as to state that we are also “seated with him (Christ)”. This word “seated” means a governmental seat from which one governs with the authority of his position. The Greek word is kathedra. When the Pope speaks ex-cathedra his words carry the highest authority in the Roman Catholic Church. Ex-cathedra literally means out from the chair. When we speak ex-cathedra we are speaking with the authority of our seat: we speak with the authority of Jesus Christ who is over all.
C) Acts 10:38: “That God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed by the devil; for God was with him.”
- "anointed" This word is used only five times in the N.T.: Four times referring to Jesus as the Christ (the anointed one); One time referring to the saints in 2 Corinthians 1:21: “Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;” Jesus wasn’t the only one anointed. Our anointing is used here in relation to being established in Christ. We are positioned and even established “in Christ”. Jesus’ anointing refers to him being consecrated to the Messianic office, and furnished with the necessary powers for its administration.The gift of holy spirit is our anointing just as the holy spirit was Jesus’ anointing. Jesus was anointed to his office as the Christ and furnished with the necessary powers of its officiating. We have been anointed to carry out the functions of his office in his absence.
- "power" Dunamis in the Greek, which means potential power or ability. It sits dormant until activated.
- "doing good" This refers to the good works of God. God’s will waits in heaven until someone who is enabled is energized to carry it out on the earth.
- "healing" To cure, heal, to make whole; to cause to live, to recover from lack of wholeness.
- "oppressed" To exercise harsh control over one; to use one’s power against one; to overpower.
Jesus, as the Christ, was anointed with the holy spirit and with ability to accomplish the good works of God, making anyone whole that was overpowered of the devil because God was with him. All authority had been given to him in heaven and upon earth. We have been anointed to carry out the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ here upon earth. As agents for the Lord Jesus Christ, we have been delegated with the ability (power) and the authority to do the good works of God by delivering people who are overpowered by the devil. God is with us to carry out His will.
STAND AGAINST THE DECEITFUL STRATEGIES OF THE ADVERSARY:
- Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the full armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the stratagems of the devil.” EMTV
- Ephesians 6:12: Expanded Literal: Because our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but with demons in the highest ruling positions (1 Cor. 15:24 "rule", Eph. 1:21, 3:10, Col. 1:16, 2:10, 2:15), with demonic authorities (Lu. 10:19, Eph. 1:21, 2:2, 3:10, Col. 1:13, :16, 2:10, 2:15), with the rulers (Eph. 2:2), of this age of darkness (Eph. 5:8 & 11, Col. 1:13, 1 Th. 5:4-5) with spiritually evil purposes and desires in the heavenly realm strategizing against us.
- “For ours is not a conflict with mere flesh and blood, but with the despotisms (absolute power and authority of a prince), the empires, the forces that control and govern this dark world—the spiritual hosts of evil arrayed against us in the heavenly warfare.” WEYMOUTH
- 1 Peter 5:8-9: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” WEBSTER
- “be sober” is to be of sound mind; to think and act discreetly, to use sound judgment and moderation. “Be vigilant” is to keep awake, to watch.
- “your adversary the devil”: The devil is adverse to you. He is your opponent, your enemy, your accuser. His main goal is to distort the truth with a view to eliminating it. He will use pressures and pleasures to accomplish his goal. The “walking about” of the devil refers to him roaring to freeze his prey with fear so that he can pounce on and devour it (you).
- “whom resist steadfastly by the faith” See also Ephesians 6:12ff and James. 4:7.
- “steadfastly” It is to be stiff or firm; unmovable. This means that we just don’t bend. We stand in the grace and STAY PUT! You represent the Lord Jesus Christ. Be stubborn in your stand in the truth and for your Lord.
- The same afflictions/challenges/experiences that you deal with are being accomplished in your brethren.
“Be of a sober mind, be watchful. Your adversary who is a slanderer, namely, the devil, as a lion roaring in fierce hunger, is constantly walking about, always seeking someone to be devouring. Stand immovable against his onset, solid as a rock in your faith, knowing that the same kind of sufferings are being accomplished in your brotherhood which is in the world.” WUEST
WE ARE CHRIST’S REPRESENTATIVES:
We’ve been transferred into Christ’s government, under his authority as his servants, so that we could be “as he is” (1 John 4:17b). Our God-given position is “in Christ.” We represent him right now:
- Romans 8:29 “For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers.” HCSB
- Colossians 1:18a “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead” ASV
- Matthew 10:24-25a: “The disciple is not above [his] teacher, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he should be as his teacher, and the servant as his lord:” WEBSTER
We are "the Body of Christ." Wherever we are present it is as if Christ himself is present. We bring all the power, authority and dominion of God wherever walk in representation of Christ. Saints, we are the habitation of God, where the fullness of God dwells. Exercise the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ in all of its power, authority and dominion. This is who we are!