INCREASING IN SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY

INCREASING IN SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY

by Chip Brogden

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First, as a disciple of Jesus Christ you have authority over sin.
Let’s illustrate that by turning to John Chapter 8, beginning in
verse 31:
“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My
Word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and
the truth shall make you free.’ They answered Him, ‘We are Abraham’s
descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You
say, “You will be made free?”‘ Jesus answered them, ‘Most assuredly I
say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does
not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore,
if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”
So first of all, number one, as a disciple of Jesus Christ, you have
authority over sin. Thanks be to God Who has delivered us from sin
through Jesus Christ. We have authority over the penalty of sin, and
we have authority over the power of sin. That means, according to
Paul in Romans, that sin does not have to have dominion over us, as
opposed to before when we had no choice, we had no say so, but we
were bound by sin. And now, through the death of Jesus Christ, we’ve
been delivered from the power of sin, and we’ve been delivered from
the penalty of sin. So now we have authority over sin. So praise God
for that! That is the first thing you have authority over as a
disciple of Jesus Christ. Whoever the Son makes free, they are free
indeed!
And you might say, “Well, I don’t feel like it, it doesn’t look like
it, blah blah blah.” One thing you need to learn about authority is:
authority is yours whether you see it, whether you feel it, whether
you act upon it or not. You still have authority over sin. We’ll talk
about how to increase that authority, and that’s the difference. The
increase of authority over sin (and over anything else that we’ll
discuss) is increased as you act upon that authority. We’ll discuss
that as we go forward, but right now, just accept it on faith based
on what Jesus is saying. He or she, whoever the Son sets free, is
free indeed. So you have authority over sin. You’re no longer a slave
to sin, instead, Paul says you are a slave to righteousness. Now the
first step is recognizing that so you can start living according to
who you really are, not the way you’ve been living up to the point
where you gave your life to the Lord. So authority over sin – that’s
what you have already, number one.
Number two, you have, as a disciple of Jesus Christ, authority over
Satan. You do have authority over the devil. I’ve already read this,
but to reinforce the point once more – and there are many scriptures
that we could provide to support this, but one of the clearest
examples is Colossians Chapter 1 – so if you’ll turn to Colossians
Chapter 1, I’d like to begin with verse 12:
“Giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified us to be partakers of
the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us…”
(Now that is past tense. He has – not going to deliver us.)
“…He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us
into the Kingdom of the Son of His love.” The Greek word “power”
there again, being “exousia”, more properly translated “authority”.
Once you have received an inheritance of the saints in the light, and
you’ve been transferred out of darkness and into the Kingdom of His
dear Son, you’ve been delivered from the authority and the power of
darkness. Your eyes have been opened, and Satan no longer has
authority in your life. And so, you’ve got authority over the devil,
you have authority over Satan, and that is not something you have to
work towards in an effort to try and get that. Instead, that
authority is yours in the Name of Jesus. Now, listen! You don’t have
to claim it; it just is. Whether you claim it or not, whether you
believe it or not, you have authority over sin, you have authority
over Satan.
Now obviously some people have more than others – only because some
people recognize that authority and they live accordingly. If you
have authority over the devil, but you keep giving him permission to
operate in your life, then guess what? He’s going to beat you up. If
you have authority over sin, but you continue to willfully sin, and
you don’t deal with those areas, and you don’t allow yourself to be
crucified and dealt with in those areas, then you’re going to
continue to sin – even though you have authority over sin, you have
authority over Satan; nevertheless, that authority has to be
recognized, and then it has to be exercised.
Now regardless of what you believe, or what you think, or what you
feel, or what you see, this is what the Scripture says. So that’s the
second thing. You have authority over sin, you have authority over
Satan – as a believer, as a saint, as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Thirdly, you have authority over the world. And that is found in I
John Chapter 5, if you would turn there please. Beginning in verse 4,
it says this:
“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the
victory that has overcome the world: our faith. Who is he who
overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of
God?”
Praise the Lord. Now, it doesn’t say you have to be mature. It
doesn’t say you have to be spiritually adult. It just says you have
to be born of God and believe that Jesus is the Son of God; and once
you are born-again, God at that moment gives you authority over the
world.
Different people could translate that to mean different things. I
take it as: authority over the world system, authority over the ways
of the world. It means the world no longer has to have that pull and
that draw upon you, because your citizenship now is in heaven, and
you can be an ambassador for Christ and a king and priest in His
Kingdom and represent that to the world around you. That’s how you
overcome the world. John says don’t love the world, or the things of
the world, because the world and the things therein are passing away,
but he who does the will of God will abide forever. And this is he
who overcomes the world: those who are born again. Those who have
believed on the Name of Jesus. And this is the victory that has
overcome the world: our faith. So praise God.
Now, in the world you’ll have tribulation, so authority over the
world doesn’t mean that my circumstances will always be just the way
I want them; I’ll never have any problems, and I’ll never have any
challenges. What it means is: in the midst of all of that coming
against me in the world, I can still be victorious in Christ.
And so, you already have, as a disciple of Jesus Christ, authority
over sin, number one; authority over Satan, number two; and number
three: authority over the world.
Now, since all disciples have this authority, why doesn’t every
disciple overcome? You might be asking yourself that question. You
might say, “That sounds good, I believe what the Bible says, but I
certainly don’t see that happening in my life, and I don’t see that
as being the standard for Christian’s lives as a general way of life.
I don’t see this happening. So if all disciples have this authority,
why don’t more disciples overcome?”
Well, I think the clue you’re going to find out is right back where
we left off in John 8. You remember Jesus says, “If… if… if.” See,
that’s a condition. “If you continue, if you continue, if you
continue in My Word.” What happens if you don’t continue? Well, “if
you don’t continue in My Word, then you’re not really My disciples,
and therefore the Truth cannot make you free.”
Truth makes us free in a progressive sense. In other words, we have
authority over sin, but many times we’re still bound by sin. We have
authority over Satan, but a lot of times we allow Satan to intimidate
us, or to exercise power over us, as a result of our own ignorance,
our own laziness. See, God says “My people perish for a lack of
knowledge.” It is not because Satan is all-powerful. It’s not because
he’s even very powerful. It’s not because he has authority, in fact
the exact opposite is the case when you’re born again, you become a
child of God, you have authority over Satan!
So how is it that the devil is able to accomplish so much? It’s
because “My people perish for a lack of knowledge.” It’s a lack of
understanding, and actually a lack of wisdom, because we don’t
continue in the Word, we don’t give the Word time enough to transform
us and conform us. We don’t continue, we don’t abide in His Word. And
so Jesus says (in effect) “if you don’t abide in My Word then you’re
not my disciples indeed, you will not know the truth, and the truth
will not make you free.”
It’s all contingent on abiding in My Word. “Abide in Me, I will abide
in you, you will produce much fruit, and your fruit will remain,” it
says in John 15. But, “if you do not abide in Me, if you do not
continue in Me, if you do not continue and abide in My Word and in My
teachings, then you will not experience fruitfulness, and you will
not experience the liberty and the freedom that is there, that is
available to you – but you’ve got to continue in My Word.”
Don’t be condemned, but just let me speak the truth to you. If you’re
lacking in an area, it’s not because sin is so powerful. It’s not
because the devil is so powerful. It’s not because the world is so
powerful. It’s only because you have failed to appreciate and
recognize and walk in the authority that God has given you. That’s
it! You just haven’t grown up to the point that you can walk in the
assurance and the knowledge and the authority and the maturity that
God has already provided for you.
So don’t blame God, don’t blame sin, don’t blame Satan, don’t blame
the world – and don’t blame yourself. Just go ahead and say, “OK. I
recognize now that I have failed to grow up in these areas.” And ask
the Lord to help you to grow, and as you do, your awareness of the
truth will begin to transform you.

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One Comment

  1. DIgger
    Posted August 4, 2006 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Great words of wisdom. I have thought about what Chris has said and recognise that I have the authority over sin, Satan and the World. I see nobody else left a comment. Either they desire to continue to sin or they already know this. I always knew Christ had already given me this authority but I did not truly believe it or else I would sin less. Lord forgive me for not taking your words to heart.


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