GOD PROMISES US POWER AND AUTHORITY
When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. Luke 9:1-2
When we travel to India each year to train pasters we arrive at large, modern airport. It looks like it could be located in any major US city except for one things. Soldiers with automatic weapons are walking around everywhere. The orders they gave were quickly obeyed. Most were very young men. If they hadn’t been in uniform with their rifles no one would have paid them any attention. The uniform and weapon showed that they were representing the authority and power of the Indian government and therefore were to be obeyed. Like those young men, we don’t have any authority or power in ourselves, but when we represent Jesus and have His authority and power, then the forces of evil must obey.
The promises here are that Jesus gives power and authority to His followers to have victory over Satan and demons. Let’s look at each of these separately.
Authority, ‘exousia’ in the Greek, is used 108 times in the New Testament and refers to the right to use power. He gave the disciples the authority to enforce His spiritual commands and laws. Policemen have authority, a badge, which allows them to enforce the laws of the government. It’s not their own authority but that which comes from their government. It is delegated authority, like a husband has to a wife and a parent to a child. Everything Jesus did was because God had given Him authority to do it (John 5:19). He had laid aside His own divine authority (Philippians 2:6-8) to live life as any other human being. All He did was by God’s own authority given to Him, as it is to us as well.
Jesus has given us that same authority to use today (John 14:12; Matthew 28:18-20). Satan deceives us into thinking we are powerless victims but that is a lie. As God’s children we have access to the same resources Jesus did when He lived on earth. God has given us His full blessing because we are His children. We are born into His family; He is our Father (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6) and we are His children(John 1:12; I John 3:-2). He put His Holy Spirit inside us (John 14:17). He gives us an equal inheritance with His Son, Jesus (Romans 8:14-17).
Not only did Jesus give His disciples authority, He also gave them power. A policeman needs authority, a badge, but sometimes he needs power to enforce that authority – a club or gun. ‘Power’ is used 118 times in the New Testament and refers to power, might, strength and force. Our word ‘dynamite’ comes from it. God has also given us His power as well as His authority (Acts 1:8; Luke 10:17).
We also have this power available to us (Acts 1:8; John 14:12). It is His power that transforms us into a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) as He makes us a new man (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10). His power delivers us from temptations and trials when we rely on Him (1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 2:14). He has power to put His divine nature in us (2 Peter 1:4), give us abundant life now & eternal life in heaven (John 3:16; 10:10).
Jesus gave His followers power and authority to drive out ALL demons (Luke 9:1) – none are greater than His power. He did not enable His followers to cure all diseases, though. He said we could drive out ALL demons but didn’t say we could cure ALL diseases. Some He will remove in response to our prayers, but only with demonizing are we assured that ALL must obey and yield. When Jesus returns all disease will be gone, but we don’t have authority to remove all of it now.
Sceva was a Jewish exorcist who tried using Jesus’ name as a ritual chant to remove a demon from a man. He was doing it in his own strength for he wasn’t a believer in Jesus. The demon knew this and knew he didn’t have to obey Sceva so he attacked and severely injured Sceva and his 7 sons (Acts 19:14-20). The power and authority is not in us, nor in using Jesus’ name as a lucky charm. It is only found in Jesus who works through us when we are closely connected to Him.
Always remember the power and authority you have in Jesus. You can pray and preach in His name and power. Use it to encourage people when they need it, give counsel with the wisdom of God’s Spirit, rebuke demons in Jesus’ name, ask God to heal if it is His will, claim protection for your family and yourself, teach His Word with authority, witness to others with power, forgive those who hurt you and show unconditional love to all. We don’t have to live in defeat nor do we ever have to fear Satan or his forces. We have everything we need for victory in Jesus, but we must use the power and authority He gives us because on our own we can do nothing (John 15:5).
This short verse is important to memorize and use. When do you need Jesus’ authority in spiritual warfare in your own life? When do you need His power to have victory in your spiritual battles? When those times come, ask Him for them and trust Him to work through you.
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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