Christ’s authority

fine-art-373780_640 (1)Matthew 9:8: When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.

It amazed the people of Israel that Jesus walked in so much power, raising a man paralysed from his bed (Matthew 9:1-8). God made man to walk and what Jesus did in the life of that man was restore him back to how God made him at the beginning.

When Jesus was asked is it right to divorce a wife, Jesus went back to the beginning, saying: at the beginning it was not so, and the one who made them made them male and female; therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh and what God had joined together let no man pull asunder (Matthew 19:3-6).

But the devil has a vested interest in tearing what God has joined together, in upending what God had set in order, hence the diseases in the world, with sin as the gateway.

Jesus came to restore the reality that God instituted for man but was lost when he picked sin up. Jesus is the restorer. If it is broken them he is the fixer, if it is dark then he is the light, if it is sick, them he is the healer, if it is lost then he is restorer, if it dies them he is the life, if it is wrong then he will right it.

That is his mandate and he bears the commensurate authority. The authority you carry is limited by your mandate, but Jesus have unlimited authority since his mandate is unlimited (John 3:34). Paul talked about his sphere of authority (2Corinthians 10:13), which has to do with the people he was mandated to reach and has reached with the power of God, causing and still causing change in their lives.

Since the one with the ultimate authority in all spheres of spiritual influence is Jesus, whatever we bear in authority is delegated from him, not self-derived. Jesus bears the authority to connect humanity back to God for the ultimate restoration of anything that ever went wrong with man through sin.

That is why Jesus’ primary identity, based on the name he was given by God to his parents, was as the one who saves us from our sins (Matthew 1:21). As he blocked the power of sin, condemning sin in his body by his death on the cross (Romans 8:1-3), God’s life can flow into our lives unhindered, in the restoration of everything that was lost.

And when we use his name even now we operate in his divine authority, though men. He told the people: in my name you will cast out devils, heal the sick, and speak in new tongues (Mark 16:15-18).

Pau wrote that at the name of Jesus, every knee must bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord (Philippians 2:5-11). He has attained to Lordship in all realms, hence his name command submission. That is the way it is. He has the power.

We share in his authority and do the work he did on earth. He had said that his work while on earth is not just something for the history book, relegated to the museum, but as Jesus is the same today, yester and forever (Hebrews 13:8), he is alive in us to continue to the same works and even more than he is will be released through us (John 14:12).

We do not hear his name in vain. It gets attention in the realm of the Spirit, as the Holy Spirit release the light contained in it when we use it. His name is not just an assemblage of letters, but a manifestation of who he is as the one who has now been made a life-giving Spirit (1Corinthians 15:45).

He exists now in the realm of the spirit where there is no limit of space, time or resources. In association with him we operate in his power and wisdom as we break through the natural limits. We get to bring that other realm, the realm of heavenly realities to bear on our earthly existence.

God in man was the original formula for the way the earth would run. God gave him dominion but he subsequently lost it. The last Adam, Jesus, has been invested with an even higher level of authority (Matthew 28:18-20), and those who have come to God through him, who share his spirit (Hebrews 7:25, Romans 8:9), his unction (1John 2:20), who get to be lights (Matthew 5:14) as he is the light (John 9:5), will ooze with his authority.

An evil spirit in a man said to the sons of Sceva, “Jesus I know Paul I know, but who are you (Acts 19:13-17)?” it knew that Paul carried an authority based on his connection to Jesus, which he expressed by the use of the name to cast out devils. Paul was Christ’s and so expressed his authority.

But it is one thing to have the authority it is another to know that you have it and yet another to know how and when to use it.

Know you have it

When you are born again, believing in Jesus you are authorized to cast out devils which afflict people just as Jesus Christ modelled. We do not approach demons like victims, in fear, but as those who have been delivered and has been authorized to set others free.

Know how to use it

The authority is not in us, it is in Jesus. We are nothing apart from him. We are empty until he fills us. And though we bear the light we need to recognise that we are only relevant because of Jesus. Even the God the father and angels yield to the name of Jesus. He said if we ask his father anything in his name, he will do it (John 16:23). He has authority in all realms, both the good and the bad, earth and heaven, heaven and hell.

Know when to use it

When Paul was in Macedonia, a young girl possessed by a spirit of divination was all over him and his team (Acts 16:16-37) for some days. And when Paul was stirred in his spirit he cast it out. I am sure he did not cast it out earlier not because he did not know there was a wrong spirit in her, but because he was not trying to unnecessarily do something God is not asking him to do.

But he could not help it when he was moved by the Holy Spirit to do it. For Paul the casting out of demons was not a show of his power but a response to the stirring of the Holy Spirit. What he did generated a lot of trouble for him, so since he did it because he was stirred by the Holy Spirit, he did not have any regrets. Rather when they were put in jail and Paul and Silas prayed and sang songs, an earthquake occurred, leading even more fruitful ministry. God was with him throughout the process, because it was him who initiated his casting out that demon of divination.

“Casting out of devil” should not be what we pursue to show we are spiritual giants, it is what comes with the designation of being Christians, living by the reality that greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world (1John 4:4, 5:4). We are not supposed to fear the devil. We have been delivered from him, as part of the reality of our spiritual rebirth. The devil can harass others, but not us. We are above that and that is the way it is.

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