Authority of Christ

woman-578429_6402Corinthians 10:8: For even if I boast a little too much of our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be ashamed. (ESV)

Christ said that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given him, therefore any genuine authority expressed is merely derived from Christ.

This was what Paul realised and was dutiful about using the authority the way Christ would as a good steward. He said that it is required in stewards that they be found faithful (1Corinthians 4:1-2). Faithfulness is the effective representation of an order set beforehand.

When King Saul was given an order to wait for seven day days for Samuel to come and make a sacrifice, he allowed the pressures around to affect his faithfulness and he made the sacrifice he was not supposed to (1Samuel 13).

Unfaithfulness is doing what you are not asked and not doing what you are told to do. Saul exemplified the two kinds of unfaithfulness. He did what he was told not to do in making that sacrifice and topped it by not following the word of God when he was told to destroy all in the land of the Amalekites. He followed his own will, not the will of God. He yielded to friendly pressures from his men to preserve some animals (1Samuel 15). Earlier, he yielded to enemy pressure, fearful that the enemy might come in and attack him and that he needed to have the sacrifice made before that happens.

So we can have the pressure to be unfaithful from friends and foes, lovers and haters (or those who present themselves as lovers and friends). The pressure to be unfaithful came the way of Eve. The serpent did not come as a foe but as a friend, and that could be more dangerous, because of its quintessential subtlety (Genesis 3).

James and John wanted to use their authority wrongly, not faithfully, not the way Jesus did. Because they were not allowed to pass through a Samaritan village, they asked if they can call down fire from heaven to consume them, enacting revenge.

Jesus had to tell them that authority is meant to be used to benefit people, he said that he is not come with the mandate to destroy lives but to help others (Luke 9:51-56).

And at if we are following Jesus, we will increasingly grow in the authority to impact others also. Paul said his authority is to build and not to destroy people because it is expressed through the channel of the love of God.

We need to recognise the authority that we have in Christ. He said that he has given us the authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and over all the powers of the enemy (Luke 10:19). He, therefore, expects us to walk in the same authority that he walked in while on earth- to be filled with his Spirit and speak his word with his authority because he is in us.

To bear the authority of Christ we need to be close to him. It is as he flows in us that we bear his authority and express his presence. God wants to touch others and he does it by manifesting his authority in us. It is the standard raised when the enemy came like a flood. The authority of Christ in our lives is expressed through the Holy Spirit. Jesus was able to express the supernatural before he was baptised in the Holy Spirit, laying an example for us to follow. The authority is also affected by two other things, “holiness” and “prayer and fasting.”

Holiness

In a life of holiness, we live out the victory of Jesus over sin and by extension over Satan. In the Garden of Eden, when the standard of holiness was not upheld, Adam and Eve could not continue to dominate on the earth.

In sin we associated with darkness, not allowing our light to shine, then darkness will not flee but will reign. God meant for the nation of Israel to dominate, but when they play with sin, the opposite happens. Rather than the enemy fleeing before them they flee before the enemy. When they refused to abide under the shadow of the almighty, yielding to his control, they lose in contests with other nations. Holiness is about our inner life. If your inner life is wrong then your outward life will be wrong also. The devil came to Jesus in temptation in the wilderness, and when he passed with flying colours he stepped into the power dimension of the Holy Spirit and his fame was noised abroad.

He passed the holiness test and was then able to cast out devil. And God sets people free through him. Holiness has to do with our setting our hearts on things on heaven and not on things on the earth when our spiritual dimension is enhanced.

Prayer and fasting

When we pray and fast, we draw on the presence of God, and that is the secret to victory (Luke 5:34-35). When we pray we express devotion to God and Jesus said that when we pray the God who sees in the secret will reward us openly (Matthew 6:6).

There is no allowance for a prayer-less Christian because it is in the place of prayer that we build up ourselves on our most holy place (Jude 1:20). If we neglect to pray we are not going to be built up, and if we are not being built up, we will be going down.

We are not wrestling against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers. And Paul encourages us to put on the whole armour of God so that we might be effective against the machinations of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-18). Each item is supposed to be put on as we pray with all prayers in the spirit. That shows the importance of the spiritual dimensions.

The place of prayer is the place of inspiration, the place where we experience communion of the Holy Spirit (2Corinthians 13:14). Before Peter raised up Dorcas from the dead, he spent some time praying, to draw on the presence of Jesus, the one who is the resurrection and the life, who manifested the glory of God by raising the Lazarus who was death for four says (Acts 9:36-43). And before he raised Lazarus, he prayed (John 11).

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