Overcoming Authority


The following is a very brief outline of some thoughts I had recently on authority.

And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20 NRSV)

If Jesus has all authority and He is with us always, then that means that His authority can be with us all the time. But what does authority really mean and how are we supposed to relate to it?

There is also counterfeit authority, and it will assert itself as being legitimate, even to the point of using deception and force to get people to believe it must be recognized. We are much more accustomed to the counterfeit kind of authority than we are in living under true, godly authorities.

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will destroy with the breath of his mouth, annihilating him by the manifestation of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is apparent in the working of Satan, who uses all power, signs, lying wonders, and every kind of wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. (2 Thessalonians 2:8-10 NRSV)

According to this verse, authority very likely has something to do with a love of the truth.

Let's look at an example of how Jesus instructed people to use His kind of authority.

And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing. (Luke 9:1-2)

How are we to stay in the authority of Christ as we find ourselves out of sync with counterfeit authorities?

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. (Revelation 12:10-11)

Here I find that the authority of Christ is linked to overcoming but clearly separated from the activity of accusing. That is also seen in the following verse.

These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

Living in true authority means we will live in peace, at least internally. Counterfeit authorities employ means other than peaceful tactics to enforce their control over others. But the authority of Jesus is something that always remains in peace and is not something we have to impose on others. It is authority through recognition and submission, not imposed by force and intimidation.

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. (1 John 5:4 NKJV)

This overcoming authority is also very closely tied to faith, which is an abiding trust in the character and the power of God to enable us to overcome distrust of God – the very essence of sin.

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. (John 15:7-9 NRSV)

This is the goal of true authority. Living under the authority of Christ means relying on Him to receive what we need to be His representatives before a doubting world. The authority of Christ is for the main purpose of demonstrating to the world the truth about how life should be lived totally in love.


Comments

  1. Please pray for my granddaughters Maddy, 4 and Anna, 2. Their mother, who is off her meds, ran off with them on Saturday. First she had my son falsely arrested, then she depleted his bank account.

    We don't know where they are or how they're doing. The family is scared for their well-being. Please pray for their well-being and safe return.

    ReplyDelete

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