Exercising Our Authority in Christ Jesus As Believers

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In this piece, I want to share something with us in the next few minutes and it has been titled Exercising Our Authority in Christ Jesus Us Believers. Let’s start our consideration from the book of Genesis 1:26-28 and we will also consider the book of Colossians 1:9-18. The Bible says:

 

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“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

I believe this was a familiar Scripture that we know very well. And I want us to open to Colossians chapter 1:9-18. We are going to extract the points we want to make from them after reading this Colossians, there is a reason I want us to read the two Scriptures.

For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

May the Lord bless the reading of His word in our hearts in Jesus’ name. Now we understand from that Genesis we read that in the beginning, God gave to man the authority over this earth. God gave to man, Adam, that He created in His own image, the authority over the earth, He gave it to him, legitimately. God said to him, dominate, be fruitful and dominate over this earth. This earth that I’ve made, that I’ve created; rule over it. So, we saw that from the beginning, man had a legitimate authority in God, he didn’t steal it, he didn’t lobby it, God gave him that authority. And one of the things we’ll also discover is that along the line, the Bible made us to understand that man lost this authority to Satan. In one of those days, Satan was having a conversation with Eve, Satan was a cunning creature, he was able to isolate Eve, and then he was able to convince Eve to go against the commandment of God.

When God gave the dominion, the authority of the earth to man, God gave man a simple commandment, “there is a tree of knowledge of good and evil in the midst of the garden, the fruits that will come from that tree, you should not eat from it.” So that was the only instruction. And the Bible made us to understand that Eve was deceived by Satan, to partake of that fruit. At the time Eve was deceived, Adam was not there. And that’s what the Bible says, through the apostle Paul that it was Eve that was deceived, and not the man. So, Eve was deceived. And then in the long run, she was able to convince her husband to also partake of the fruit of that tree. And the Bible says the moment they did that, they lost the authority that God gave them, they legitimately lost it to the devil. And from that moment henceforth, the authority that Adam and Eve had over the earth was taken away from them cunningly, because they disobeyed the commandment of God. And the Bible made us to understand that from that time henceforth, the authority and the dominion of the earth shifted to Satan, because the Bible recognized it.

If you read Second Corinthians chapter 4:4, the Bible called Satan the God of his age. So, at what point did Satan become the god of this age? At that point when he was able to deceive Adam and Eve and then strip them naked of the authority that God gave them. You see, another instance that you will know that the authority of this earth was given to Satan was when he was tempting Jesus. He said to Jesus, “the kingdoms of this world have been given to me.” He says, “If you’re going to bow down to me, I am going to give them to you.” So, what gives Satan that confidence to be able to tell Jesus Christ that He has authority over the kingdoms of this earth? Because he got it from the man, the original man that God gave the authority from the beginning. He deceptively got it from them. And so, from that henceforth, the devil became the god of this age.

But thanks be to God. The Bible made us to understand that Christ came to the earth, Christ was able to secure this authority back from the devil, and then gave it to us. If you read Colossians chapter 2:13-15, let me quickly show us that Scripture, it is just a background. Christ came and He was able to take back this authority that Satan stole from Adam and Eve, He was able to take it back from him, legitimately. The Bible says: “And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers (now the devil is the head of all these principalities and powers), He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”

So, the Bible may also understand in this place, that what Adam and Eve lost to Satan in the beginning, Christ came, and then He was able to secure it back for us. And that is why we are looking at how you and I as believers can exercise this authority that was once lost, how can we exercise it in Christ Jesus and then it will produce the legitimate results for us. Now I want to share something with us. In the course of the week, I was meditating on something. I had a conversation with my brother, a lengthy conversation on phone. And then he shared a story with me, a story of another member of the family. Now the story was like this, when that member of the family was a bit younger, he happened to live with a particular woman, this was sometimes in the 80s, and probably early 90s. So, there was a situation in the family so they could not stay with their parents, so, they were distributed to different places, guardians and all that. So, this brother happens to live with a particular woman in the 80s, who happened to be a witch, a real witch. And, in the course of staying with this woman, because later on we got to hear about the story, because at the point when the woman was about to die, she confessed. We know the tradition of witches, when they’re about to die, definitely they must confess of their many evils.

So, she confessed. And along the line of her confession, she said she had tampered with the destiny of some of these children that stayed with her, her own children’s and as many destinies of children that stayed with her. So, this particular brother of ours fell in that category. Now, this was a brilliant guy, you know, brilliant brother and all of that. But we discovered that certain things that were naturally supposed to be the expectation was not the expectation simply because a wicked person did something in the coven of darkness and resulted into something. Now, after the whole story, I began thinking about something.

Now, let’s assume that story took place. And eventually, this person gave his life to Christ, and now h is in Christ. So, what happens to that destiny, that original destiny before it was tampered with before coming into Christ? And that is the genesis of what I’m sharing with us in this piece because it appears that many people are in Christ but they are still not experiencing the juices that is in Christ. How come you still struggle in Christ as if you were in the world? Now, when you were in the world, there were struggles. You struggled with darkness, you struggled with all manner of things, things were not rosy and all of that. But now that you are in Christ, what happens to that experience? Why is it that it did not change? Why is it that your experience in Christ is not different from your experience outside of Christ?

Because there was supposed to be a legitimate, a clear-cut difference between when you were in the world without Christ and when you have come into Christ, in Christ. So why is it that believers, not only that brother, many people who could be in that category; how come our experiences don’t change when in Christ? Something chased us away from the world. We embrace Christ, we embrace light; how come we still see darkness, we still experience the same thing, even though we are in Christ? And I came to this point of what I’m sharing with us in this article. It is not because we are not in Christ. It is simply because we have refused to exercise our authority in Christ.

Now, let me show us something. This example will help us, when you are driving and you see a policeman on the road, and he goes like “STOP!” Do you know that something immediately comes into your consciousness? Now what is that thing that you should stop. Now you are not stopping because you don’t want to hit a man, you are stopping because you know that there is an authority that is backing the man that asked you to stop. If it was not a policeman, if it were to be an ordinary person that stays on the road and says, “stop” your natural instinct, will tell you to look for another space and pass because it could be a robber that wants to still your car. But when you see a policeman, something tells you to stop, something comes into your awareness that “I must stop for this man.”

Now the problem with many believers is that we are not aware of our authority in Christ. That is the number one problem. Now, as many of us that are aware that yes, there is an authority in Christ Jesus, we are not exercising it, they are two different things. The first one talks about knowledge; “I know that there is an authority for me.” The second one talks about knowledge, I am aware, but I don’t know how to make use of it. Now I want to show something in Colossians that we read, Colossians chapter 1:13. Let’s look at something that Paul said by revelation. It will help us to understand what I just said. It says: He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love…”

Now let’s begin from that particular verse. Now one of the ways through which you will appreciate, you know, the things that Christ has done for us, is by looking at the tenses in which the Scripture was written. Now, many times when you see that the Scripture was written in past tense, it was not a mistake from the part of those who wrote it, it was a deliberate thing, there is something that they want you to understand there is an awareness. Paul said, “He has delivered” and then “He has conveyed.” There are two phrases in that sentence in that verse that you should take note of. The first one is delivered from the power of darkness. So, if Christ has delivered you from darkness, how come you are still in Christ and you still experience darkness? So, there is a gap that we will find out. Now the second one is conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love. Two powerful words, the first one DELIVERED, the second one CONVEYED. He did not convey us before delivering us. Do we understand? He first of all delivered, and then He carried us and placed us somewhere else. It is like I pick you from point A, I delivered you here and placed you in Point B. Did we get that? He took us from an experience that was not palatable, that was not glorious, that was not befitting and logically speaking, Christ can’t pick us from there, delivered us from there and still keep us there.

So, he took us from this darkness, into light, into a new life. In other words, this life that you had before was not glorious. I am giving you a new life. I am giving you a new beginning. It’s devoid of where you are coming from. Now, this is how you will know; second Corinthians chapter 5:17, is a popular Scripture. The same Paul said: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ…” This is where He now conveyed us to. He brought us from somewhere into Himself. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away…” That experience of darkness had passed away. Don’t forget it says “you are new creation. So, logically speaking, it means you had never existed before. When something is new, what does it connote? When you go to the market and buy a brand-new car; they will not call it for you fairly used, or Direct Belgium, you personally will know that this car had never been driven before, the odometer will be zero… So, you will know that this car is actually new, they call it tear rubber. It says “you are a new creation.” So, your experiences had never been before. That darkness ad whatever you had experienced before cannot take place in this new place.

It says: “Old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new.” Now this is how you will logically understand it. Now it means that if you have an experience that was peculiar with you before you met Christ, it says in Christ Jesus, that experience disappears. There is no record of it. Now let me give us another true-life story. Now where I was working before, that was about 12 years ago, I was working in an organization. Now we have this accountant don’t let me mention his name. This man said when he was growing up, there was an experience in his family. You know, sometimes we watch some of these things in stories in Africa Magic stories and all of that, some of them are actually true-life stories. He said there is this experience in his family that the moment people cross the age of 40, they should be ready to meet their maker. And so, when he was in his 20s, he decided to run to Christ. His thoughts then were like “he wants to see what thing that will come and kill him in Christ at 40.”

So, he came to Christ with that knowledge and he was devotedly serving Christ. As at this moment that you are reading this article, he is a pastor. So, he started praying against that occurrence. I don’t know his current age, but I know he’s past the age of 40, maybe getting to his 50s now and he is still there. Now the reason why I shared this story with you is because when you come into Christ, you take your reference point from Christ, not from your biological family. Every experience that you have in your family, whether limiting or not, disappears in Christ. Now, why do I have that understanding? Because my reference point now is in Christ and no longer in my biological lineage but in Christ Jesus. So, something about you must be different from where you were coming from before you met Christ.

If this is going to be the case, it is going to be dependent upon how you exercise your authority in Christ Jesus, because you can’t be in Christ and the same thing you experienced outside of Christ is still the same experience you are experiencing in Christ, something fundamentally is wrong somewhere.

 

HOW DO WE EXERCISE OUR AUTHORITY IN CHRIST JESUS?

The very first point I want to show us is this: WE MUST RECOGNIZE THAT WE HAVE THIS AUTHORITY IN CHRIST JESUS. Now, whatever you don’t recognize, you cannot make use of. Any potent power in you that you don’t recognize is there cannot be potent for you. Now, an example of Elijah came to my mind. When Elijah was going, he said, “my master, give me double portion of your power.” And the Bible says that double portion came upon Elisha when Elijah departed. Now, immediately, mot long from that time, Elisha was at the bank of river Jordan. And you notice that Elisha at the bank of river Jordan did not cry and say, how do I cross over this Jordan? The first thing Elisha did was the fact that he recognized that he now carries a double portion of Elijah’s power. And what did he say? He says, “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” And the moment he made that statement, the Bible says he took the mantle and struck the river and the river parted ways, just like in the order of his master, Elijah.

If Elisha said, “Well, how do I swim across this river Jordan”, not knowing that he carries a power, he will remain at the bank of that river Jordan; maybe that is where he would have started his ministry. Whatever you don’t recognize you can’t use, whatever you don’t honor, you cannot use. So, the first thing is that you and I must recognize that Christ actually gave us an authority. As a believer, you have an authority, I have an authority. Whether it is potent or not, is left to our own ignorance, but we have it. That is the first point.

Now the second point I want to show us is this. YOU MUST BE FILLED WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WILL IN ALL WISDOM AND SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING. This particular point was taken from that Colossians chapter one. How do you exercise your authority in Christ Jesus? You must be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. Let me give us this example. When a policeman stands in front of you, and he has asked you to stop. Now, the policeman understands that he has a knowledge. Now, what is that knowledge? He has a knowledge that there is an authority that is backing him to enforce compliance and obedience from you. A policeman may not know the whole constitution. But he understands the part of the Constitution that gave him the uniform that he wore, and he understands how to apply it. And that’s why sometimes when a policeman arrests you, and you are arguing with him, he will tell you “Don’t worry, let’s go to the station.” When you get to their station you will find out that you have broken the law.

If you want to exercise authority, you must know that there is a knowledge backing that authority. A policeman will tell you to stop because he knows that there is a constitution that guarantees him to stop you. Whether you have committed an offense or not is secondary, but that primary obedience, you must stop. So, if you are going to exercise an authority in Christ Jesus, you must have knowledge. What is it that is giving me this backing? If I say “in the name of Jesus, demons, flee”, which authority, which knowledge is backing me up? I may not know every other thing but that one, I must be able to defend it with my chest. Now look at this Scripture; Luke 10:18-19: And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

Exercising your authority in Christ Jesus begins from the place of being filled with the knowledge of His will. You must understand the will of God. You must understand the desire the wisdom of God that gives you that knowledge. So how do I know that I have an authority in Christ Jesus? Jesus said, according to that Luke 10:19 that He has given it to me. So, if you say “in the name of Jesus, I trample on serpents and scorpions”, you have a knowledge. Christ will not say I’ve given you something He has not given you. That would amount to a lie. He said to them categorically: “Behold I give you the authority.”

So how do you exercise your authority in Christ Jesus? It begins from the place of knowledge. How much of this authority do you know? Ho much of the Scriptures do you know that is backing you up in using this authority? The seven sons of Sceva, they said, “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that Paul preaches, we command you to come out” and there was nothing backing them up, they do not have knowledge. But Paul can say in the name of Jesus and a demon will come out because he knows that he has it. Do we understand? So, if you’re going to exercise your authority in Christ Jesus, you must have knowledge. That passage says, be filled with the knowledge of his will. Your actions stem from your understanding of something. Your action stems from a knowledge. So, it is very, very important.

Point number three. How do you exercise your authority in Christ Jesus: YOU MUST WALK WORTHY OF THE LORD, FULLY PLEASING HIM. Still from that Colossians chapter one that we read, you must walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him. If you are going to exercise the authority of Christ Jesus, then you must fully please Him. Now, I’m sorry, I’m using example of Nigerian Police Force. If you see a Nigerian police officer that an ordinary citizen is disobeying or is not honoring, you know that something fundamentally is wrong, it is either they have taken bribe or they have dragged their honor in the mud. As a matter of fact, the reason why many Nigerians don’t respect the police force is because of what they’ve done with their authority.

Many have misused their authority; many do not even know the source of the authority because the authority of a police officer does not emanate from the police officer. It emanates from the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. So, when you see a typical Nigerian dishonoring, or disrespecting a police officer, something is wrong. You see, in the United States of America, if you watch movies a lot, when a police officer wants to arrest you, they start by first trailing your car. Maybe they’ve noticed that you committed an infraction, they will start following you behind and they will be blinking their honk that you should stop. A reputable and respectable American citizen we pull over the road, and then the police officer will park in front of his car, and then they will have their conversations.

Now the reason why it is like that is because the citizens understood that this police officer is standing on an authority and the police officer himself or herself have not dragged that authority in the mud. If I am representing you somewhere, I am standing on your authority. If the president says “go to somewhere, I am standing on his authority.” If along the line, as I am going towards the place where he sent me, and I did something wrong against him or there was a disagreement between us, he can call where he sent me to say “that man I sent to you guys is on his own. He is no longer acting on my authority.” So, the moment I arrive at where he sent me not knowing, they will just say “Sir, please, you can no longer act on behalf of your principal, because he has just placed a call to us that there is an infraction between you two. So, you need to go back and clear with him before we can allow you do whatever you want to do.”

This is the point. If you are not fully pleasing to Christ, you cannot exercise His authority. That’s the point. The reason why you will stand on Christ authority and be able to exercise it and Christ will respond is because you are still standing, you are fully pleasing Him. Now, how many of us have seen Nigerian Police officers lately been stripped publicly of their uniform. What did they do? It is because they have gone against the authority that backs them. So now what your authority, you know does, is that they begin to pull the uniform from them, the symbol of authority, from them. When you are not fully pleasing to Christ, He will strip you of His authority. And that is why when demons come to you in the night and they are pressing you down, you shout the name of Jesus and it is as if nothing is happening, you must find out “am I still fully pleasing to Him?” Do we understand?

Now, if you read Philippians 2:12-13, it says, Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” When you exercise your authority in Christ Jesus, you give Christ pleasure, you give God pleasure. When you are not fully pleasing to Him again, He strips you of that authority. And that’s why we see many Christians whose experiences still haven’t change, even though they’re in Christ. Are you fully pleasing to Him? Can Christ look down from heaven and say: truly, I send you. God said these people, they’ve moved I have not asked them to go. O, on whose authority are they going? On their own. So, if you’re going to exercise that authority, you must be fully pleasing to Christ.

Point number four, it says: BEING FRUITFUL IN EVERY GOOD WALK AND INCREASING IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD. The authority that Christ gave us is so that we can be fruitful with it, it is so that we can produce good works with that authority. It is not for our own selfish gain, is not for our own selfish ambition. When Christ entrusts you with an authority, it is so that you can use it on His behalf for a good cause. Luke 9, the Bible says concerning James and John that wanted to call fire down from heaven because some villagers did not respect Christ. And they said “Christ, should we call down fire from heaven as Elijah also did in time past to consume them?” And Jesus said that “no, you wouldn’t do such a thing. You do not know the manner of Spirit that you are of.”

In other words, Jesus was trying to tell them, “Don’t use your authority that you have for a bad work, use it for a good work.” Jesus said to them, “the son of man has not come to kill, but to save the lost.” The authority that Christ has given to you, use it for a good cause. Luke 9:51-56 shows us the account. It says:

Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” 55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.

The fifth one is: STRENGTHENED WITH ALL MIGHT ACCORDING TO HIS GLORIOUS POWER FOR ALL PATIENCE AND LONG SUFFERING WITH JOY. The point there is if you are going to exercise the authority of Christ, you must exercise it joyfully. You must exercise that authority joyfully. Don’t complain, don’t murmur. Christ has given you authority, exercise it with full joy. The Bible says in Luke chapter 10:17, the Bible says: “Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” They were rejoicing. Why were they rejoicing? That Christ gave them authority, they went to us it for a good cause and it worked for them the way Jesus had told them it would work. Jesus told them to calm down that they have not seen anything. But the Bible says that they came back rejoicing, that oh, this authority is working. So, when you want to exercise the authority of Christ, exercises it in joy.

And the last one, GIVING THANKS TO THE FATHER, WHO HAS QUALIFIED US TO BE PARTAKERS OF INHERITANCE OF THE SAINTS IN THE LIGHT. If you want to exercise your authority in Christ Jesus, always give thanks. The inheritance we have in Christ Jesus is not limited to bread and butter, to houses and cars or monies in our bank account. No, that authority that Christ gave us is also an inheritance. Give thanks to God for that authority.

I pray that the Lord is going to help us in the mighty name of Jesus. So, in conclusion, our authority in Christ Jesus is not a fairy tale, it is not a story that we just read in the Bible, our authority in Christ Jesus is real, is real, we have it. The Bible says “God has given us a name that is above every other name, that at the mention of the name of Jesus” that is the authority. So, it is not a fairy tale story. It is real. And if you have been experiencing it, continue to rejoice and give God praise that it is working for you. And if you are yet to experience it, you can come into that experience.

 

 

 

 

[Centre for New Dimension Leadership]

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Obayomi Abiola Benjamin
CEO/Chief Editor at FridayPosts.com
I am Abiola OBAYOMI Benjamin, a Writer by Grace, an Author: (Developing Yourself Spiritually), a Blogger (Fridayposts.Com), Director, School of Marriage at Centre for New Dimension Leadership, Abuja and a passionate Nigerian. I believe Nigeria will be great again, but the change we need in Nigeria begins with all of us doing things differently. Collectively, we can make Nigeria work.

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Obayomi Abiola Benjamin

I am Abiola OBAYOMI Benjamin, a Writer by Grace, an Author: (Developing Yourself Spiritually), a Blogger (Fridayposts.Com), Director, School of Marriage at Centre for New Dimension Leadership, Abuja and a passionate Nigerian. I believe Nigeria will be great again, but the change we need in Nigeria begins with all of us doing things differently. Collectively, we can make Nigeria work.

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Exercising Our Authority in Christ Jesus As Believers

by Obayomi Abiola Benjamin time to read: 22 min
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