Bible Study Lesson: Authority of the Believer “There are few subjects relating to the Christians life concerning
which there is so little exact knowledge as that of the authority of the believer, this is not because such authority is the property of only a few elect souls, on the contrary, and it is the possession of every true child of God. It is one of the “all things”, received in Christ its reception dates from the souls contract with Calvary.” John Macmillan I. Scripture memory verses/homework (Look up verses of authority) II. False Conceptions of Believers authority • Many believe that the believer’s authority comes once He/She has received the Holy Spirit. • Authority of the believer is special gifts conferred and the believer is given special powers to perform mighty acts such as the casting out of evil spirits. Discernment of spirits and miraculous powers are mentioned among the “Charismata” of the Holy Spirit, but differs from authority. Charismatic- charismata (pl.), charisma (sg.): [Greek, = 'things given']. Or put another way, 'stuff from grace'. A charisma is given, not earned or bought. It is given by the Spirit, not by a leader or a church body. (It can sometimes come from the Spirit through a church body or a leader; it can also come against the wishes of church bodies, leaders, or even the body of believers as a whole.) There are many kinds of gifts the Spirit gives -- ultimately, life itself is a free gift from God. But when Christians speak of 'charismata', they are talking of a specific kind of gift: a gift that is given specifically to build up the community of believers, those within it, and those it serves. These gifts are given not to save, but to empower the saved. III. Authority (what is it) • Authority- delegated power
Ex: police officer stopping traffic. Police officer is small and cars can easily over power him, but because of the power backing him drivers respect his authority. • • Believers Authority- delegated power backed by the divine power of God. Which enables the believer to face the enemy without hesitation Scripture discussion: Ephesians 6:12
“We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities [archas, the first or preeminent ones] against powers [exousias, the authorities]”.
III. Source of the Believers Authority • Calvary- The believers authority comes from the blood of Jesus, shed on Calvary. Jesus, the captain (Archegonn, or Prince Leader) of our salvation, who was raised from the dead. The act of resurrection was accomplished through “the exceeding greatness of his [God’s] power[dunameos], to unward who believe, according to the working[energeian] of the strength[kratous] of his might[ischuos]
Scripture discussion: Ephesians 1:21 “All principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world [aion, age], but also in that which is to come.” IV. Results of Calvary/Resurrection • • • The resurrection had been opposed by tremendous “powers of the air” Christ Jesus, upon being resurrected was exalted by God to his own right hand in the Heavenlies. The evil forces of the “age to come”, had been arrayed against the purpose of God
Scripture discussion (conferring authority)/look up together as a group Proverbs 29:2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, F1 after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Dunamis (power) 1. strength power, ability a. inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth b. power for performing miracles c. moral power and excellence of soul d. the power and influence which belong to riches and wealth e. power and resources arising from numbers f. power consisting in or resting upon armies, forces, hosts
Exousia (authority) 1. power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases a. leave or permission 2. physical and mental power a. the ability or strength with which one is endued, which he either possesses or exercises 3. the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege) 4. the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed) a. universally 1. authority over mankind b. specifically 1. the power of judicial decisions 2. of authority to manage domestic affairs c. metonymically 1. a thing subject to authority or rule 4c d. jurisdiction 1. one who possesses authority 4c e. a ruler, a human magistrate 4c f. the leading and more powerful among created beings superior to man, spiritual potentates g. a sign of the husband's authority over his wife 1. the veil with which propriety required a women to cover herself h. the sign of regal authority, a crown “The very act of God that raised the Lord Jesus from the dead raised also his body. Head and Body are naturally raised together; Christ, the Head; His body (the church) therefore we have authority because of Him and do not need to confer with anyone- only HIM (Christ). V. Romans 6 • • • The death of sin of the Believer with the crucified Christ Consequences annulling of power of sin over him through the impartation of the life of the resurrected Christ The believers are thus made a full partaker of Christ righteousness.
The Rebel holders of this Authority Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wrestles: 1. wrestling (a contest between two in which each endeavors to throw the other, and which is decided when the victor is able to hold his opponent down with his hand upon his neck) a. the term is transferred to the Christian's struggle with the power of evil Principalities: 1. 2. 3. 4. beginning, origin the person or thing that commences, the first person or thing in a series, the leader that by which anything begins to be, the origin, the active cause the extremity of a thing a. of the corners of a sail 5. the first place, principality, rule, magistracy a. of angels and demons Rulers 1. lord of the world, prince of this age a. the devil and his demons Spiritual 1. relating to the human spirit, or rational soul, as part of the man which is akin to God and serves as his instrument or organ a. that which possesses the nature of the rational soul 2. belonging to a spirit, or a being higher than man but inferior to God 3. belonging to the Divine Spirit a. of God the Holy Spirit b. one who is filled with and governed by the Spirit of God 4. pertaining to the wind or breath; windy, exposed to the wind, blowing Wickedness 1. depravity, iniquity, wickedness 2. malice 3. evil purposes and desires
●Secondly, he declares that our chiefest and mightiest enemies are invisible, so that we may not think that our chiefest conflict is with men. ●Against men, who are of a frail and brittle nature, against whom are set spiritual wiles, a thousand times more mighty than the flesh.
●He gives these names to the evil angels, by reason of the effects which they work: not that they are able to do the same in and of themselves, but because God gives them permission. The Divine Purpose of the Ages The enemy surrounds us on all sides. He is treacherous and viscous, and he wars against us everyday. This battle is not a physical one; it is spiritual. That makes it quite challenging. It is also frightening. The whole issue is who is going to get the glory in the universe. Satan told God, "You cannot have all the glory in creation, I want some for myself." God’s response was, "My glory I will not give to another" Isaiah 48:11. The battle for the throne of creation continues, yet the outcome can never be disputed. Day in and day out, the battle rages in our personal affairs, our families, our churches, our finances and our communities. Paul said, "Whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God" 1 Corinthians 10:31. In relation to the battle that we are in, we must fight to win the glory. We have to always be aware of Satan’s strategy. The bible makes it clear that he has a well-organized plan that he has perfected over the ages. Ephesians 6:11 tell us to put on the whole armour of God that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. The word "wiles" describes a well thought out clever strategy. We cannot afford to be ignorant of his devices see 2 Corinthians 2:11. On one occasion while speaking to a carnal church, the Apostle Paul said, "I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ" 2 Corinthians 11:3. Satan is out to deceive us; to trick us into buying into his lies and temptations. He does not want us to be devoted to Christ. He wants us to doubt the Word of God and stumble in our trust. That way, he can reduce us to the extent that we are insignificant in the kingdom of God. Satan has been doing his work for a long time. He is comfortable at it. He lies with the greatest of ease. He can speak false and deceptive doctrine, and make it sound true, exciting and believable. He will have us believing that we have heard from heaven when all we’ve heard is a pack of lies. He wants us to believe that he is right when all the while, that’s not possible. The devil cannot speak the truth, he is a liar. The devil has perfected what he does. That’s why he can deceive the masses. He can deceive us and makes us have a good time. But we cannot afford to be deceived, even if it’s "good time deception".
Satan is not afraid of us, but he cannot stand against God for a second. Paul told us to be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. It is so vital that we have everything we need to fight a good fight. Lack of victory in a spiritual battle reflects a lack of understanding of our divine resources. We have everything we need to win every victory. We all face problems in life, but it is our inability to move beyond the problem that causes us to lose out. We must be able to move past our setbacks and disappointments. We cannot allow anything to keep us in spiritual defeat. We must let nothing separate us from the love of God. Victory is found in our dependence upon God. Satan wants to keep us from depending on God. He wants us to depend upon ourselves. But God alone has the power to establish us and give us the victory. Let us decide today that we will trust in the Word of God. As we lean and depend on God, we will consistently experience victory in our lives. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:3 Message Bible: And now I'm afraid that exactly as the Snake seduced Eve with his smooth patter, you are being lured away from the simple purity of your love for Christ FEAR 1. to put to flight by terrifying (to scare away) a. to put to flight, to flee b. to fear, be afraid 1. to be struck with fear, to be seized with alarm 1b c. of those startled by strange sights or occurrences 1b d. of those struck with amazement 1. to fear, be afraid of one 2. to fear (i.e. hesitate) to do something (for fear of harm) e. to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience BEGUILE - to deceive SUBTITLY 1. Craftiness, cunning 2. a specious or false wisdom 3. in a good sense, prudence, skill, in undertaking and carrying on affairs
MINDS 1. a mental perception, thought 2. an evil purpose 3. that which thinks, the mind, thoughts or purposes CORRUPTED 1. to corrupt, to destroy a. in the opinion of the Jews, the temple was corrupted or "destroyed" when anyone defiled or in the slightest degree damaged anything in it, or if its guardians neglected their duties b. to lead away a Christian church from that state of knowledge and holiness in which it ought to abide c. to be destroyed, to perish d. in an ethical sense, to corrupt, deprave SIMPLICITY 1. singleness, simplicity, sincerity, mental honesty a. the virtue of one who is free from pretence and hypocrisy not self seeking, openness of heart manifesting itself by generosity The Qualifications for Authority The authority is the portion of EVERY believer. It is not a special gift imparted in answer to prayer, but the inherent right of the child of God. This elevation took place at the resurrection of the Lord. Ephesians 1:15-23 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. To us ward that believe
It is not enough that the divine fullness outpours supplies, there must be a receptive heart and attitude on our parts. A bottle may be submerged in the waters of a fountain. But if the cork is not removed, the holder may wait indefinitely and at last carry it away empty. In accord with this, multitudes of truly spiritual believers are as it were immersed in the omnipotence of God, it presses them on every side. There is a longing for its experience and a belief that it should be theirs and a readiness to received. Yet, because their minds have been “holden” as they have read the Word, the simplicity and the glory of this truth have not dawned upon them. To usward who believe. Thus to believe means to live in accordance with anything. We are accustomed to consider belief as simply mental with some particular truth. But its root leads us to action; that which the mind accepts, the will must obey. We must understand that belief and faith goes together which in its deeper sense means not only to have trust in a person but to manifest that trust by practical committal. Questions Do you believe that God hath quickened us together with Christ Jesus and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:5-6). Our prayer should be: Lord train me day by day that I may attain to the full stature of the perfect man in Christ so that in me thy purpose of the ages may be fulfilled. QUALIFICATIONS A. Humility (the having a humble opinion of one's self) – Though our belief introduces us to our place of throne power, only humility will ensure our retaining it. Humble - not proud or haughty : not arrogant or assertive 2 Corinthians 13:4 B. Boldness (free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance) – With humility there must also be boldness Full boldness is faith in full manifestation. When God has spoke, to hold back is not humility but unbelief. C. Fear (to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience) – WE BECOME MARKED FOR DEATH. While the heavenlies is the place of every spiritual blessing it is also the place of most intense conflict. The place o special privilege and power becomes a place o special danger. If the enemy cannot get to you he will get to those around you. He will use your job, your family, your spouse, etc. The enemy will try to wear you out in spirit or in body and their ministries rendered useless. We cannot
doubt that full provision has been made for their safety. We must continue to trust God in the midst of the battle. D. The protection of God – The only safe place is to continue to occupy the place in which God has given you. If the believer abides steadfastly by faith in this location, he cannot be touch. What is the enemy job in wearing us out? He wants to remove us from the place of protection. We must maintain our place against the wiles of the devil. 1. The girdle of truth has the clear understanding of God’s word which like a soldier’s belt hold the rest of the armor in place. 2. The breastplate of righteousness denoted that we must take the righteousness of Christ but rather the obedience to the Word which he has received. 3. Feet shod helps us to be ready to herald the gospel 4. Shield of faith protects the whole body which indicates his complete refuge under the blood of Jesus. 5. Helmet of salvation protects the head in the days of apostasy from the truth. 6. Sword of the Spirit which shows the Word of God used in an active sense. 7. Prayer which is the training of the faculties Godward by constant approach to God. PRAYING WITH AUTHORITY The enemy – He is not omnipresent. He is not all-powerful. He cannot read our minds. He is not sovereign. He doesn’t own the universe, or the earth for that matter. He is a created being a fallen angel, whose end is certain. Spiritual Warfare – Spiritual war is a reality. We are in a fight. The enemy is real. Demons are real. Attacks of the enemy are real; but we must be careful not to give the devil too much credit. He is not in charge – GOD IS! The enemy’s job is to steal, kill and destroy. THOSE WHO REFUSE TO FIGHT WIN NO BATTLES! Believe Your Authority (Position) – seated with Christ in heavenly realms. Proclamation – Ephesians 1:18-21 Christ seated far above principalities and powers Position – Eph 2:6-7; 3:11-12; 5:11; 6:10-18 - We are seated in heavenly places Permission – I give you authority to tread on enemy
Recognize strongholds – Denunciation Expose the Mountain Ephesians 5:11 Speak to the Mountain – Matthew 17:20 Agree about the Mountain – Matthew 18:81-20 What’s a stronghold – a stronghold is anywhere that the enemy has a foothold, resting place, or nesting place in your life, your body and family, your job or your possessions. These are arenas where Satan has been allow to gain access, control, or to present to lie, steal, kill and destroy. Not every bad thing is an attach of the enemy. Look for his fingerprints.