Mar 28, 2018
WOFCF Bible Study Explosion
Kingdom Authority Series – Spiritual Power/Spiritual Authority (Phil 2:5-11; Eph 1:15-19, 20-23)
In explaining the nature of spiritual authority, it is useful to examine the difference between the words ‘authority’ and ‘power,’ as they are used in the following statement made by Christ - “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.” (Luke 10:19).
Point #1 The nature of spiritual authority
A modern illustration of these two different meanings is provided by the roles of a truck driver and a traffic officer. An eighteen-wheeler has inherent strength and so its driver has direct power at his disposal to perform his task. While a traffic officer has insufficient physical power to stop a truck, he does have delegated authority at his disposal. When the traffic officer puts up his hand, the truck driver stops his vehicle, because behind that gesture places the whole weight of the Police Department.
Examples of the word authority in the Bible.
Matthew 7:29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
Matthew 21:23 And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?
Mark 10:42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.
John 5:27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
Titus 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
Examples of the word power in the Bible.
Luke 9:43 And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God. But while they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did, he said unto his disciples,
John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, 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.
Point #2 We have been given the authority to use Jesus’ name!
We are entitled to exercise the authority contained in the name of Jesus over the power of Satan as those who must be obeyed. For instance we may, in the name of Jesus, cast out demons, or bind the powers of darkness away from our circumstances, or free those who are held in bondage to the enemy.
However, it is important to see that our authority to use the name of Jesus is closely linked with our spiritual state of union or relationship with Him. Just as the traffic officer in our example is stripped of his authority if he steps outside of his jurisdiction, so too we lose our authority when we are no longer in an abiding relationship with Christ our Lord.
Jesus said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5).
Before we can apply the authority of the name of Jesus, we must be united and one with Him—so bound and yoked to Him that we are of one mind and one heart with Him. He must initiate, and we must respond in obedience. He then confirms our legitimate use of the authority of His name by instructing the Holy Spirit to perform the works that we have commanded.
Satan understands the real basis of our authority. He knows that he does not have to submit to any lawless or disrespectful use of the name of Jesus.
In fact, those who are lawless in this matter may place themselves in extremely hazardous circumstances, as did “some … nomadic Jewish exorcists” reported in the book of Acts ( 19:13 ). They “took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, ‘We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.’”
But because they were not united and one with the Lord Jesus, their lack of real authority was obvious to the demons they were attempting to cast out. “And the evil spirit answered and said, ‘Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?’ Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.” (Acts 19:15-16).
Next week, we will continue with “Spiritual Power and Spiritual Authority” adult Bible Study lesson.