“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-6
In far too many instances Christians feel like God is on one side, the devil is on the other and the believer is in the middle like a rope in a tug of war uncertain as to who is going to win! The Bible paints a far different picture, describing rather a vertical chain of command with Jesus at the top, Christians under Him and Satan and his demons at the bottom! So this is why the seventy exclaimed excitedly, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name!” Luke 10:17.
We need to remember what Jesus Christ said to His disciples, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth!” Matthew 28:18 Also keep in mind what the Lord said to the seventy before sending them out to minister, “Behold, I have given you authority…over all the power of the enemy…” with the added admonition, “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your your names are recorded in heaven.” Luke 10:19,20 Earlier He made a similar commitment to the twelve disciples in Luke 9:1. The emphasis here is clear that the authority and power rested in the Lord and were not the possession of His followers due to any characteristic of their own except their relationship to Christ.
What about believers today? Does this have any meaning for us? Does the Bible have anything to say whether we are included or not? One of the great catalogs of Truth concerning those who are “in Christ” is found in the first thirteen verses of the book of Ephesians. In that letter to the believers in the church at Ephesus the writer Paul, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, uses the term “in Christ” ten times in those thirteen verses! The fact is that believers today are more “in Christ” than were the disciples, because the Holy Spirit had not yet been given, and He is the One who baptizes us “in Christ”! 1st Corinthians 12:12,13 Certainly the disciples were with Christ, and Christ was with them, but we are “in Christ”! Therefore, according to Ephesians 2:6, we have been raised together with Him, and caused to be seated with Him in heavenly places “in Christ Jesus”. We are told in Ephesians 1:20,21 that He (Jesus Christ) was raised from the dead and seated at the right hand of the Father in the heavenly places, “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come”. So if you are “in Christ” then you have been seated with Him in the heavenlies, and you have been given authority by Jesus Christ Himself. This and this alone is the basis for the believer’s authority!
I am told that in the Korean culture that people give their gifts to others using both hands. This symbolizes that they are holding nothing back, but giving all. Jesus Christ has held nothing back from His people, giving us all of Himself, including His authority, keeping in mind that that authority may only be exercised within the framework of our position “in Christ.”