The Scope of Our Authority!

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will 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 surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.  These are in accordance with the working (energy) of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand 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.  And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”  Ephesians 1:18-23

The basis for the believer’s authority begins in Matthew 28:18 where Jesus said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”  Then we read in Luke 10:19 where He invested His authority in His disciples, “Behold, I have given you authority …..over all the power of the enemy…”.  Finally, we note in the first thirteen verses of the first chapter of Ephesians the repetition of the truth that believers today are “in Christ”!  And God has, “raised us up together with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus”!  So while the disciples in Jesus’ day were with Him, we are also with Him and in Him, seated in the position of authority in the heavenly places.

So how far does this authority extend?  What is its scope?  First of all, we need to understand that as believers in Christ we have been given power.  According to Ephesians 1:19-20, that power we have been given is the same power (energy, strength and might) that it took to raise Jesus Christ from the dead and seat Him at the right hand of the Father!  This is referred to as the surpassing greatness of His power” in verse 19.  That same power is the power that was extended toward us who believe”!  Secondly, we have been given that power for a distinct purpose.  In verses 21-23 we see that the authority Jesus has invested in believers is authority over both His foes, “all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named”, and His friends, “and gave Him as head over all things to the church.”  In addition this authority is for all of both time and eternity, “not only in this age, but also in the one to come”.  Someone has said that spiritual warfare prepares us for our role in eternity.

When former president Jimmy Carter graduated from the Naval Academy, he applied for the nuclear submarine program.  Admiral Rickover was the commanding officer of that program, and he noted that Mr. Carter had graduated 59th in a class of 820 at the Academy.  Admiral Rickover asked Mr. Carter, “Did you do the best you could do?”  The nuclear submarine program required not only the brightest, but also those who did the most with what they had!  If that question were asked of you concerning whether or not you are doing your best with the power and authority that Jesus Christ has invested in you, what would your answer be?  Prayer:  “Father, thank you for the surpassing greatness of Your power toward me.  Teach me daily to use it to the utmost for Your highest”!

Jon Moore