“…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. Ephesians 1:20,21 “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.” Ephesians 2:4-6
It seems to me that the question of the hour is, “Do we have authority as the disciples did?” Some would say that that authority was only for that time, but Ephesians 1:21 disputes that idea (“…not only in this age but also in the one to come!”)! First of all, we need to see the fulfillment of Jesus’ Word in Matthew 28:18 (“All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth) is confirmed in Ephesians 1:20,21 (“…He (God) raised Him (Jesus) 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…”). The believer will never have a living grasp on this truth until he or she sees that Jesus has all authority in both heaven and earth, and this effectively took place when He was raised from the dead!
Next, we need to see that as Christ-followers, the Head and body have been raised together. “But God…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!” The believer will likewise never have a living grasp on this truth until he or she sees that we have been raised with Christ from spiritual death and have been seated with Him in the position of authority at the right hand of the Father in the heavenly places!
Why does it look like so often that the devil and his kingdom of darkness seem to be winning the spiritual conflict against God’s people in the present day? To begin with, it must be remembered of Satan, “…he is a liar, and the father of lies!” (John 8:44). If we don’t know who we are and what we have been given in Christ, we lack the power and authority to deal with the devil and his demon hosts. What then does it take to effectively exercise Christ’s authority over the spiritual powers of darkness? 1) Knowledge=Not just knowing about Truth, but a “knowing into Him” (God-revealed Truth). 2) Belief=”…the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.” If we don’t believe the Lord has given us authority, we will never exercise it! 3) Focus=We should only deal with demonic powers when they challenge us in the course of advancing the Kingdom of God. That keeps us God-centered, and not demon-centered! 4) Confidence=In God!
It is said that a sloppily dressed soldier was brought before the Greek general, Alexander. The soldier was asked, “What is your name?” the man answered sheepishly, “Alexander!” The great warrior responded, “Either change your name, or your ways!” The name Christian means, “little Christ”. It is time to change either our name, or our ways!