What is the source of every Christian’s authority? Well, first of all, let’s examine this authority.
Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary describes authority as “The power or right to do something, particularly to give orders and see that they are followed. The word authority as used in the Bible usually means a person’s right to do certain things because of the position or office he holds.”
In view of this definition we can see that in a general sense everyone from a king to a small child has some degree or level of authority. While a king has authority over many people, a child also has authority, even if it is only over a small puppy. But there is one who has absolute authority over all things. His name is Jesus. He has authority over all people. He has authority over all the creatures on the earth and in the water. He has authority over all the plants and trees, and over all that grows on the land and in the water. He has authority over all of nature, even over the wind, the rain, and the snow. He has authority over the entire universe—over the planets, the moons, and stars, and over all their orbits. He also has authority over the unseen world—over the angels, also over the devil and over all the demons. He has authority over all evil, over all sin, over all sickness and disease, and even over death. He reigns supreme in authority over all things, now and forever (Eph. 1:21, 22).
Accordingly, as Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary points out, God’s authority is intrinsic to His essential nature, while man’s authority is derived by God and limited by the particular position or office God gives him. Therefore, our authority is really His authority (Romans 13:1, “There is no authority except from God.”), which is entrusted to us, according to the position He gives us, to be used for His purposes.
As Christians, God calls every one of us to this awesome ministry of authority; we are his appointed leaders to do His work. In this blog article we will examine …
The Source of Our Position of Authority
As we said earlier, a person’s authority is based on his bestowed position or office. And the source of our position of authority comes from Jesus Christ. When we trusted Him to save us, He, by His death, gave us new life. That is, when we gave ourselves to Him, instantly our old life died with Him on the cross. We were buried with Him, then raised with Him, and we ascended to heaven with Him and sat down with Him on His throne (Rom. 6:4-6, Gal. 2:20). This all happened to us instantly, and spiritually, when we trusted Him to save us from our sins. Yes, as long as it took to say, “save me Lord,” He brought us from spiritual death to spiritual life—eternal life (Jn. 5:24). And now we reign in life with Christ (Rom. 5:17). We are members of His body (1 Cor. 12:12), and we have joined the family of God with all others who have trusted Him. Praise God! When we were dead in our sins, He made us alive together with Christ by His marvelous grace. And He raised us up together (all of us who believe), and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ (Eph. 2:5-6).
Now when Christ died on the cross and was raised up by the power of God, He demonstrated His absolute authority over death and sin and Satan. Therefore, at the cross, He disarmed Satan and his demons and rendered them powerless (Col. 2:15, Heb. 2:14-15). That is, they have no authority or power over us to make us sin. Christ has given us victory over sin.
In Romans, chapter 6, it tells us that because we are in Christ and under His rule we are dead to the reign and rule of sin; and we reign in life with Christ in God. In fact, because we are His body all authority that belongs to Him also belongs to us. Accordingly, since God put all things under Christ’s feet, He also has put all things under our feet—including sin and Satan. Yes, we have all the authority of Christ and we spiritually reign in Him over all things and all powers (Eph. 1:20-23; 3:16-20).
So, if someone were to ask you where your authority comes from, you could simply say that it comes from Christ. He is the source of it. For since God gave Christ all authority, and because our life is hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3), what is Christs’ is ours as well. But we should not boast about it. It is not at all about us—about our authority; it is all His, worked out through us when we abide in Him. Thus in Him we are made kings and priests. And through His name we reign.