What is the authority of the believer? 

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By BibleAsk Team


What is the authority of the believer? 

The authority of the believer is the spiritual power and dominion that Christians have through their relationship with Jesus Christ. This concept is grounded in biblical teachings that emphasize the believer’s ability to overcome spiritual challenges and exercise influence over evil forces by invoking the name of Jesus and relying on the power of the Holy Spirit. This authority is seen as a gift that comes with faith in Christ, allowing believers to live victoriously, engage in spiritual warfare, and fulfill God’s purposes on Earth. It underscores the idea that through Christ, believers are empowered to enact God’s will, resist temptation, and impact the world positively.

Background

Jesus exercised divine power during His earthly ministry (Matthew 7:29; 21:23). And He gave authority to the 12 disciples. “Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness” (Matthew 10:1). The Twelve received this authority to teach the gospel and perform miracles (Matthew 10:7). 

Through Jesus Christ

In addition, the Savior gave the following promise to the seventy disciples for the purpose of evangelizing Israel. “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). After their successful mission, the Seventy came back recognizing that it was the power of Jesus working through them that had made their success possible.  

Jesus gave illustrations to the kind of power He promised, “they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mark 16:18). Here, the Lord alluded to the persecution that would cause injury or death, and promised the gospel workers that, on many occasions, they will be granted protection, according to the Father’s will. 

During the three and a half years of Christ’s ministry, His authority had been voluntarily limited by His humanity (Philippians 2:6-8). But after the resurrection, He regained His full authority and declared, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18). The fulfillment of Jesus’ promise of power came especially after Pentecost. Many accepted God’s invitation to salvation and many miracles were done by the apostles.

One example was in the ministry of Paul. In one incident, in the island of Malta, it happened that when: “Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, the goddess Justice has not allowed him to live.” But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects” (Acts 28:3–5).  

Thus, we learn that the authority that is given to the believer is for the purpose of carrying out the mission of evangelism. Unfortunately, some preachers today mistakenly teach that God’s gift is given to attain personal honor, riches, fame and other worldly aspirations that don’t involve preaching and witnessing.  The Scriptures are clear that God promises sure answers to all spiritual requests.

Ask, and it will be given to you

Jesus said:

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

(Luke 11:9-13 also Matthew 7:7)

While Luke 11 and Matthew 7 can also be claimed to all other requests that are in harmony with God’s will, the context shows that God gives immediate answer to the spiritual petitions. But in order to gain this spiritual dominion, the believer must be fully submitted to God and His Word. And to the extent of his yielding to God, he will be blessed with the above promise of Jesus (John 15:4).   

Conclusion

In conclusion, the authority of believer is a fundamental concept found in the Bible that highlights the empowerment and dominion granted to believers through their faith in Jesus Christ. This power, rooted in biblical teachings, enables God’s people to overcome spiritual challenges, resist evil forces, and enact His will on Earth.

By invoking the name of Jesus and relying on the power of the Holy Spirit, believers can engage in spiritual warfare, live victoriously, and positively impact their surroundings. The purpose of this gift is not just about personal victory but also about fulfilling God’s purposes and advancing the second coming of His kingdom. It empowers believers to lead lives that reflect their faith, bring about positive change, and influence the world according to divine principles. Thus, the authority of the believer is a profound testament to the transformative power of faith, illustrating how a deep relationship with Christ equips individuals to navigate life’s challenges and contribute to the greater good.

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