Bluewater Bay Community Church

Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen

Spiritual Authority

by Erik Momsen

Scripture describes great acts of God in and through the lives of biblical characters.  The battle between light and darkness ebbs and flows but one gets the strong impression that God's people could and should have the upper hand over the forces of evil.  The accounts of Jesus and his disciples overcoming the evil one and his works make up such a large portion of the New Testament.  Despite this, our own personal lives and the mission of the church, at least in the West, seems to be full of defeat and retreat in the face of evil.  We don't seem to have the authority and power that we should.

It is well known that 50% of missionaries return within one term of foreign service with wives near emotional breakdown and husbands demoralised never to return.  They had no spiritual authority to deal with what confronted them.

Christians should have authority and power over spiritual and physical situations, but we are lacking.

The earthly life of Jesus and his disciples are described in terms of authority.
"...They asked each other, "What is this, a new teaching and with authority!  He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him." (Mark 1:27)

Jesus even gives authority to the disciples.
"For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house and gave authority to his servants." (Mark 13:34 KJV)

"When Jesus had called the twelve together, he gave them authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick." (Luke 9:1)

HOW DO WE GET SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY?

In Matthew 17:16 we see the failure of the disciples to cast out a demon:
"I brought him to your disciples but they could not heal him."

The reason, in Jesus' words, was
"... O unbelieving and perverse generation."

In Acts 19:13-20 we again have a failed exorcism by some impostors.  They had an idea of the method but no relationship with the one who gives authority.  The demons taunt them; "Jesus I know and I know about Paul, but who are you?"  They were not known by Jesus and had no authority.

ONE OF THE KEYS TO SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY IS RIGHTEOUSNESS

Remember Jesus accused the disciples and their generation of unbelief and perversion (Matthew 17:17).  Lack of faith and wrong doing in personal and public life was robbing the disciples and others of spiritual victory.

Jesus on the other hand exercised power though righteousness.

"But about the Son he says, 'Your throne, O God , will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.  You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.'"
(Hebrews 1:8,9)

A scepter is a rod- or staff-like implement that a ruler carries as a symbol of power and authority.  This passage says that "righteousness will be the power and authority of His kingdom. By righteousness will he rule and accomplish His aims."

TWO KINDS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS - A FREE GIFT FROM THE CROSS
"Abraham believed God and it was credited (imputed) to him as righteousness." (Romans 4:3) - see v.5 & Ephesians 2:8-9

- Because of his faith God made a deposit of 'rightness" for him in heaven.

FULFILLED RIGHTEOUSNESS - A WORK OF DISCIPLINE BY THE HOLY SPIRIT
"Add to your faith goodness, to your goodness knowledge ... self control ... perseverance ... godliness ... brotherly kindness ... love.  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of the Lord." (2 Peter 1:5-8)

"When we start talking to God about power, if we are listening, He will start talking to us about purity." Bishop Synan - Pentecostal Holiness Church

"If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened." Psalm 66:18

"The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry." (Psalm 34:15)

STEPS TO PERSONAL RIGHTEOUSNESS

1)  Acknowledge and confess sin. (1 John 1:9)

2)  Make restitution. (Luke 19:8)

3)  Heal broken relationships. (Matthew 5:23)

4)  Forgive. (Matthew 6:12)

"Submit yourself, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." (James 4:7)

"Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for some one to devour.  Resist him stand firm in the faith." (1 Peter 5:8,9)

Both passages are introduced with Proverbs 3:34
"God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

Date Added: 2011-08-09

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