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Authority of the Believer

In the 7th chapter of Luke we read the account of the centurion who wanted his servant healed. The centurion, the backbone of the Roman army, was usually in charge of 100 men. Beginning in Luke 7:2, "And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die." (Matthew: sick with palsy). We discern that the centurion had a tender heart for his servant and certainly wanted him healed.
Now Luke 7:3, "And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant." He must have heard about the healing and miracles of Jesus and heard that He was now in the vicinity. Though he was a Roman citizen and officer in the Roman army, which was in charge over the Jewish people, the centurion must have developed a good relationship with the elders of the Jews and had even built them a synagogue.

And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this" (Luke 7:4). The elders believed the centurion was worthy for such a mission.
Continuing in Luke 7:6, "Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof." The centurion realized that Jesus had now made up His mind to come and heal the servant. He did not doubt in his mind that Jesus was willing to heal. He then expressed his faith. He said he was not worthy for Jesus to enter under his roof or enter his house. He was a Gentile and if Jesus, of Jewish culture, entered his house, He (Jesus) would be defiled.

Now verses 7:-8, "Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it."
"For I also." The word "also" is the key word in this entire passage. The centurion recognized the parallel in his authority as a centurion and in Jesus' authority. How did he advance to his rank of centurion. He came up through the ranks, learning authority by submitting to it. We can assume that in the Roman army only those who demonstrated a willingness to submit to authority could advance. He understood authority in the natural and could easily transfer that concept of authority to the spiritual realm. He understood the parallel between his first submitting to authority, with that of Jesus submitting to the authority of God. Then by such authority, Jesus could exercise authority over sickness, just as he exercised authority over his soldiers and servant.

Because he understood the spiritual, he could say, "Speak the word (Matthew: speak the word only) and my servant will be healed. He therefore recognized the authority of the spoken word when used in line of authority, either in the natural or the spiritual.
. In the realm of public life, he spoke to his soldiers, "Go" and "Come." As for his private life, for the servant, whether he spoke of the sick servant or he had more than one servant, the scripture does not say. In either case, the sick servant would follow the pattern of the inclusive "my servant". "Do this and he doeth it." No matter the task, the servant obeyed. He did not argue or refuse to obey or say that he was too busy or too tired. He simply obeyed. The centurion realized the chain of command and the principle of delegated authority.
All authority in the Kingdom originates in God, who in turn delegates to whom He will, in this case, Jesus Christ. Authority in the saints is not a gift, not something to receive and run with, use for personal gain, or to inflate our ego. It's more like a flow, or chain of command. Yet once we fail to submit to the one(s) in authority over us, we break that chain so that our authority over those situations below us is broken.
Authority also implies the right to be obeyed, the right to be heard, and a right to be respected. For Jesus, His Word is law, and with His promises, He makes demands. The central message of the Kingdom of God proclaimed by Jesus and John the Baptist was, "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand." To whosoever hears those words there is only one valid response - "Repent." The word "repent" means to turn around and go the other way. In other words, to the unsaved, turn from going by way of Adam and turn toward God. For the believer, when we commit a sin, "repent" means to turn from our sin toward God. Do not run from Him.

Jesus also demands a righteousness that exceeds that of the Pharisees. We know that Jesus takes authority over both the natural and spiritual man, over both our private and public life, and every thought we have. Our place in the kingdom is to acknowledge His dominion over our lives, submit to it, conform to His demands and bring others to the same place. Jesus extends this authority over not just individuals but nations as well. (Ps. 2:10-12). All nations are to serve and worship Him. (Ps. 72:10-11; 17). In all facets of our life, every person of every nation is obligated to submit to the laws of Christ. As to respect, in the last three decades, in the United States, we have seen a sharp decline in respect for authority from both adults and children in submitting to their leaders and fellow man. For children, submitting to their parents, teachers and elders. For this, we, as a nation must repent.
Back to verse 7, "Just speak the word." For us, this means we should speak words that line up with the Word of God, not necessarily always quoting scripture. If we really speak from our heart, truly believing that particular verse or the Word of God, we will grasp that indicated authority over situations in our life. We can speak words of healing, prosperity, or words of peace in relationships. People say, "I know God can heal - but look at the thousands with cancer and arthritis." Or they say, "I know Jesus wants to prosper me, but the economy is bad; He hasn't seen my check book." Or they might say, "I know God wants me to live in peace, but my wife (husband) argues all the time." We must quit speaking the problems and speak the answers or the Word only. Agree with what the Word says.

The true sons of God understand authority because they live under authority, submitting to those God has placed above them. Such authority is recognized rather than enforced. God has placed various people in our midst in authority - in a wide variety of capacities (Heb. 13:7, 17). When you go to the doctor, you submit to his authority regarding treatment of your illness. As you drive down the highway, you submit to the laws of the state or nation, and you submit to the laws in your business. You submit to the rules of your local bank where you have your checking account, and you submit to your supervisor at work.. Yet so many Christians rebel against the authority of the leadership in their local church or in the body of Christ, at least in their mind, or to submit to order in a church service.
Paul so ably outlined these truths in Romans 13:1-3, "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:"
With authority however, comes responsibility. We must hear and obey the voice of God. We can't give orders until we have learned to obey them. In other words, we can't attain a position of authority until we have been under authority. Until we submit to discipline and structure, God will not direct our paths (Prov. 3:5-6). We note also that the worldly system will fight such a directive because they are simply frightened of disciplined people. As we set under the authority of Christ, we develop a certain nature, while the natural man can't comprehend the things we receive in that secret place (1 Cor. 2:14).
Our Lord Jesus Has delegated His authority to the five fold ministry to govern the church. (Eph. 4:8-13). All such authority centers in the headship of Jesus Christ who is the Head of the home as well as the local church (Eph. 1:22-23; Matt. 26:64). To reject or accept that person who is a delegate is to reject or accept the God who sent the delegate. The concept or reality of authority threatens those who are self willed or possess a rebellious spirit (Matt. 2:1-3). So many saints desire God's gifts, grace, prosperity and healing but they reject His authority in their life.
We read in Numbers 16 the account of the rebellion of Korah. Korah, Dathan and Abiram and their company of men rose up against Moses and his authority (Nu. 16:1-2). Now verse 11-12, "For which cause both thou and all thy company are gathered together against the LORD: and what is Aaron, that ye murmur against him? And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab: which said, We will not come up:" Here we see open rebellion. They sought their gifting to elevate their own position They preferred the bondage of Egypt rather than submit to the leadership of Moses. Finally the earth swallowed them up, their houses and goods and the company of men (v. 32). Later, when the congregation murmured against Moses, God sent a plague among them and before Moses interceded to stay the plague, fourteen thousand seven hundred perished (Nu. 16:48-49).

We find the spirit of Korah (rebellion) rising up in some of our churches today. That spirit of antichrist denies that Jesus has come in the flesh (1 John 4:1-3; 2 John 7). In other words, such a spirit rejects the body of Christ and those ministers who sit in leadership of that body. Such a spirit tries to grab authority for themselves, and often hop from church to church. We need to be satisfied where and under whom God has placed us. This is not to say that God won't move us. We must hang on, press harder and be willing to stay in the fire.
As for believers, what authority do we have? Again, Jesus said, "I give you power (authority) to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you". (Luke 10:19).
If we are looking for authority to control the members of our family, people we don't like, our neighbors, the people we work with or people who don't believe like we do, then we have missed it. That type of thinking originates from the carnal mind. Instead, we need to exercise authority over the carnal mind, authority over the negative thoughts, over our bad habits, over greed and other works of the flesh and over situations and circumstances that come against us. We sit (meaning a place of authority) in heavenly places with Christ Jesus, far above all principality and dominion etc. That is now. The principalities are the dominions and other spiritual things that come against us.
We must discern from the scriptures the different Greek words translated power (in the KJV) The Greek exousia means absolute authority of God or if used of men, delegated authority, while the word dunamis, where we get the word "dynamite" means explosive power, force or miracles We can best illustrate this difference by a policeman directing traffic at a busy intersection. He can hold up his hand and blow his whistle and stop an 18 wheeler. That is, exercising his exousis authority. But he has no dunamis power to stop the truck.
If a true son of God has, as a leader, authority over others, he exercises that authority in love, and in humility. Such sons in authority are not proud or arrogant but consider the needs of the others. They understand proper authority because they live under authority. Why do we need authority? Simply, to preach the gospel. The main principle of this lesson: that to attain a position of authority, a son of God must come under authority. He earns that trust just as Jesus earned the trust we place in Him (Ps. 91:2).

By Richard W. Rundell

We find the spirit of Korah (rebellion) rising up in some of our churches today. That spirit of antichrist denies that Jesus has come in the flesh (1 John 4:1-3; 2 John 7). In other words, such a spirit rejects the body of Christ and those ministers who sit in leadership of that body. Such a spirit tries to grab authority for themselves, and often hop from church to church. We need to be satisfied where and under whom God has placed us. This is not to say that God won't move us. We must hang on, press harder and be willing to stay in the fire. As for believers, what authority do we have? Again, Jesus said, "I give you power (authority) to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you". (Luke 10:19). If we are looking for authority to control the members of our family, people we don't like, our neighbors, the people we work with or people who don't believe like we do, then we have missed it. That type of thinking originates from the carnal mind. Instead, we need to exercise authority over the carnal mind, authority over the negative thoughts, over our bad habits, over greed and other works of the flesh and over situations and circumstances that come against us. We sit (meaning a place of authority) in heavenly places with Christ Jesus, far above all principality and dominion etc. That is now. The principalities are the dominions and other spiritual things that come against us. We must discern from the scriptures the different Greek words translated power (in the KJV) The Greek exousia means absolute authority of God or if used of men, delegated authority, while the word dunamis, where we get the word "dynamite" means explosive power, force or miracles We can best illustrate this difference by a policeman directing traffic at a busy intersection. He can hold up his hand and blow his whistle and stop an 18 wheeler. That is, exercising his exousis authority. But he has no dunamis power to stop the truck. If a true son of God has, as a leader, authority over others, he exercises that authority in love, and in humility. Such sons in authority are not proud or arrogant but consider the needs of the others. They understand proper authority because they live under authority. Why do we need authority? Simply, to preach the gospel. The main principle of this lesson: that to attain a position of authority, a son of God must come under authority. He earns that trust just as Jesus earned the trust we place in Him (Ps. 91:2).   

By Richard W. Rundell

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