Our Authority from God

All authority comes from God. It is legal thing; God created the world; it is His world. He owns it and therefore He has authority over the world, and He can delegate authority to others because He has the legal authority. For example, Jesus legally received authority from God. However, Jesus’ delegated authority was not intrinsic to him; his authority rests on the Supreme Being who appointed him.

God gave people the authority to rule the plant and animal kingdom, Carte Blanc, which is not the usual case. Authority normally grows out of covenant, with the exception of the Noachian Covenant and one or two others where God gives authority carte blanch, as it were, requires certain obligations on the part of people participating in the covenant. If people obey God, they will receive blessings.

God chooses a person to whom He will delegate authority by his character and obedience. Among those whom He delegated authority are Noah, Abraham, Moses and David. Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, a person born two thousand years ago, received authority from God as we know by following God’s will to suffer, die and be resurrection for the sins of mankind. He got authority from God. If Jesus had a prior existence, he could not be a Son and thus not under paternal authority of Our Father in Heaven, but as a fully human son of God, doing His will, he could receive authority as being the Son of God.

Initially, authority comes from the father to the family. Noah, for example, was the patriarch, and his authority was transferred to his sons, and from them all heads of government ever since. However, the authority first comes from God, which is an important legal understanding.

We, thus, receive authority through Jesus, by faith in him as the Son of God who died for our sins. How we demonstrate our faith? Our authority, whatever authority that God gives to us, comes from our faith in Jesus. There are works to be sure, but primarily by faith in Jesus.

Faith

And what is it that we have to believe:

1John 3:23 ¶ This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.

Name, in the Greek, means the authority the person.

So we believed in the name of His son. Therefore, we have to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, not god the son, but the Son of God and “to love one another as he commanded us.”

Let us review. We know that in the very beginning, after God created man and gave him authority over the beasts and over the vegetation on planet Earth. Therefore, Daisy, our dog, submits to our authority, because we have authority over animals. People train horses and they move cattle.

Nonetheless, man has permanent authority over plants and animals whether they exercise it well not because the authority comes from God, for He alone has it to give. We can grow things. We can decide to grow things here or grow things there and water them and follow the laws of nature, if you will, the laws that God set up, then those things will grow beyond our wildest dreams. As I say all the time, we get a whole lot more that grows than we need to eat ourselves so that we can share it with others, or I can sell it if want to.

So, God has given us certain authority over things, but we have been given more authority. “This is His commandment that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ and to love one another.” This is His command. It is not something that is a suggestion; it is a command. God says, emphatically.

The Authority to Love

God gave us authority over to love one another and, in fact, are commanded to do so. This is legal. This is what we have to do is to love one another, and we know what love is:

1John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

Therefore, we have authority over sin, sickness and death, because God gave us authority to love, i.e., keep the commandments. We love God formost by the first four Commandments, and we love mankind by the last six Commandments. Love is primarily positive in the New Testament not legalistic but it is legal, and it says in the New Testament you should not steal. He says do not worry about stealing, but you should work hard that you have enough that you can help the poor.

The New Testament flips it over. And, it goes down the line with the various commandments in the same way. You do not murder someone, instead you take care of them and help them. You do not commit adultery; rather you love your husband or wife. You honor your parents because of how you act toward them; is not just speaking nicely to them but also practicing obedience to them. For each thou shalt not, there is a thou shalt, and the New Testament demonstrates the positive aspect of the commandments.

Jesus received authority from God, and he passes on the authority to us.

Matt. 12:50 “For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”

God gave Jesus authority as His Son, and our doing God’s will makes us His Children as well — “he is my brother and my sister and my mother.” So, if Jesus receives authority from God, and he does, and if we believe that he is the Son of God, we have faith to love one another as commanded. He says, “whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” If brother and sister, then we share the authority that Jesus has from God.

Note that you are heirs as sons of God, which is also a legal thing, not in terms of being legalistic. But it is a legal thing and legally binding. We have been given authority:

John 14:12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.

What are we to believe, that he is the Son of God, not some mythical being from the past, like Nimrod, the god who returned as his son, and other kinds of pagan beliefs of gods becoming humans. “He who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” We have been given authority from Jesus who received it from God to do the works that Jesus did.

What are some of the works that Jesus did? Let us take some simple things to start with. Jesus’ first miracle was changing water into wine. For those not ready to turn water to wine, they can still serve them water if they are thirsty, and give them wine, too. This is the authority that we have to love people as Jesus did, and things greater, as our faith and understanding grow. We have the authority and the obligations by that authority to do good. Jesus even demands we give drink to our enemies because God gives rain in due season to the good and the evil.

What else did Jesus do? He fed the hungry people that had been the away from their homes for a long time. Therefore, he multiplied the loaves and fishes. And, even if we do not multiply loaves and fishes, we can still help people with food, to feed the hungry. So this is something that we should love to do is give people food and drink. Jesus also says we should give food to our enemies.

“The works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do.” Even if we do not lay hands on the person to get them better, the Bible is filled with the verses in Proverbs and other places that show that an encouraging word heals. Rather than discouraging a person by criticizing, complaining, attacking or just saying something unpleasant to them makes them sick. On the other hand, a kind, encouraging or a supportive word, has healing properties.

So we begin this way, with the simple things. We have authority to give people water, wine, food and encouragement. This is our authority from God through Jesus.

Jesus says, “And greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” Therefore, it is important for us to understand our legal roots, where this authority comes from. We get it from God because we have faith in Jesus, i.e., believe he is the Son of God. We believe that he is in heaven interceding for us. We believe that he is the King of King and Lord of Lords, because he received his authority from God because he always was under God’s authority. He never once put himself under the authority of anyone else (read, Satan), and we must never ever put ourselves under the authority of anyone else (Satan).

We must do the things that God says, because when we are not doing those things, we are potentially putting ourselves under Satan’s authority even when we do this by mistake, not by deception or ignorance. And, as we have often noted, how to avoid those mistakes by prayer and alertness.

We have to go one step further — go to the positive step. We have to realize, know deep in our hearts, that God is the Almighty God who is in charge of the universe. And, He can give us the authority, the power over sin.

Power to Be Free from Evil

Now let us get down to the authority or power over evil. All of this is part and parcel of God’s authority given us. We have power over evil and are not subject to the yoke of slavery again.

Galatians 5:1 says it this way:

Gal. 5:1 ¶ It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

Freedom is a legal thing; if you are a slave you are legally bound. If you are free, you have been given freedom by authority. If we look in the Old Testament, we see how that was done. A person had to be a slave or an indentured servant, we might say for this period of seven years and then they were free. It is a legal thing.

We have been legally set free from the slavery of evil, and, it says, “therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” We are not slaves anymore, what were we slaves to: sin, sickness and death. God gave legally us our freedom from being under the control or the authority of sin (Satan). Now we are under the controlling authority of love (Our Father in Heaven).

“Love another as he commanded us.” So we have been set free: it is like a prisoner who completed his sentence, the warden lets him go and he legally free. It is written down on his record that he is free. We, too, have a legal, actual written bond saying that we are free: “It was for freedom that Christ set us free… and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”

We no longer are enslaved to any kind of idolatry. We do not worship any kind of idols: the sun, the moon, a statue, greed or pride (forms of idolatry). These things were nailed to the cross.

Col. 2:14 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.

Free at last! It all goes back to the cross as the heart of freedom. We are free not to take God's name in vain; we are free to praise and worship Him. We realize that it is God that brought us out of the land of Egypt, which is synonymous with evil and slavery and being under the yoke. Remember Pharaoh legally freed the Israelite. They did not rebel from Pharaoh. He did not legally “write” it down, as such, but as the legal ruler of Egypt, he said go, get out of here. At that point, they were legally free.

The same is true with us. God, as the Creator and Ruler of the Earth, has the authority to legally free those whom He called from the slavery imposed by Satan: sin, sickness and death.

We are free, legally free, from the slavery of keeping Sunday and all the other pagan holy days. We are free to keep the day that God made Holy, the Sabbath because no one else has the authority to change what God made Holy. And so following His authority, we are legally obliged to keep this day.

Now, we are free at last to keep God’s Commands.

We are legally free and obliged to honor our parents. We are legally free to not murder. But, to help people to be alive in every way that we can help them, as I said by encouraging them and giving them food and drink. We are free from the slavery of murdering, committing adultery, stealing, slandering and coveting.

Just as the Israelites were freed from Egypt, we are free from the Egyptian curses of idolatry and other intrinsic evils.

Hebrews 2:14b-15 says it this way:

Heb 2:14… that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,
Heb. 2:15 and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.

We believe Jesus is the Son of God, who died for us, whom God resurrected. That is our primary faith. We further believe Jesus is Lord by doing the things that he did as much as we can as we learn and grow. Since we have this authority, we need to us it and ask God to help us.

So we are free from the fear of death; we no longer have to fear death, because we died already in baptism and we were raised out of the watery grave. Therefore, death cannot hold us anymore. And we are going to be physically changed at some point, depending upon when Jesus returns.

We were buried as Jesus was buried and resurrected as Jesus was resurrected. Legally, he died and us, too; we have our death certificate, and so we cannot be killed again. So we have no fear of death because we legally died. God has the authority to pronounce us dead, and resurrect us to eternal life.

2Tim. 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.

God, gave us the power to do good, and a spirit, not of timidity, but of power, love and discipline. This is what God gave us; this is our power, the Spirit of power behind a word, the voice that makes words possible. So, we do not have a spirit of fear, but of power and love.

1John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

This is the love of God and all of the laws demonstrate the power of love and discipline.

Rom. 8:15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”

God Adopted Us

God adopted us, legally by our death and resurrection in the waters, of course, of baptism. We were given all of these legal rights and freedoms by which we cry, “Daddy!” (Ab is the Hebrew for father, and abba is the familial, better translated as Daddy.)

Rom. 8:16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,
Rom. 8:17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

To reiterate, we are as much heirs as Christ is. Of course, we are heirs by faith in that we believe Jesus is the begotten Son of God (not some god or preexisting being incarnate) and that he died for us, and we prove our faith by our baptism.


Col. 1:11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously
Col. 1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.

So we have this power at work within, the legal power, and power of the Word. He has, by His authority, legally “qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints.”

Col. 1:13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,

Not only legally adopted but also received legal citizenship in the Kingdom of God.

God by His authority gave us power beyond what we normally consider power to have and use the Spirit given us.

1Cor. 12:7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
1Cor. 12:8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;
1Cor. 12:9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
1Cor. 12:10 and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.
1Cor. 12:11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.

God legally gave us these powers through what Jesus did and through our faith.

John 14:12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.

Conclusion

God has vested us with this power and authority to do good in these very real, legal things that happened. From Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection to our faith in him, to our being transferred into the kingdom of God and to being children of God, we are legally bound children of God with all the powers and authority one has in the God family.

In Jesus name.

Amen.