The first passage of Scripture He brought me to was Colossians 2:8-15.
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him
There is much false teaching in the world. People today follow many philosophies and some of them seem good and right such Universalism which touts its non-judgmental “all paths lead to god” attitude and so many others seem to lead to a peaceful mind. But we see the deceit in those practices, once we have come to Christ and have been given His Holy Spirit. He allows us to see how illogical those belief systems are. Almost all of them require the follower to be good enough to earn some sort of salvation and most do not even have a clear idea of what salvation is. But we are not here to study false religions today, we are here to look at our authority in Christ.
In Christendom some false teachers want us to ignore the power we have. The enemy just doesn’t want us to know how powerful we are; the dark rulers and authorities want us to think they have the power. But it just isn’t true.
As I said, when we called on the name of the Lord for Salvation, He gave us His Holy Spirit. Colossians says the that in Jesus the fullness of deity, that is the completeness of God dwells in Him bodily or physically and we have been filled in Him! What is the first attribute that Paul talks about when He explains that God, not part of God, not a lesser god, but the Lord God Himself dwells in us? That He is head and authority.
God dwells in us, lives in us, abides in us and He has authority over everything and everyone. We were saved and that was a supernatural act, a miracle in which God Himself, circumcised us, buried us with Him in His Crucifixion, and raised us up with His Resurrection. We are alive now in a new body forgiven of every sin and no longer owe our lives for those sins. When Christ laid His life down and rose from the dead again, He disarmed, that is He took all the power away from the prince of this world and every demon. They have no power over you and I, Believer. It is we who now have power over them. Just as Jesus had the authority to cast them out, so do we.
We have the power to heal, to teach, to prophesy, to love, and more. God wants you to be aware of this power. Ephesians 1:17-2:10 reads
that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
I don’t normally bold sections of the scripture, but I this is a long passage and I know some of you may have a tendency to skim it or even skip it, so I bolded certain sections for you to take in. Just as Jesus is seated in the heavenly places with dominion over the prince of the power of the air, so too are we. The enemy once was at work in us, but no longer, now the Holy Spirit fills us. His immeasurable power, His great might is at work in us and for us. We were created for good works and He has given us the ability to do those works!
Jesus did some amazing things when He walked this earth. During his three and half year ministry Jesus did great works, He healed people, He raised people from the dead, He loved people, He forgave people, He taught them, and He made them followers. He called us to do the same for a reason. He wants us to make an impact for the kingdom of God, He wants the world to know the Father. He wants no one to perish but all to be saved (John 3:16, 2 Peter 3:9). When Philip, speaking for the twelve asked Jesus to show them the Father, Jesus answered by saying,
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.
12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:10-17).
Jesus did everything He did because of His unity with the Father; the Father gave Him authority to do those works. He later explained that we share in that unity, because we are in Him (John 17:21). He said, we do all the works He did and not only that but greater works! But there are stipulations, we have to do them in Jesus’ name, that is as His representative to glorify God not us, and we have to obey Him. Why and how? Because the Holy Spirit is in us and with us.
Jesus gave us this authority for a purpose, it is not to make a name for ourselves, it is to glorify God, to make Him famous by walking in the image of Christ (being like Jesus), to bring people to Christ, to love others as Jesus loved us. Before Jesus ascended He didn’t say, “I’ve been give all authority so, go and make a name for yourself, get famous, heal people, wow them with your greatness, and blow them over with your smile.” No, He said,
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
We already established that all the authority given to Jesus was also given to us through His death and resurrection and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We are to use Jesus authority to go in God’s name, that is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, baptizing and teaching. He promised He would be with us to the end of the age. He didn’t abandon us to do it alone, He is with us and His authority is ours to use.
We can get really excited about the amazing power He gave us to do His good works as we obey Him, but Jesus wants us to be wowed not by the healing, casting out demons, and cleansing, but salvation. That is the true joy, the true purpose of the authority He gave us. In Luke 10:1-24, Jesus sent 72 disciples out to spread the word about Him to go to places ahead of Him and prepare them. He gave them authority to do the works. When they returned, they were very excited. Verses 17-24 reads,
The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” 18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
21 In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 22 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
23 Then turning to the disciples he said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! 24 For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”
Jesus rejoiced in the salvation of the people and in what the Holy Spirit revealing Him to them. He didn’t rejoice over the casting out of demons and the rest. How often do we see today, people rejoicing over the signs and wonders and forgetting the purpose of revealing Jesus Christ through those great works? Jesus was like, “So, big deal you cast demons out, I cast Satan out of Heaven, no big whoop. It’s your salvation I’m thrilled about.”
Believer, are you thrilled over your salvation? Are you excited over the prospect of partnering with God and fulfilling His command, His charge to go into the world baptizing and teaching? You have authority, you have power through Jesus Christ. It is not the power to warm a pew, or the power to lionize yourself or a preacher, it is the power to do great works in Jesus’ name so that the Holy Spirit can reveal Jesus to them. It is the power to share the Gospel, the great good news of Jesus our Redeemer.