The Authority of Christ Transforms Lives
I don’t know about your story, but for me…I am confident of this one thing: Jesus transformed me!
I was stuck in a miserable life of self-imposed bonds, unrealistic expectations, impossibly high standards I couldn’t live up to. I was a perfectionist and workaholic. I love the lyric from one of Love & The Outcome song’s “the harder I tried the colder I’d start to feel.” That was me.
So judgmental of myself and others. My heart was hard as a stone. But that wasn’t God’s plan for the rest of my life. No. He had better plans!
When Jesus came to me in my darkest moments, I finally yielded to Him. I let His authority cover me. As I asked Him in, He took my stony heart out and gave me a tender heart of love. He taught me forgiveness, grace, mercy, and true love.
I’ve been transformed. And you can be transformed too!
Jesus is God
He was with God at the beginning of time. He was present during the creation of the world. He became a human to demonstrate His love for His creation. He died on the cross to set us free from sin and death. He was resurrected to ensure we would have life in and through Him.
During Jesus’ time on earth, He demonstrated His authority through His teaching. Look at what Matthew said about Jesus in 7:29 “ for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”
Even John in 5:27 said this of Him, “…[God] has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.”
After the resurrection of Jesus, He said this in Matthew 28:18, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”
Peter vouches for Jesus after His ascension to heaven. In 1 Peter 3:22, Peter says this of Jesus, “who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.”
So clearly Jesus has authority as God, as God’s Son, as the resurrected Savior, as Messiah, and as the Redeemer of Israel.
It’s great Jesus has power, but what does this have to do with me?
Jesus doesn’t keep all that power to Himself. No, He shares His power with His followers. Don’t believe me? Check out these verses.
Jesus Gives Us Power
Jesus’s closest disciples, the twelve (including Judas who later betrays Him), He gave power! Look what Luke says in 9:1, “Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.”
But Jesus didn’t just empower the twelve. He promised to empower all who believe in Him.
John 1:12 says “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”
Because we are now children of God by believing in Jesus, look what Romans 8:17 says, “and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”
Joint heirs with Christ. Do you understand? What Christ has, we have. We are joint heirs with Christ.
To help us understand this, Jesus said we would receive power to be His witnesses. We wouldn’t have to strive to carry out His purposes through our own strength. Acts 1:8 says, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
To make sure we don’t try to handle things on our own, He gave the Holy Spirit, as our helper, to remind us of everything Jesus taught. John 14:26 says, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”
Peace Comes Living Under God’s Authority
It’s clear from Proverbs 29:2 when good people are in authority, people rejoice. And equally clear when wicked men rule the people groan.
So if we want to rejoice, we should remain under God’s authority. To do that, we must learn the lesson from the centurion, whom Jesus praised as having faith like no one else in all of Israel.
Matthew 8:9 says, “For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
What do we learn from this verse? I know God is the ultimate Authority. And I’m under God’s Authority at all times. Therefore, I must do what God says. When I choose obedience I am blessed.
God Places Authority in Our Lives
God in His Authority, has placed others in authority over us. Our job is to listen to those authorities. Romans 13:1 says, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.”
First Timothy 2:2 tells us, “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” Titus 3:1 reminds us, “to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work…”
There are many people not happy with the current President of the United States. Many are touting, “Not my president.” But what they fail to understand is, my rejecting the current authority over them, they, in fact, are rejecting God’s Authority. God placed this President in power for such a time as this. We may or may not agree with everything he says and does, but he is still our President.
As believers in Jesus we need to honor the position of President of the United States, even we don’t agree with the specific person in that position.
When we choose to be subject to the governing authorities, we are able to lead quiet and peaceful lives which put us in a place ready for every good work.
What To Do With This Authority
So God gives us authority because we are His children. What are we supposed to do with this authority?
Well, for one thing, we know this authority is not for our own sake.
The apostle Paul exhorts us in Romans 14:19 “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.” And in Ephesians 4:12, Paul also says do this, “for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ..”
The purpose of this given authority is to benefit others around us.
Titus 2:15 encourages us to, “Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.”
Jesus commands us in Matthew 28:18, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”
Follow your heart. Listen to Jesus’ leading. Love God and love others as yourself. Witness where you are. Know you are filled with the Holy Spirit. You have power and authority in Jesus Christ.
All things are possible for God. Now go. Proclaim the good news to others that the glory of God may be known to mankind.
Father, God Almighty, you have shined your glorious goodness on us through Jesus Christ. You have made us part of your family and giving us authority. Show us how to wield this authority for your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.