The Authority of the Believer

God has given us authority as believers and in order to understand this authority, we not only deal with the authority that we have but the authority of Satan.

Christians have been led to believe that we are fighting a being whose power is superior to ours, and sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. That is not what Scripture teaches us at all. Satan is the hierarchy of principalities and powers, but look at what these two verses say in Ephesians.

Ephesians 6:11, 12 – Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Verse 12) For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

The only power Satan has against us is deception. He doesn’t have power to defeat or overcome us. Satan used deception, which includes being sly or cunning, in the Garden of Eden to deceive Eve. Satan didn’t have the power to force Adam and Eve into anything. He came against the nature of God and began to criticize Him by saying, “Has God indeed said…” In other words, “God doesn’t really love you. He’s holding something good back from you.” Satan got Adam and Eve to sin against God through deception because he has no real authority to come against God.

Satan has no authority over the believer and he doesn’t want us to know that he really is a “defeated foe!” His only power is through deception and lies. Don’t give him ammunition by your words or actions.

In 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, the Apostle Paul tells us our weapons are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds. Every weapon of our warfare refers to our mind, dealing with our thoughts.

Now in order to understand our authority we have to go back to Genesis 1:26 which basically says when God created Adam, He gave him dominion…, over all the earth. Now look at Psalm 115:6, which says, “The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s, but the earth hath He given to the children of men.” God had ownership of everything by right of being the Creator, but He gave dominion, or authority, over the earth to physical human beings. Satan has never had the right and power to rule over the earth. He took it through deceiving man to sin. God gave that power to mankind, and when man fell, he yielded his God-given authority and power over to the devil. God never gave Satan that power to oppress man and rule this earth, man did.

The only reason Satan has ever been able to oppress, dominate, or cause problems is because people yield their God-given authority over to him. Only people who have physical bodies have the authority and power to rule and exercise influence in this earth. Satan has to come to us and get us to yield our authority to him. That’s the reason he likes to “inhabit a body.”

In Scripture, demons have to have a body to possess because Satan can’t do anything unless he is using a physical human body to work through. It’s not that God doesn’t have the authority to stop Satan, it’s because of God’s integrity. He gave authority to man and He can’t just take it back and still be true to His Word.

So what did God do about this problem? He came to earth Himself and became a Man. Then the devil was in big trouble, because he didn’t see this coming. Satan had been using mankind’s power, and God couldn’t intervene directly to solve all these problems, because man willfully, legally gave their God-given authority over to Satan.

But here comes God, no longer a Spirit, but in the form of physical flesh. This was bad for the devil, because God not only had authority in heaven, but becoming a man gave Him authority on the earth. Think about that for a moment.

Jesus said in John 5:26, 27, “For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, (Verse 27) “and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man.”

When Satan tempted Jesus, Jesus didn’t yield. Satan lost every battle with Jesus. Jesus then took our sins, died for them, went to hell, rose again and then said in Matthew 28: 18, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”

In the next verse, He basically told His disciples to go and do these things. In effect He was saying, “I now have authority in heaven and earth, and I’m sharing it with you to do these things.”

This time, however, there’s a unique difference in the authority God has given back to believers. It is joint authority between us and the Lord Jesus Christ. Our authority is shared with the Lord Jesus, and His authority is shared with the Church.

We need to recognize that we’re the ones who now have authority and the power to overcome Satan. Satan is fighting us with thoughts and our weapons are such that we take captive every thought that comes against the Word of God.


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