Part Two—All Power & Authority
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
In Part One, we looked at the process of making disciples and how it begins with a current testimony and a clear presentation of the gospel. Today we’ll look at the power that Jesus has already provided to us as we obey His command to make disciples.
Wait for the Power
For 40 days after Jesus’ resurrection, He walked among His countrymen giving irrefutable proof that He was, in fact, very much alive. He had accomplished the impossible—returning to life after being certifiably dead. Among His appearances was His appearance on the mountain in Galilee where, by the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:2), He had told His disciples to go and make disciples of their own. He also gathered the apostles together, commanding them not to leave Jerusalem until the promised Holy Spirit came upon them. At that time, they would receive the power they would need to carry out Jesus’ commands, especially the “Go and make disciples” command. Once they were endued with power, they were to be Jesus’ witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and even to the remotest parts of the earth (Acts 1:8).
AS I SEE IT
Authority is Essential
Power is one thing, but without authority, it is limited. Back when Jesus had been with His disciples, He sent 70 of them ahead of Him. In pairs, they were to go to every city and place where Jesus was going to follow (Luke 10:1-16). When they returned, they were excited to tell Jesus that even the demons had been subject to them in His name. Jesus responded by telling them that while they were gone, He was watching Satan fall from Heaven like lightning (v. 18). He was saying that the power of Satan had been broken, and the success of the 70 over demons was proof. Then He said, “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you” (Luke 10:19).
They had been successful over the powers that came against them because He had given them the authority they needed. The demons and even Satan himself understand authority. The entire angelic world, good and bad, is organized and classified according to appointed levels of authority. They know when they’re out-ranked. The 70 disciples experienced this first-hand.
The Power Arrives
When the Holy Spirit fell upon the disciples in the upper room during the Feast of Pentecost, they received the power they needed in the person of the Holy Spirit. For the first time in history, He came to indwell every believer and follower of Jesus Christ.
It’s Christ’s Life
But He did more than just bring power, and this is where most believers fall short in both their understanding and in their walk. Because of the believer’s co-crucifixion with Christ (Gal. 2:20), their old life died when Christ died on the cross. God’s plan was to fill the void with the resurrected life of Jesus Himself, including His righteousness (Rom. 6:5-6; 1 Cor. 5:21).
Let’s return to the primary verse for these past two articles—Matthew 28:18-20. Jesus is in His resurrected body while He is issuing the Great Commission. Note how He begins:
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”
Jesus is stating that He has unlimited authority, and it is this very same resurrected life that, by the agency of the Holy Spirit, resides within every believer. Since Jesus is now our life, our only life, we now share Jesus’ ultimate authority over everything. This is why we should stop spending so much time trying to ward off the attacks of the enemy. It’s time to go on offense, taking the Sword of the Spirit (the Word of God) to the enemy. We have all the power we need as well as all the authority. What are we waiting for?
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
Why are they called stands when they are made for sitting?
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