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Power, Authority, and Accountability

Power, Authority, and Accountability

Words of Faith 6-22-18

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2018

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Luke 9

    When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, [2] and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

 

        Jesus had both power and authority.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made (John 1:3).  Jesus said of His own life, "No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father" (John 10:18)."   He also made His authority clear saying, "'But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. . . .' He said to the paralytic, 'take up your mat and walk'" (Mark 2:10). 

        Jesus knew that both power and authority were absolutely essential!  Jesus said to His Disciples: I am delegating to you power and authority.  The authority was not their own.  It was authorization as a disciple of Jesus Christ to do two things.  

       This power was not absolute and was not their own.  He did not make them THE authority.  And the power was limited to two things.  Think of the many things Jesus could have given power and authority to do-- miracles, power of nature, update the Scriptures, power to create life, power to walk through crowds, or authority to meet with Moses and Elijah. 

       Authority that is delegated comes with accountability. The disciples were responsible to do certain things and then come back and report on their activities.  Only the Lord has absolute authority. 

         Essentially, Jesus said, "I am giving you dynamite and a permit for blasting, and I want a report.  I am giving you everything you need to shake things up.  Power and authority to drive out demons and cure diseases.  Power and authority to serve the eviction notice on the enemy and do therapy on the frail."  

         The critical question today is to understand our own power and authority and commission.  It is easy to say that Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).  He surely is, but He may not be working in exactly the same way today.  To presume either power or authority would be a mistake. Was this power and authorization given only to the Twelve or only for a time?  Surely Jesus is still our healer and He still cleanses the afflicted, but are we commissioned in this same way?

         Certainly authority is conveyed to the believer who follows Jesus as a disciple.  Matthew records the final words of Jesus upon the earth, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:18-20). 

        The authority always resides with Jesus, who is always with us, but the commission of the church is to make disciples.  We also know that the power to be witnesses came to the Church at Pentecost (Acts 1:8; 2:17-18).  This seems to be our primary call and commission. 

        What of exorcism and healing?  If the authority to evict unclean spirits and heal disease resides in the person and the Name of Jesus, then this is certainly available through prayer even though our primary commission is to proclaim the Kingdom and make disciples.  We should not shy away from the power of the Name of Jesus, nor should we assume authority and power that is not delegated and given to us.

          So how do we respond?  Jesus will give some guides we will get to.  For now, we need to understand that we are indeed commissioned and empowered to make disciples and to proclaim the Kingdom.  We are also to listen for the needs of the sick and the harassed.  In the powerful name of Jesus, we pray and we offer hope.  He has all authority and all power.

 

          Father God, show me way You desire for me to walk out Your commission.  Show me the way I can reverence the Name of Jesus and see people set free by His power and authority.  In Jesus' name.