Summary: Part two of this series focuses on our Power and Authority.
Are You Confused?
This is part two of my series, “Are You Confused?” In part one two weeks ago I shared with you the three definitions of the word confused as it relates to your identity as a Christian. This morning I will be focusing on our confusion as to the power (and authority) that Christians have been given through Jesus Christ. Before I enter into the heart of the message, I want to read something to you that Paul wrote in his second letter to Timothy. It reads, “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5) Now pay close attention to what he said in verse five. He said, “holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power…” I want you to keep this verse in mind because everything that was listed in verses one through four we have the power and authority to overcome them. However, if we are living our lives as Christians and denying the power that resides within us, we will never overcome anything and we will float through life just accepting whatever comes our way.
As a reminder from part one, the three definitions of confused are: “unable to think intelligently; not differentiated; disoriented.” As I shared previously, the first definition, “unable to think intelligently” implies that a person is unable to think or reason clearly or to act sensibly. In other words, the person lacks the ability to make decisions that are appropriate for the situation. The second definition, “not differentiated” implies that you cannot distinguish one thing from the other; one thing is mistaken for the other. There are no clear guidelines so everything looks the same. And the third and final definition of being disoriented reflects a person who is confused as to time and place; out of touch with reality.
The definition of power for the purposes of this message is “the authority to act or do something according to a law or rule.” In the Greek the word almost always points to new and higher forces that have entered and are working in this lower world of ours. In other words we have help from on High to do what needs to be done down here! Likewise, authority is defined as “the power or right to command, act, etc.” From this definition we see that authority does not beg; authority doesn't ask; authority commands! Power and authority are inseparable. When we are walking in the power that God has bestowed on us we walk with authority and must be comfortable taking command in some situations. The best example that I have for us to understand power and authority as it relates to how we are supposed to operate as Christians would be the military. If you know anything about the military one thing that is clear is that you are given “orders” and those orders are to be followed whether you like them or not. In the military, the person in “authority” has the right to make the decision and those under their command must do what they are told to do. There is no debate and the person under the authority does not have the right to say “no” without suffering consequences. Remember the story of the centurion who came to Jesus? Turn to Matthew chapter eight beginning at verse five.
“And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, imploring Him, and saying, ‘Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented.’ Jesus said to him, ‘I will come and heal him.’ But the centurion said, ‘Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.’ Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, ‘Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel.” (Matthew 8:5-10) This man was an officer in the Roman army. He understood authority. When he asked Jesus to heal his servant, Jesus offered to come to the man’s home. The centurion told Jesus that he understood authority and understood that if Jesus only spoke it that his servant would be healed. The centurion gave Jesus several examples of his understanding of authority and credited Jesus with having it over sickness and diseases. The centurion “asked” Jesus to heal his servant but he also recognized that Jesus could “command” the sickness to be done and it would happen. This is the understanding of the authority that we must have and accept if we are to walk in it.