Summary: “ I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matt. 16:19.
One of the most important activities of the believer’s life is prayer. No matter how important and necessary it is prayer cannot take the place of the exercising of our authority. There are situations in life when Jesus Christ expects us to use the authority that He has given us instead of praying. The Scriptures clearly declare that He has given us authority over all the power of the enemy and it is our responsibility to exercise this authority at the appropriate time. Unfortunately, many believers would rather pray when the right thing to do would be to exercise their authority. We have not really understood that our authority comes from God’s delegated power. The believer has no power in himself or herself but has access to God’s delegated power. The policeman can exercise his authority to stop traffic or make an arrest. He has no power in himself but he has the power of the state behind him. In the same way the believer has been given authority. He has no power within himself but has the power of almighty God Himself behind him. When Moses came to the Red Sea and saw the armies of Egypt pursuing them he prayed to the Lord to make a way for them. He was asking the Lord to do something he had already been given the authority to do. Instead of praying God expected him to use the rod to exercise his authority over the Red Sea. As believers we spend a lot of time praying to God to do what He has already given us the authority to do. Jesus Christ has given believers the authority to come against all the ability of the evil one in His name. We need to know when to pray and when to exercise our authority in the name of Christ.
The Scriptures begin with the words “In the beginning God‘. He is the only one who has power in Himself and all power has to emanate from Him. He created the heavens and the earth and all things therein. He made man in His own image and likeness and created the angels. God in His wisdom has given different levels of authority to His creation. God, as Creator, owned everything. He gave dominion, or authority, over the earth to man. This meant that only someone with a physical body had the right to exercise authority on earth. Satan had no right or power to oppress man or rule over the earth. He was under man’s authority. The only reason Satan is able to oppress, dominate, or cause problems is because man yielded their God-given authority to him. He used the body of a snake and through deceit became the god of this world. Satan is an angel and God put angels in a position of authority below that of man. Apart from that they are spirit beings without a physical body and therefore had no authority on earth. When Satan usurped man’s position through deception it created a problem. God is Spirit and was limited in His actions because He had given authority over this earth to people with physical bodies. He, therefore, could only intervene by becoming a man.
Christ had to become a man in order to win back and restore authority to man. Man can, however, only have access to this authority when he trusts in the finished work of Christ and submits to Him. This is only possible after a revelation of Jesus’ true identity. Peter, one of Jesus’ closest disciples, was the first to have this revelation and proclaimed Jesus’ true identity as the Messiah. Matthew declared that the revelation given to Peter about the person of Christ came from the Father. A direct personal confrontation of the disciples by Christ led Peter to acknowledge Him as the Messiah. Just as the disciples were confronted with the question of who Jesus is, so every person today is still being confronted with the same question. Everybody needs to know who Jesus Christ is because what we think about Him determines our present life and our eternal destiny. Our personal trust and submission to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as our Saviour and Lord restores our relationship to God and the authority we lost. Who do you say is Jesus Christ?
Our confession of Christ as Saviour and Lord leads to a new life. It is accepting that we have sinned and that Christ shed His blood and died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. It is being united with Christ in His death and resurrection. The confession of Christ as Saviour and Lord leads to God’s blessings and eternal life. The presence of the Holy Spirit testifies that we are sons of God and have come under His grace and divine favour. As sons of God we submit to Him and rely on His word that are spirit and life. When we speak God’s Word in the power of the Holy Spirit it is as if God was speaking Himself.