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Summary: the authority behind the great commission

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THE GREAT COMMISSION

ITS AUTHORITY

Matthew 28: 18-20

INTRODUCTION:

A. Shortly before Jesus ascended unto the Father, He gave His

disciples, and us, what we call the great commission

1. That commission is really the basis of all we do as a

church

2. Notice the three fold work of this commission

a. Make disciples-- evangelize

b. Baptize those who receive Christ

c. Disciple-- teach them to observe the commands of

Christ

3. You will also notice the world wide scope of this

commission-- into all the world

4. We are to be aggressive in carrying out this commission--

go

B. As we open a study of this commission, notice the authority

behind it

1. When Jesus said He had all authority, He was saying He

had the authority as Creator and King to rule over heaven

and earth

2. That authority has been given to Him by His Father

a. In Biblical times the king was also a judge and Jesus has

told us that all judgment has been given to Him of the

Father

b. All in heaven and in earth are going to answer to Jesus

c. That authority has been given to Jesus because of His

obedience to go to the cross-- Philippians 2: 9-11

d. Lesson: the cross always comes before the crown and

obedience always comes before reward

3. Jesus has authority over all heaven and earth

4. That authority will be fully seen when He returns

I. THAT AUTHORITY HAS BEEN DELEGATED TO

THE CHURCH

A. In Mark 6:7, Jesus delegated His power and authority to

His disciples

1. There He gave them authority over unclean spirits

2. Mark 6:13 says they used that power to:

a. Cast out demons

b. Heal the sick

3. They went out under His authority and power

a. As a group, there was nothing that would frighten

demons or cause the sick to be healed

b. The disciples at this point were a fragmented group of

spiritual babes

4. Even a spiritual babe is powerful when that babe

appropriates the authority that God gives him

B. Throughout the New Testament, we find that Jesus has

delegated His power to the church

1. Look at all the things Jesus has given us the authority to

do

a. We have the authority to pray in His name

b. We have the authority to give a cup of water to

someone in His name-- ministry

c. We have the authority to share the gospel in His name

d. We even have the authority to disciple one another by

turning a wayward believer over to Satan for the

destruction of the flesh

2. As we exercise that authority, we should see souls saved

a. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation

b. God has given us the authority to use that power

c. As that power is exercised, eyes and hearts will be

supernaturally opened and souls will be saved

3. As we exercise the authority of Jesus, believers will be

delivered from sin and strongholds

a. Here is where the church needs to exercise the power of

prayer on behalf of others

b. James says confess your faults to one another and pray

for one another

c. God will deliver fellow believers from sin and

strongholds as we pray down His power

4. As we exercise the authority of Jesus, we will see an

undefeated church-- the gates of hell will not prevail

against us

II. WHY ISN’T THE CHURCH EXERCISING ITS

AUTHORITY?

A. We are exercising Jesus’ authority because we haven’t

realized that He has given us His authority to exercise

1. When Jesus saved us, we became a part of God’s family

with all the privileges of that family

2. As a family member, God has given us the permission to

act in His name-- He has commanded us to act in His

name

3. The problem in the church today is:

a. We don’t know we have any spiritual authority

b. We refuse to believe we have spiritual authority--

faithlessness

4. When a policeman puts on a uniform that uniform gives

him the authority to act

5. When we put on Christ through salvation, He gave us

spiritual authority to act in His name-- we need to act

accordingly

B. Disobedience to Jesus’ commands has stripped us of our

authority

1. Jesus gave us His power and authority to carry out His

commands

2. As long as those commands are being carried out, we will

see a powerful church

3. Disobedience and self seeking will strip us of any power

we might have with God

a. God’s authority and power are given to exalt Him-- not

us

b. When the disciples argued over who was to be greatest

in the kingdom, they had no power to cast out a demon

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