Q: Dear Pastor,
I’m a Christian and a student. I see a lot of books about the “authority of the believer.” Can you give me the bullet points on that?
A: Jesus said this: “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 NASB). In a nutshell, Jesus granted us permission to overcome all darkness. Unfortunately, the majority of churches and denominations today do not teach the concept of a Christian’s supernatural power, so we often feel weak and helpless or worse - sitting ducks to the Devil’s wiles. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Power, after all, is authority. Volumes of books have been written about the believer’s authority because we continue to marvel at what Christ has given us. Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, (the works that I do) he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father” (John 14:12). In other words, “After the resurrection, I’m going home. Then the Holy Spirit will come and enable you to accomplish even more than I did.”
Since Christ is now resurrected, we have the ability to defeat all darkness, evil, infirmity and even death. We now have the power to heal all sickness, change atmospheres around us, create magnificent works, invent the impossible and raise the dead, for example. We are infused with the ability to do even more than Jesus did while he walked the earth. But most of us have never been taught these truths. It boils down to one word: believe. We either believe the Bible and what it says, or we don’t.
In God’s eyes, the soul is made up of the will, the mind and the emotions. It is what the Bible refers to as “the flesh.” Romans 8:6,7 says this: “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so.” In spite of what the world tells us, we must not trust in our soul. There is no power in it except to convince the mind to do whatever it wants. There is an ongoing war between good and evil in every human being and it is fought in the soul. That war looks like this: “I intend to do the right thing but I don’t.” Frankly, not even our hearts can be trusted. God already covered that in numerous scriptures like: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9). No, it is only our human spirit, the place where God comes to dwell when we become a Christian, that is capable of housing the raw power we cannot manufacture on our own. Any carnal authority is based on our own strength. True authority is based on God’s. And he dwells within us.
Every human being can be a host of the Holy Spirit. This privilege comes immediately when we renounce the belief in our own power as a human, admit our weakness and surrender to the governing love of Jesus Christ. When we choose Jesus as our Lord and Savior, the make-up of our humanity instantly changes. The core of our being, our human spirit, becomes filled with God. We exchange the battery pack we were born with for God’s eternal power source, the Holy Spirit. We can use this power source to change the world, affect the atmosphere and defeat Satan and everything he does. When we do, we’re executing “the authority of the believer.”
Christians are not marionettes on strings. Nor are we robotic husks with no brain or choices but to do God’s will. We still wrestle with our humanity and are challenged to win our internal war. We struggle to understand that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, (Philippians 4:13) as we integrate our humanness into God’s master plan. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit is now here to help us every step of the way.
Adrienne Greene pastors two Christian churches in southeastern Indiana. Do you have a question or comment for Pastor Adrienne? Please send your inquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to P.O. Box 214, Harrison, OH 45030.
Ask Pastor Adrienne: Christians have power
Q: Dear Pastor,