Our only hope is in discovering the Kingdom Authority that Jesus offers his children. I’m not talking about mere power, but authority. Many Christians today talk about having the power to overcome evil. That’s not enough. Don’t confuse authority with power.
Jesus made the distinction in Luke 9:1 when he gave the disciples power and authority over the satanic forces of wickedness. As in the passage we saw earlier from Luke 10, the Greek word here for “power” is dunamis, which means ability and strength, and the Greek word for “authority” is exousia, which means the official right. Authority is conferred; power is innate.
The Pharisees of Jesus’ day boasted of their position in the kingdom of God and questioned what Jesus meant by the freedom we have as believers: “They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:33-36).
With Kingdom Authority comes freedom, not bondage. These Pharisees who were vassals of Rome and slaves to sin were boasting about freedom. They were not free but slaves. The rebel is free to do what he wants within limits, but he is never free to do what he ought without Kingdom Authority operating in him. He is free to choose as he wishes, but he is not free to choose the consequences of that choice. He may show his freedom to choose by stepping out of a window of a skyscraper. At that point, however, he is not free to choose the consequences of that choice. The choice then chooses for him.
The paradoxical truth is that the freedom and authority we have in Jesus is because we are under authority. Let me illustrate. The train that runs with incredible speed on ribbons of steel is far freer to be what it was made to be than a so-called free train that may choose an excursion through the meadow. It is only free to wreck. A train is made to run on tracks, not in the green glades along the tracks.
Adrian Rogers, The Incredible Power of Kingdom Authority: Getting an Upper Hand on the Underworld (Nashville: B&H, 2002).
I have just completed a six-part Bible Study called based on Adrian Rogers’s book, The Incredible Power of Kingdom Authority. This article is an excerpt from this Bible study. The Bible Study is available on Amazon. It is also avail as well as part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking subscription service.
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