Article of Faith

October 23, 2016

The believer’s authority


A picture taken on January 1, 2016 shows the nine-metre tall statue of Jesus Christ carved from white marble, thought to be the biggest of its kind in Africa, unveiled in Abajah, southeastern Nigeria. Standing barefoot with arms outstretched, the “Jesus de Greatest” statue weighs in at 40 tonnes. More than 100 priests and hundreds of Catholic worshippers attended the nine-metre (30-foot) statue’s official unveiling in the village of Abajah in southeastern Nigeria. It was commissioned by Obinna Onuoha, a local businessman who hired a Chinese company to carve it and placed it in the grounds of a 2000-capacity church that he built in 2012. / AFP

By Femi Aribisala

What manner of man is Jesus? Jesus is precisely the kind of man God expects all believers to be.

Jesus was a man under God’s authority. This placed him: “far above all principality and power and might and dominion.” (Ephesians 1:21-23). He exercised complete authority in all areas of life. He healed the sick and cleansed the lepers, exercising authority over sickness. He stilled the storm and walked on water, exercising authority over nature.

He cast out demons, exercising authority over the forces of darkness. He forgave sins, exercising authority over sin. He raised the dead and awarded eternal life, exercising authority over life and death. He even surrendered his own life and took it up again. He was killed and nailed to the cross, but the third day he resurrected bodily, never to die again.

Jesus cursed a fig tree and it dried up from the roots. He multiplied loaves, feeding 5,000 men with only five loaves of bread. He caused fishermen to catch more fish than they could handle. He miraculously provided money from the mouth of a fish.

Believers’ authority

Jesus is the King of kings. (Revelation 17:14). Believers are the kings over whom, and with whom, he reigns. When we follow him whole-heartedly, we become kings and priests to God. (Revelation 1:6).

Moreover, Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life.” (John 14:6). In him lies the pathway to the dominion God always intended for us. In Jesus, we see our destiny realized. Through his redemptive work, Jesus fulfilled the hope of humanity by “bringing many sons to glory.” (Hebrews 2:10). He blazed the trail for all believers to follow.

By his incarnation as a mortal man, Jesus brought the mighty powers of the kingdom of God into the realm of men. When the people saw this: “they marvelled and glorified God who had given such power to men.” (Matthew 9:8).

Indeed, the same power and authority manifest in Jesus is now available to believers. Jesus says: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12).

Jesus gives the children of men the power to become children of God. He gives this to all who receive him and believe in his name. (John 1:12). Jesus then, is the representative prototype of God’s new creation; making him “the first-born among many brothers.” (Romans 8:29). What manner of man is Jesus? Jesus is precisely the kind of man God expects all believers to be. “As (Jesus) is, so also are we in this world.” (1 John 4:17).

Born to rule

Jesus is the messiah-king that God promised Israel in ages past. He is the root and the offspring of David. (Revelation 22:16). Matthew traces Jesus’ human ancestry back to Abraham through David, whose progeny God promised a throne to the ages of the ages. But Jesus is a king with a difference. Kings do not ascend to the throne at birth because a baby is too young to rule. However, in the case of Jesus, he was born king. (Matthew 2:2).

That distinction also applies to the believer. The believer is born again king. John the Baptist observes that: “He who comes from above is above all; he who is from the earth is earthly and speaks from the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.” (John 3:31). The believer is born of God from above; therefore, he is above all.

Human beings were created to rule. We were born to have dominion. We were born to be kings of the earth. At the dawn of creation, God said: “Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion.” (Genesis 1:26).

However, sin turned man not only to a servant but even to a slave. Today, the natural man remains earthy; under the bondage of elemental spirits. The believer, on the other hand, has full authority over them. Jesus says: “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10:19).

This authority does not only apply to those in deliverance ministries: it applies to all believers, including new converts. Jesus says: “These signs will follow those who believe: In my name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them.” (Mark 16:17-18).

Healing anointing

Jesus’ authority over sickness is so total, he never prays for healing. Instead, he issues commands. In Luke 4:39, he “rebukes” the fever in Peter’s mother-in-law. That means he chastised the fever. He told the fever it was out of line: it had no right to operate in the woman’s body. The fever quickly obeyed and left.

Similarly, the believer has power and authority over sicknesses and diseases: “When he had called his twelve disciples to him, he gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.” (Matthew 10:1). Note that Jesus does not even talk in terms of believers praying for healing. He says: “They will lay hands on the sick and they will recover.” (Mark 16:18).

Thus, while we often find Jesus’ disciples praying, once it came to healing, they did not pray: they only issued commands. When Dorcas died, Peter turned to the body and said: “Dorcas, get up.” Immediately, Dorcas came back to life and sat up. (Acts 9:40). When he saw the lame man at the Beautiful Gate, Peter simply said: “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And immediately, he lifted the man up and he started to walk.

Looking unto Jesus

Kenneth Hagin claims Jesus appeared to him in a vision. But while he was talking to him, an evil spirit appeared causing a racket; preventing him from hearing what Jesus was saying. When Jesus took no action against the demon, Hagin finally cried out: “You foul spirit, get out of here in Jesus’ name!” Immediately, the demon ran off.

Jesus insisted it was up to Hagin to do something about the situation. He told him: “If you hadn’t done something about that, I couldn’t have.”

In short, Jesus is our supreme terms of reference. Therefore, every word we speak and every action we take should derive from our authority in Christ. We should not speak sickness but healing. We should not speak defeat but victory. We should overcome every situation and circumstance in the world by following Jesus’ example.

“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished the race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed- that exhilarating finish in and with God- he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honour, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls.” (Hebrews 12:2-3).