The Conferring of Spiritual Authority and Power

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). In Christ we were chosen (see verse 4) and in Him we have redemption (see verse 7). Our hope lies in Christ (see verse 12), and we “were marked in him with a seal” (verse 13).

The problem is that we don’t always recognize or understand this remarkable inheritance that we have been given in Christ. As Paul expresses for all believers, “ I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power [dunameos] for us who believe. That power [energeian] is the same as the mighty [kratous] strength [ischuos] he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead” (verses 18-20).

Behind Christ’s authority is the same power that raised Him from the dead and seated Him at the Father’s right hand. That power source is so dynamic that Paul uses four different Greek words to describe it (see italicized words in brackets in quote above). Behind the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ lies the mightiest work of power recorded in the Bible. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead and defeated Satan is available to us as believers. When we don’t understand and appropriate our spiritual heritage, we don’t experience the freedom and the fruitfulness that is intrinsic to our position in Christ. To carry out our delegated responsibility, we have to know the authority we have in Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit who indwells us.

The scope of Christ’s authority is “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come” (verse 21). We share this same authority because we are seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (see 2:4-7). We are not being made alive in Christ; we have been made alive in Christ. We are not being raised up with Christ; we have been raised up with Christ. We are right now together with Christ. The throne of God is the ultimate authority of the universe, and it is from this position of authority that we carry on our delegated Kingdom responsibilities.

Before Christ, we were dead in our transgressions and sins. We “followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient” (verse 2). But now we have received “the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus” (verse 7). “His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord” (3:10-11). The last thing the devil wants you to know is who you are in Christ, because he can’t intimidate a child of God who knows they are forgiven, made alive, empowered and authorized to make disciples.

Dr. Neil

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