Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Authority (12) - Fall and Recovery

The fall handed authority on earth to the Satan. When he tempted Jesus, he gloated that all the authority and glory of the kingdoms of the world have been given to him (Luke 4:6). He did not understand that authority on earth could only be held by a human. He was an angel, so his claim to authority on earth was illegitimate.

Satan’s stolen authority was evident in the numerous people possessed by demons and the number oppressed by sickness. Jesus demonstrated his victory in advance by healing the sick and casting out demons.

God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him (Acts 10:38).
When Jesus died upon the cross and rose again, Satan was totally defeated. He took back the authority that he had stolen.

Jesus won a total victory on the cross, but he did not cling to the authority that he took back. Jesus died to set us free from sin and death, and from the authority of the devil. Here are some amazing promises.
You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32).
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed (John 8:36).
Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death (Rom 8:2).
For he who was… called by the Lord is the Lord's freedman (1 Cor 7:22).
I am free and belong to no man (1Co 9:19)
Jesus death and resurrection set us free. Those who believe in him belong to no one else. The gospel takes people out from under the false authority:
  • demonic powers
  • sickness
  • political powers
  • religious powers
Jesus restored total freedom to those who believe in him. That freedom is authority over our own life. When Jesus set us free, he restored us back to the same state as Adam and Eve in the garden. We have authority over our lives and are free to choose how we to think and live.

Freedom is authority over my own life. A free person has authority to decide what they will think and do. No one has authority over them. No one can coerce them into doing things that they do not wish to do. All external authority limits freedom. If someone if given authority over an aspect of another’s life, they have lost freedom. If the other person gains total authority, then they have lost all freedom.

Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit within us to teach us the wisdom of God,
The Holy Spirit.. will teach you all things (John 14:26).
We can understand the will of God, because his Spirit has written his wisdom onto our hearts. The Holy Spirit will teach us, but he will always leave us free. He will never force us to obey God. Even if we chose to ignore his wisdom and do stupid things, the Holy Spirit will not force us to do what is right.

John explained what Jesus accomplished.
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the authority (exousia) to become children of God (John 1:12).
When people accepted Jesus and believed in him, he gave them authority. This is amazing. Jesus had all authority, but when we accept the gospel, he gives that authority back to us. Jesus said that the sons of God are free (Matt 17:26). The person who becomes a child of God receives authority over their life. They are set free again.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

How do you reconcile being a servant or bondman of God (as the apostle Paul claimed to be) with your last post?

Anonymous said...

If I am not mistaken Paul also had some type of illness that he prayed to God about three times and rather than healing him God said "my grace is sufficient for thee." My point being that the freedom Christ spoke of doesn't include freedom from sickness nor can person serve God and their own interests.

Blessed Economist said...

Anon 1. Paul freely chose to be a bondservant of Jesus, because he loved him. Jesus did not force Paul to do anything. He was free to stop serving Jesus, if he had chosen.

Anon 2. Tradition says that the "thorn in the flesh" was an illness (a nice cop out). A careful reading of the context suggests it was more likely a besetting sin.

Anonymous said...

Paul said I take pleasure in infirmities. Not I take pleasure in that I have been healed of all my infirmities.

Anonymous said...

As an addendum to the last post, do you mean to imply that Paul takes pleasure in his besetting sin? Sounds unlikely to me.

Blessed Economist said...

The primary meaning of asthenia is weakness. I doubt that Paul was celebrating besetting sin or sickness. Paul had come to realise that he did not have to be sin-free to be used by God. Provided he remained aware of his human weakness (including his capacity to sin and his capacity to be attacked by sickness) the Holy Spirit could work through him. He boasted of his human weakness, so that the power of Christ could work within him. We should not use the thorn in the flesh as the basis for a theology of sickness.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what a theology if sickness is, but it is clear that even Christians who are serving God can become physically ill. Some of these illnesses will be Chronic/lifelong and some of them will be fatal. There are consequences of sin and the fall of man and illness is one of them. We may have freedom in Christ but we are not free from illness just because we become a Christian.

BTW in context Paul talks of his thorn in the flesh and infirmity as if they were the same thing. You said the thorn in the flesh was most likely a beseting sin. Paul said I take pleasure in infirmity. Something doesn't add up.

Blessed Economist said...

Sounds like a theology of sickness to me!

Anonymous said...

Are you implying that if you are sick you are not a Christian?

Blessed Economist said...

No, but they (or more likely their elders) might not fully understand what Jesus accomplished through his death and resurrection. See Healing for Christians.

Anonymous said...

WOW! Does that mean no more gray hair!!! No more glasses or decaying teeth or winkling skin. . . .does that mean no more aging? WOW! So, if we have the "revelation," we won't have these, what the Bible calls, weak and embarrassing bodies any more. . .these clay jars that are falling apart. WOW!! Billy Graham better get on the ball and work on his faith. hmmmmmm.........

John333 said...

Sickness has many disciples.
Evil has many evangelists.