Home > Sermons

Understanding Power and Authority

Christ has given every follower his power and authority to defeat Satan and all evil spirits.

Average Rating:  [see ratings/reviews]Understanding Power and Authority

Back to Outline


In this session, we're going to deal with the subject of the power and authority of Jesus Christ that's been given to us and the significance of living in that power and authority. Jesus made the promise to give us this power and authority in Matthew 16:18 when he said to Peter: "The gates of Hades will not be able to withstand or withhold the advancing church." Jesus was going to build his church. The church was going to advance. The gates of Hades could not withstand it.

Jesus is saying that he who is in us is greater than he who is in the world. His power is greater than the power of the enemy. When there is a head-on conflict between the power of the enemy and the power of God, the power of the enemy will lose every time.

How do we then live and walk in this power and authority? We understand from our last session that the world we live in has two realms—the natural and the spiritual. We need to be able to know how to live in this spiritual realm in a way that affects the natural realm. Instead of the spiritual realm only affecting me, I need to be living in a way that affects the spiritual realm, which in turn affects the natural realm.

Ten years ago, as I read Paul's amazing statement in 1 Corinthians 4:19-20, I began my personal journey in understanding the power we have as believers. Paul says in these verses that he's coming to Corinth to see the teachers that are there, and he's not coming to hear their words, but he's coming to see the power in their lives, "for the kingdom of God is not words, but it is power."

At that time ten years ago I was very committed to the Word and truths of God, to the expositional instruction of God's truth, and to trying to live out those truths, but I hadn't committed myself to understanding God's power. In that verse, I heard this question from the Lord: You've given yourself to me through my Word. Will you give yourself to me through my power? At that moment, I didn't know what it meant and couldn't relate with it. But pretty soon the Lord started us on a journey, and on this journey we began to understand the power of God. Specifically, we started to understand how he wants us to appropriate that power and do his work through that power, and that our lives should be characterized by the power of God.

Christ's power and authority

In Ephesians 1:19 Paul says, "I pray that you'll begin to understand the incredible greatness of his power." Now just prior to this Paul said, "I pray that a spirit of wisdom and revelation will be given to you," and he was praying that it would happen in three areas. One of the areas had to do with the power of God. Paul says:

I pray that you'll begin to understand the incredible greatness of his power for us who believe. This is the same mighty power which he brought about in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things in subjection under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church.
No First PageNo Previous PagePage 1 of 11

Mike Riches is pastor of Harborview Christian Fellowship in Gig Harbor, Washington, director of the Sycamore Commission, and author of Living Free.

Mike Riches:

Rating & Reviews

Average User Rating:

Displaying 1–5 of 28 comments


August 17, 2017  5:17am

Good mike. I consider the analogy of a cop. Cops have authority citizens don't. When do they get this authority, after training? No. Before. The instant they are attested by a legal authority. From that point on the cop has authority to operate as a cop. A power to act upon the conduct of others. Have they been trained yet? No. Do they know how to walk in this authority? No. Is it natural? No. They must obey the instructors, understand their powers. But even after training, are they effective? No. Not until the exercise the authority they have, using their training, on real people in life situations. A Christian has authority as a cop. But if they don't use and apply it, it's wasted, ineffective. The opportunity presents itself, the Christian can do nothing, or apply their authority. Just like a cop who presented with an opportunity can exercise their authority or do nothing.

Report Abuse


August 11, 2017  6:45pm

Wow, she is one of the most beautiful girls I have seen

Report Abuse

Simon To

June 29, 2017  8:32am

Thank you kindly Mike for your fantastic notes and deep insight. Loads of golden nuggets to take away and meditate and ask the Holy Spirit to renew in our minds.

Report Abuse


April 15, 2017  3:46pm

For some reason, I cannot log in, but my sister sent me 3 short pages on Understanding Power and Authority. I wish I could get access to the whole sermon, but I am happy to receive what she sent. I recognize I am in a spiritual war, but I am not good with the weaponry yet. I read the Bible and I know you are correct in what you are sharing. I lack boldness in using Jesus' authority over the demonic things that cause problems. I lack faith in myself, but I do know the Lord's Power. Thank you for the reminders of other verses to use as I work against the dark forces that are causing problems in my husband's and my life. If you can pray for me. I want to learn how to take a stronger stance against the darkness that is in my life. I am an SRA survivor and I know some horrible and unspeakable things have happened to my childhood family and me. I don't understand how to combat the past except to accept Jesus as my Savior and I did this as a child. However, I am still learning.

Report Abuse


April 04, 2017  12:47am

Thanks so very much for your work presented here. "Authority" is an issue that I have been gradually learning over the past 8-10 years. It's been a real journey (read "struggle"), because I was raised in an extremely conservative "religion". Even the great non-denom Church I was saved in would be afraid to approach many of these issues. I fully agree with literally all that was presented here, and would even go a bit farther... to include other areas of this physical world that Satan has been handed authority over... weather. Christ exampled his authority and power over both, and told us that we have the same... if we just have faith and do not doubt. Faith and Doubt are polar opposites, we cannot say we believe if we doubt what Christ said. Miracles should be a LOT more common, if we would but believe - and follow His examples. If Christ exampled it, we should do likewise. If He said something, it's absolutely true... even to the point of us saying to a mountain "jump", and it would.

Report Abuse

Review and Rate this Article: *



1000 character limit

* Comments may be edited for tone and clarity.

Related Sermon Illustrations

How to Test the Spirits

Demons are very cowardly, always anxious about the fire that has been prepared for them. To bolster your courage against them, take this sure sign: When some apparition occurs, do ...

[ Read More ]

"The Two Towers": Evil Cast Out

In The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, J. R. R. Tolkien portrays the classic conflict between good and evil, set in a mythical land called Middle Earth. In the middle of the film, ...

[ Read More ]

More Sermon illustrations

Related videos

Our Coming Savior:The Shepherds | Skit Guys Studios | Preaching Today Media

Our Coming Savior:The Shepherds | Skit Guys Studios

Having just heard from angels, three shepherds argue about who should get to go see the new Messiah and who should have to stay back and "sheep-sit". Part of the “Our Coming Savior” Christmas series. [ Read More ]
Unto Us Video Worship Song Track with Lyrics | Matthew West | Preaching Today Media

Unto Us Video Worship Song Track with Lyrics | Matthew West

From Matthew West's Christmas release, "Unto Us, A Christmas Collection", comes the song "Unto Us." The download includes a vibrant lyric background for use with your worship team plus a full master track, instrumental, and split track. This song is a great choice to bring a spirit of worship this Christmas season. [ Read More ]

More videos

Print this pageShopping CartHelpMy Account