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Understanding Power and Authority

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

This sermon is part of the sermon series Living Free.See series.


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 ...

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

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Displaying 1–5 of 9 comments

George Thara

March 27, 2018  3:45am

A word for the season we are in! The son's must arise in their Power and Authority, take their place as Kings and work the great Harvest of sauls that is upon us. God bless you and your generations!

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George Thara

March 27, 2018  3:43am

A word for this season we are in, the sons of God must rise in their Power and Authority for the great harvest that awaits us. God bless you and your generations.

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October 30, 2017  7:15am

Great illustration and explanation of God Word

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Robert Gill

September 19, 2017  2:47pm

This article really hit home. This is exactly what I needed.

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Stanley Patterson

September 17, 2017  10:11am

I applaud the focus on the power and authority of Jesus Christ. It is an essential element of Christian Ministry--vocational or avocational. The article focus is primarily on power and comparative power. But there are two elements: power and authority. They are not synonyms. Power is the ability to do something. Authority is the permission to exercise that power. Power without permission is authoritarianism. The church is not only empowered by Christ through the Holy Spirit it is also granted generous permission (authority) to exercise that power. Our permission to disciple, baptize, teach, etc. in the names of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is occurs as we embrace the Commissioning promised in Matt 28. This commissioning is not so different from a military commission which grants authority to an individual to lead and organize within the constraints of rank and assignment. I wish for a clearer understanding of the interaction between the two in the context of the body of Christ.

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Sermon Outline:


I. Christ's power and authority

II. Jesus gives his authority to us

III. We receive this authority at salvation

IV. The importance of biblically and boldly facing Satan's kingdom