Lesson 5

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CHAPTER FIVE

DELEGATED AUTHORITY

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

C Write the Key Verse from memory.

C Identify the source from whom we receive spiritual authority.

C Explain the relationship between responsibility and authority.

C Explain the responsibility Jesus delegated to His followers.

C Define two Greek words for power.

KEY VERSE:

Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
(Luke 10:19)

INTRODUCTION

God is the source of power. He delegated "all power" to His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus then delegated spiritual power to His followers. This power enabled them to fulfill a great responsibility assigned to them .

RESPONSIBILITY AND AUTHORITY

When Jesus concluded His earthly ministry and returned to Heaven, He left His followers with a great responsibility. He said:

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost;

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.

(Matthew 28:19-20)

The responsibility Jesus gave His followers was to reach the entire world with the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

There is a definite relationship between responsibility and authority. When someone is given a responsibility to do something, he must also be given the authority to do it. That authority must be delegated by someone greater than he.

For example, a policeman is given the responsibility to maintain order in a village or city .
He is also given authority by the government to fulfill that responsibility. He is given
authority to carry a weapon to give him power to fulfill his task. The policeman does not
have authority in himself . His authority is delegated (given ) to him by his superiors. He
is a man working with power delegated to him by a higher authority. He represents the
government.

Jesus gave His followers the responsibility of reaching the world with the Gospel. He also gave them the authority to accomplish the task. You cannot give someone responsibility without giving them authority to carry out that responsibility. What was this authority? It was spiritual power. Jesus said:

. . . All power is given unto me in Heaven and in earth. (Matthew 28:18)

Then He said,

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost;

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.

(Matthew 28:19-20)

THE AUTHORITY TO DELEGATE

When Jesus came to this earth, He came with power and authority. Jesus had "all power" delegated from God. Because of this, He (Jesus) had the authority to delegate both power and responsibility to His followers:

And when He had called unto Him His twelve disciples, He gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. (Matthew 10:1)

And He ordained twelve, that they should be with Him , and that He might send them forth to preach,

And to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out devils. (Mark 3:14-15)

And He called unto Him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits. (Mark 6:7)

Then He called His twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. (Luke 9:1)

It was not emotionalism or material blessings which Jesus delegated to His disciples . He did not establish an organized base of operations in Jerusalem. He knew these alone
would not accomplish the task. He delegated power.

In Chapter Three you learned about the power of Satan. The power which Jesus delegated to His followers is greater than the power of the enemy:

Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
(Luke 10:19)

Satan is not afraid of you. He will not respect you, but he fears your God-given authority .

Authority is based on relationship. For example, the policeman has authority because of his relationship with the government. Your authority is based on your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Behind you stands Jesus with "all power." When you realize this truth, your life will change. Jesus told the disciples:

And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. (Luke 24:49)

When the Disciples were endued with this power they were changed from fearful, unbelieving, doubting men to men of authority:

. . . they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word with signs following. (Mark 16:20)

The book of Acts records how the promise of spiritual power was fulfilled in the lives of believers. The miracles, signs, and wonders described in this book are impressive. Each manifestation of God’s power contributed towards the fulfillment of the great
responsibility of reaching the world with the Gospel.

TWO WORDS FOR POWER

In the New Testament, two different Greek words are translated by the one word , power. The two meanings are illustrated in this verse:

Behold, I give unto you power (exousia) to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power (dunamis) of the enemy. . . (Luke 10:19)

The Greek word "exousia" means delegated power or authority. The word "dunamis" refers to inherent power. "Inherent" power is derived from the mind and self. Inherent power (dunamis) is used in this verse to describe the power of Satan. Delegated power (exouisa) is used to describe the power of Jesus which was delegated by God . It is this power, delegated from God , which is greater than the power of the enemy . It is this
delegated power that is passed on to believers. You are not born with this power. You do not inherit it from your parents. It is delegated to you by Jesus Christ.

RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE POWER

The power Jesus gave His followers carried with it a specific responsibility: It was to be used to extend the Gospel to the nations of the world:

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

This power is for the purpose of extending the Gospel to the nations of the world. Jesus told a parable illustrating this truth in Mark 13. He said:

For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to His servants, and to every man His work, and commanded the porter to watch. (Mark 13:34)

The authority was given to accomplish a work. That work is the extension of the Gospel to the nations of the world.

IS IT PAST?

Some people claim this great endument of spiritual power was only for the early church. They say it was only for the disciples. They claim the day of miracles is past.

But consider this question: Has the entire world been reached with the Gospel? The task Jesus left to His followers is not yet finished. We still have the responsibility of reaching the world with the Gospel of the Kingdom . Jesus would not withdraw the authority
before the responsibility was fulfilled.

Read the story of the death and resurrection of Lazarus in John 11. When Jesus arrived after Lazarus had already died, Martha met Him and said:

. . . Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. (John 11:21)

Jesus said to her. . .

. . . Thy brother shall rise again. (John 11:23)

Martha said:

. . . I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. (John 11:24)

Then Jesus said to her:

. . . I AM the resurrection, and the life; He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. (John 11:25)

Martha believed Jesus could have raised Lazarus in the past (". . . if thou hadst been

here"). She believed Jesus could raise him in the future ("in the last day"). But Jesus

shared a very important truth with her. He said "I Am" the resurrection and life. "I am" is speaking in the present tense. Then He raised Lazarus from the dead.

There is no such thing as a past day of miracles. There is no such thing as future day of miracles. In every age there is power to work miracles to meet the needs of people. In every day and age, God is manifesting His power. He says to you, "I Am"–present tense.

LIFE FROM THE VINE

I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing.
(John 15:5)

In the natural world, life comes from the vine. The vine sends a life flow into the

branches of a plant to produce fruit. The branch does not bear fruit of its own. If it is separated from the main vine, it ceases to bear and eventually dies.

This is the example Jesus used to illustrate the flow of God’s power in the spiritual world. We are the branches that bear the fruit. Jesus is the vine . You do not produce the fruit,
you just bear it (see John 15 ).

The powerful miracles of New Testament times were not Peter’s miracles. They were not the work of Paul’s hands. They were a result of the life of God flowing through them as spiritual branches bringing forth spiritual fruit.

These men did what God had commanded them. They preached the Word. They laid

hands on the sick. They commanded demons to loose their hold on the lives of men and women. They obeyed and left the results to God.

Obey God and leave the results in His hands. You are not the miracle worker. God is the source of power. When you are obedient to God and act on His Word, then it is up to Him. He produces the power through you.

When the disciples asked "What shall we do that we might work the works of God? ,” Jesus answered . . .

. . . This is the work of God: that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent. (John 6:29)

Jesus is the One who works through you . He is the One who has delegated the authority . You do not have to work up the power by emotionalism . You do not have to "pray it down.” It is the power of God working in and through you:

. . . they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word with signs following. (Mark 16:20)

Often in ministry this pattern is switched. Many try to work for God. But the method that brings powerful results is "The Lord working with them ."

Jesus told the disciples:

And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
(Luke 24:49)

Many ministries fail because they go forth before receiving the endument of spiritual

power. If we are to meet the challenges of the great responsibility Jesus gave us, we must do so in the authority and power of God.

THE PURPOSES

People do not delegate power to others unless they have a reason for doing so. There is always a purpose when authority is delegated.

You learned in this chapter that the main purpose for spiritual power is the extension of the Gospel. But there are many other important purposes for this delegated authority. You will learn these purposes for power in the following chapter.