Tuesday: Exercising Authority
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Compare the following passages: Mark 6:7-13, Matt. 16:14-19, 18:17-20, 28:18-20, John 20:21-23. What do these verses tell us about the kind of authority that Jesus’ disciples had? What does this mean for us today?

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Peter had expressed the truth which is the foundation of the church’s faith, and Jesus now honored him as the representative of the whole body of believers. He said, I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

The keys of the kingdom of heaven are the words of Christ. All the words of Holy Scripture are His, and are here included. These words have power to open and to shut heaven. They declare the conditions upon which men are received or rejected. Thus the work of those who preach God’s word is a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. Theirs is a mission weighted with eternal results.-Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, pp. 413, 414.

As the Father commissioned Jesus, so Christ commissions His disciples. Through the Spirit, the Father invested Christ with divine power. Through the Spirit, Jesus likewise invests His disciples with divine power commensurate with their earthly assignments. No follower should fear that Christ has shortchanged them. Every skill, talent, capability, and strength necessary has been supplied.

Sometimes human leadership fails to recognize the principles involved. Whenever leaders assign tasks without extending commensurate power, failure is predictable. Often leaders’ insecurities surface through controlling behaviors that subjugate the thoughts, God-ordained creativity, and individuality of others. Thus emasculated, the subjugated disciple fails to be effective. Such behavior would look like the conductor attempting to play every instrument simultaneously instead of conducting the symphony.

Jesus’ example speaks volumes here. If anyone ever possessed the right to withhold authority and dictate behavior, Christ certainly did. Instead He invested others with authority, commissioned them to labor outside of His presence where His only influence would be His instruction and examples and sent them to minister and witness.

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Tuesday: Exercising Authority — 20 Comments

  1. The rebellion of this planet against God revolves around the accusation against God that He can't be trusted. The Gospel message to the rebels is that He has sent His Son to be amongst us so that we can see for ourselves the Character of God. This Son of God also willingly paid the penalty of our rebellion out of love for us. But we need to be willing to accept the peace offer made.

    Each of us who has accepted Jesus Christ as our Saviour and King, are a testimony to what God has done and is doing for us. Christ has given us authority to go to the world and tell our story of what the God of Heaven has done in our lives. The changes in our lives are the proof that He exists and that He can be trusted. Trust is a two way street. God has placed a trust in us to tell the Gospel message to all who are willing to receive it. The fact that Jesus died for them too. He is also willing and able to change their life if only they will let him.

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  2. He said, ‘I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.’”
    I never understood this, What we bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven. Or Loosen on earth & heaven. Can someone explain this to me. Thanx

    Like(3)
    • The keys of the kingdom are the words of Christ. Whoever you give the Gospel message to and they receive it, so accepting Jesus as their Saviour, are bound in Heaven to Christ. Whoever rejects the Gospel message are lost. Jesus is the Rock, the Salvation of Israel, the Cornerstone upon which the Church is built. Salvation can only be found through Him.

      Like(7)
  3. Evie the delivery of the keys of a city etc to a person symbolizes the handing over of the authority to that person. The keys giving to peter here are the abilities to open and explain the gospel truths, and a mission and commission from Christ to make use of them. To bind is to forbid, to pronounce unlawful; to loose is to allow, to declare lawful. All pretensions of any man either to absolve or retain men's sins, are blasphemous and absurd. None can forgive sins but God only. And this binding and loosing, in the common language of the jews, signified to forbid or allow, or to teach what is lawful or unlawful. when we bind anything or loose anything, it should be in accordance with the word of God.

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  4. Exercising Authority.
    Why is it that the secular world is able to pose a great influence on the people living in the 21st c.Any secular meeting be it ,night dances,movies,sports etc are able to attract so many people .Think of the days of the ministry of Jesus.Multitudes used to throng in His meetings.What has changed with his followers.Where is the Authority of Jesus amongst His followers?

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    • Franklin,
      Your question is excellent. Are we preaching the gospel? What is the gospel? If we are preaching the correct gospel then why aren't people coming in droves to hear it? Many preach the Sabbath as an arbitrary test of obedience. Many are concentrating on the law (which law) and its ultimate importance. Didn't Ezra and Nehemiah concentrate on those two items? Don't the Hebrews dedicate themselves to these to this day? Didn't Jesus have to come the first time to straighten things out? Didn't he come here to demonstrate God? Aren't we supposed to be demonstrating God? What do we have to "figure out" so Jesus can have a people without spot or wrinkle so he can come the second time? Won't the crowds be "knocking down" our doors to hear the words of life? Are we presenting the words of life? "Job has said of me what is right."
      Larry

      Like(1)
    • The gospel them was pure. Now it is diluted with false teachings and thus disappointing. If the buddy of Christ operated in the fullness of truth and unity then the church would truly be revived... The last verse in the book of judges explains where we are today and a divided church is ineffective

      Like(3)
  5. I like Evie's question and it got me thinking. This promise was made in the context of the gospel commission. Therefore, this suggests from my perspective, whatever is required to fulfill the gospel commission in a practical sense will be granted including the gift of tongues, finances, a miracle and so on.

    Also, personally I take from this text the assurance that God honors our request in accordance with his will. If we ask (bind on earth) he will hear and answer (bound in heaven).

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  6. I'm not sure uneducated followers of Christ would have a clue about what we are talking about in our lesson: "Thus emasculated, the subjugated disciple fails to be effective."

    I guess that's why Christ taught in parables so even the children could understand. Jesus authority came from His Father and as Christian we need to follow His example. He is Lord and savior...

    Like(5)
  7. Jesus empowered His disciples with power and authority, He also breathe on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. Jesus is giving us the same authority, and empowerment through His holy words, ""Go ye into all the world". God bless us as we go.

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  8. In giving His disciples authority, I see the contrast between the kingdoms of this world and the kingdom of God. There is no competition, not even friendly competition. Each member belongs and has purpose. It also seems obvious to me that we often think we have the Spirit of God, but there's so much more power available to us if we really embraced God's Spirit, and listened to His directions.

    Like(2)
  9. Elijah was told to anoint Elisha who will stand in his place. He went ahead and elected him and he gave him a double spirit when he was taken to heaven with chariots of fire. We must give authority to others to do the work of God,so as to accomplish it.

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  10. As true believers in this Gospel message God has empowered us with His word and the help of the Holy Spirit to show others by our lifestyle and by how we as Christians treat our brothers and sisters with love to share this message of salvation with the world. We should also have a personal relationship with our Creator. You cannot be a faithful witness without having at least one encounter with God. You don't have a testimony without being tested.

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  11. Brethren, He gave the disciples and all those who believe in Him and do His work according to his commanded authority. He did not want to personalize the work because we see him healing the sick and rising the dead and his disciples doing the same which means that we believers also have this authority. The question is how do we get this authority? Yes it is there but not automatic we have to do our part of having faith and being blameless and righteous in order to heal, rise the dead.

    Like(1)
  12. Elijah was told to anoint Elisha who will stand in his place. He went ahead and elected him and he gave him a double spirit when he was taken to heaven with chariots of fire.

    It was an excellent experienced of Elijah and Elisha relationship to God. Will their be such kind of faith experienced that will be done today?

    Please!!! Why I ask this question because, It seems I did not find any strong unique faith as what has in Elijah and Elisha now a days.

    God give a Power to Elijah to anoint Elisha. And God give a Power to Elisha as if a magician, Ex. of the Oil with the woman that no more food to eat, After that they will be die,not only that they to pay a big credit left by her husband.

    May be this is the answer of Franklin Maina Ndung'u comment to attract more people, in evangelistic meetings.

    Please any one can answer??? for more clearer, thank you brethren...

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    • Kevinn, I am sure that if the church paid off people's debts it would be very popular but I am not sure that it what the Gospel is all about.

      The best witness for the Gospel is not some sort of magic like healing the sick, but by living the true meaning of the Gospel in our own lives. If we look back at the messages of the prophets to the children of Israel their treatment of the poor and needy was often at the top of the list of things they were doing wrong.

      The Gospel is the key to successful witnessing but it is much more than an eloquent statement of doctrine, or the performance of public miracles; it is about working persistently by making friends with those that we want to win. Spreading the Gospel is hard work and we need to get beyond the notion that we just pronounce it as free and then sit back and wait for people to come flocking to hear it.

      Like(2)
  13. Yes Thank you very much Maurice Ashton, or Maybe we can consider that the evangelistic way of preaching the Gospel in Old Testament time is different now in New Testament time.

    In Jesus Our Savior preaching time, people really flock together.

    May I suggest that the experienced of the Disciples in the Early Rain pouring of Holy Spirit Evangelism, And also the waiting to received Later Rain pouring of Holy Spirit as Power for Evangelism,,,, Is the answer of Franklin Maina Ndung'u comment to attract more people, in evangelistic meetings?

    Please more clearer answer... brethren much better in Jesus name. Thank you

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    • Even in our time today,Faith Healers are flocked by people because like Jesus they do miracles while preaching and teaching.

      During the time of the disciples, the gospel is only to prove that Christ was the Messiah. May be this was one reason why the church grew very fast.

      Today, most of the times we are preaching to people who already know about Jesus. In fact most of them have accepted Jesus already as their personal Savior.

      I believe, the gospel which is Jesus as our Savior has gone already to all the worlds. If there are people who have not heard about Jesus. I think they are those who are in the remotest areas.

      The gospel in the context of Rev. 14 is the gospel that is still to go to the world.

      May I also ask a question. Is the conversion of a person dependent on how much the preacher is filled with the Spirit or is it dependent on how the hearer responds to the working of the Spirit in his life whether or not the messenger has the Spirit or not?

      The disciples were harvesting thousands of people everyday because they had received the early rain but we cannot read something like thousands are accepting Jesus as a result of their positive response to the voice of the Holy Spirit.

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      • You wrote:

        I believe, the gospel which is Jesus as our Savior has gone already to all the worlds. If there are people who have not heard about Jesus. I think they are those who are in the remotest areas.

        We live in a very secular world and many of the unchurched people I meet would have heard about Jesus in the same way that they hear about Star-trek or Aesop's fables. In other words they have not even considered that there is something special about Jesus. The Gospel may have gone to some remote places but I think in many respects we are now seeing that it has been in missed in some of the places that are close to home. The challenge of being relevant to the post modern generations of developed countries like Europe, the US of A, Canada, Australia and NZ remains with us.

        Spreading the Gospel will continue to challenge us.

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      • Merwin, there is still a lot to be done to take the Gospel to all the world. I live in a rural town in Australia which has a population of around 8000 people. Of those, only 10 percent even go to church. The humanistic teachings of our secular and materialistic society, along with the sleepiness of the saints has caused this. We have a new generation growing up in the western world who know very little about what the Bible is, let alone heard the Gospel.

        In answer to your question, conversion is dependent on the hearer responding to the call of the Holy Spirit. But this doesn't take away from the messenger. The authentic calling card of the messenger is the agape love of the Father manifest in the life of the messenger. Without that authentic calling card, it is unlikely the recipient of the message will even listen. Why, there wouldn't be anything that stands out above the noise of everything else clamouring for the recipient's attention.

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