RSS

Tag Archives: power and authority

Our Victory is in Christ

Now that we’ve seen the war against the flesh and the world, we’ll move on to the final battle.  We’re in a war against the spiritual forces of the kingdom of Satan.

As I’ve already written about, the people around us are not the enemy.  They’re prisoners of war in the spiritual battle.  They’re being held captive by the world system under the control of the devil.

It’s up to us, God’s people, to set them free and bring them to the cross.  That’s where they can find true salvation for their souls.

In order for that to happen, there are some things that we need to understand.  We can’t go into this battle with only half the information.

The first thing that we have to realize is that Christ has already won the war.

And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
Colossians 2:15

Jesus Christ has once and for all won the victory over all the power of the enemy kingdom.  However, that doesn’t mean that the fighting has stopped.

Just like in WWII, when the Axis powers collapsed, the Allied forces had to mop up the remaining troops.  They had to enter the concentration camps and free the surviving prisoners.  That’s where we are in the spiritual war today.

The trouble is that even in defeat, the enemy is dangerous.  He wants as few people as possible to be set free by the knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Just how do we thwart the devil’s plans?  The Lord already took care of this.  Look at what Christ said to His followers.

“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”
Luke 10:19

The same power over the enemy that the Lord walked in has been conferred upon us.  We have authority over the enemy’s kingdom.  Of course, the devil would like that to remain a carefully guarded secret.

As long as we look to the future for our victory, we’ll never see the enemy kingdom back down.  We must learn to walk in the authority of Christ that we’ve already been given.

We need to see a God’s-eye-view of the spiritual war.

“…I will build my church, and the gates of Hades [Hell] will not overcome it.”
Matthew 16:18b

We have to come to the realization that the gates of Hell don’t move.  They don’t attack the church.  These gates are fixed around what the enemy already possesses and he’s trying to keep hold of.

The gates of Hell are around our centers of education.  They surround our political systems.  They’re also around our entertainment industry.

What we need to see is that it’s not an insurmountable obstacle.  The gates of Hell – all the power of the enemy – cannot withstand an attack by God’s people walking in the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Too often we try to infiltrate these areas of society using the rules of the world.  That’s why we only achieve limited success.  We need to learn to take this battle into the spiritual realm.

I’m going to take a few posts to talk about what God has given us in order to walk in the victory that Christ has already won for us.

Question: What are the spiritual battles that you’re facing right now?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

God’s Armor – The Helmet of Salvation

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Ephesians 6:17

Before I talk about the helmet, there’s something I need to explain.  The Greek text has an interesting and important twist in this verse.  Up until this point, every piece of armor was taken with a unique word.  For instance, under bind your feet with the shoes or take up the shield.

In this verse, there’s only one action for both pieces of armor.  We’re literally told to accept or receive the helmet and sword.  That leads me to believe that these two are an all or nothing combination.

In fact, once we understand these pieces, we’ll know why this is true.  I’ll talk about why they’re combined together in a future post.  For now, I simply want us to get to know them as individual pieces of armor.

So the question is; what is the Helmet of Salvation used for?  The obvious thing is that a helmet protects your head.  It’s also obvious what the head symbolizes in Scripture.

…and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.
Colossians 2:10

Christ is The Head.  He has the final power and authority over all of Creation.  But I am also a head under Christ.

First, I need to explain power and authority; they’re not the same thing.  Power is the ability to act.  We were told in Acts, chapters 2-3, that we would receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on us.  Do you have the Holy Spirit?  That answer is yes if you’re in Christ.  So you also have power.

Authority is something very different.  It is the right or permission to use that power.  Now I need to know where I can get this authority.

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.  The authorities that exist have been established by God.
Romans 13:1

All authority is given by God.  I can’t take it for myself.  There are 4 distinct authority structures ordained by God.  They are the church, the government, the home, and the workplace.

As we look at the pieces of armor, we find that there are groupings of items.  First, there’s the “standing armor”, which is truth, righteousness, and preparation.  Then there’s the “armor of approach”, which is faith so you can get near enough to strike the enemy.

The next two, the helmet and sword, are something else completely.  The word, take, in the Ephesians verse, literally means to accept or receive.  So these to pieces are the “issued armor”.

In the Roman army, the helmet told your birth country, your rank, what division you were in, and your place in the army.  It was the sign of how much authority you had in this army.

The Helmet of Salvation is the same for us. It’s the sign of our authority.  That’s important because if I haven’t received authority, then I can’t walk in authority.  Without authority, I have no ability to use power.

The key is that I can never take authority.  It can only be received when it’s given to me.

He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
Matthew 10:1

Authority can only be given by someone who has it.  It flows from the top down.  It’s vital that I do what’s necessary to receive God’s authority in my life.

God’s authority is how I accomplish the Lord’s work.  It gives me the right to use the power of God against the enemy and his kingdom.

Question: Why is walking in both power and authority important for the church of our generation?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Rank and Privilege

In my last post, we saw two of the disciples, James and John, trying to take leadership over the others.  Jesus explained to them that in the kingdom of God, your positions were prepared for you by the Holy Spirit.

The other disciples heard about it and started to get mad at the brother’s attempt at gaining power.  The Lord handled it by teaching them some kingdom principles.

When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John.  Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.  Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.  For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Mark 10:41-45

There are some good points that Jesus covers in this short statement.  I want to start with the most important one.  It’s the key to the whole passage.

The Lord concludes by using Himself as the example of service.  He came to serve the needs of others and to lay down His life for our freedom.  We miss the importance of this sometimes.

Christ didn’t simply do what He was told.  He didn’t let people push Him around.  He was a leader.  He instructed His disciples and even commanded them to do certain things.  Along with this, Christ served the needs of those around Him.

In explaining it, the Lord uses two levels of leaders.  Then He contrasts the world and the church.  He says that in the world, those who seem to be in charge lord it over them or make people do what they want them to do.

But there’s another level.  The really high officials exercise authority over them.  The word He used means to exercise privilege.  That means it’s all about what pleases me.  So in the world, leadership is communicating what I want done and what pleases me.

That’s not how the kingdom of God should be operating.  The two levels of leadership are completely different from the world’s way of operating.

Jesus starts by explaining how you become a leader.  It starts by serving.  This word literally means to be a waiter or an attendant.  This implies that you are not a slave to the one you’re serving.  Instead, you are serving people as instructed by the owner of the establishment.

Then, the next position is that of the top level of leadership.  Jesus says that to fit in there, you must become a bond-slave of the whole.  This is where we miss it sometimes.

As a leader in the body of Christ, I am not a slave to the Finance Committee, the individual members, the biggest tither, or even my denomination.  I am a bond-slave to the church of Jesus Christ.  My goal is to see the kingdom of God advanced.

That’s how Jesus fulfilled these roles.  It’s how we follow His example.  I’m not pushing my agenda or what makes me happy.  I serve others under the direction of the Holy Spirit.

If you walk in this attitude, then you’re ready for leadership in God’s kingdom.

Question: What are some examples you’ve seen of servant-leadership?

© 2018 Nick Zaccardi

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

The Helmet and the Sword

HelmetI believe that it’s time for the church to take its stand against the unseen forces of evil in our land. For too long we’ve sat back and allowed the enemy to take more and more ground. I’m not talking about arguing or protesting in the physical realm, but a return to spiritual warfare.

Unfortunately, very few in the body of Christ understand the true meaning of this phrase. Many only think about the weird excesses that bring ridicule to the church and produce no lasting effect.

I want to take a few posts to talk about one aspect of this issue.

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Ephesians 6:17-18

This is an incredible passage. But we miss out on the truth sometimes because we don’t realize that this is all one sentence. The following is how the sentence is laid out in the original language.

“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the rhema of God, through the channel of all prayer and petition, praying in all times in the spirit and attending to this with all persistency and petition around all the saints.”

In this series I want to focus on taking the helmet and the sword. In our preaching and teaching we usually separate them. The more I read and meditate upon this verse, the more I understand that they’re linked together.

I think one of the problems in our teaching these days is compartmentalizing. What I mean by that is because of the length of most sermons, we can’t show the relationship between spiritual concepts. Each one – the sword, helmet, etc. – is given its own little “bubble” of teaching. What we need to see is how they all work together.

Take the helmet, for example. It was not only used for protection. It’s the most prominent piece of armor. In the Roman army the top of the helmet was decorated with many materials and colors. In this way the helmet displayed not only the rank of the wearer, but what division he was in.

You could see it above the battle. Because of this, the general, usually watching from a hilltop, could see where all his men were. The helmet was a sign of whose authority they were under.

According to the above verse, the helmet and sword go together. All of the other pieces of armor are picked up separately, but not the sword and helmet.

This is because the helmet and sword are the believer’s authority and power. It’s just like the badge and the gun for police. They both go together. The badge shows his or her authority to act and the gun gives them the power to act.

Authority and power go together. One without the other is useless. The modern church needs to learn this. Authority, by itself only produces frustration. Power, alone, causes big problems. You must operate in both together in order to fulfill God’s plan for your life.

Question: How do power and authority complement each other in the life of a believer?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
1 Comment

Posted by on January 19, 2015 in Revival, Spiritual Warfare, The Church

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Power and Authority – The Difference

SONY DSCA few months ago, I talked at length about the power of God that’s working in us.  In that discussion we saw that true power is the ability to produce change.  It should be obvious that the power of God changes everything that it touches.

At some point, we also talked about the two components of power – love and a saved mind.  In that regard, faith is the fuel that energizes our love to action.  This is the nature of the power of God working in our lives.  It should be our goal to act just the opposite of those who “have a form of godliness but deny its power.”

Over the next few posts I want to continue to look at the power of God and how it parallels natural electric power.  One of the things that we know about electricity is that it can come in two different forms.  We know them as Alternating Current (AC) and Direct Current (DC).

The fact is that both are useful.  As a matter of fact, I can use both of these forms of electricity to power my portable DVD player.

I can choose to use the DC batteries or plug the AC adapter into the wall plug.  Which is better?  Think about that and we’ll talk more about it in a later post.  You will probably be surprised at how closely the answer to this simple question relates to Christians today.

In talking about spiritual power, Jesus said the following to His disciples…

“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”
Luke 10:19

We need to learn that authority goes hand in hand with power.  I haven’t talked about the concept of authority yet, so we need an understanding of how it fits into the whole picture.  While power is the ability to produce change, authority is the permission to use power.  In the natural realm the Electric Company gives you the authority to use electricity in your home or you will have no power.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
Matthew 28:18

Jesus said that He had been given permission to use all power in Heaven and on earth.  It is a blessing to know that He has given some of this power to us.  According to the Lord, our power is effective over all the power of the enemy.  Now that’s good news, that our power is greater than Satan’s kingdom.

There is no reason for me to fear, because God’s power is operating in me.

Question: How should the above knowledge affect our walk with God?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
1 Comment

Posted by on March 20, 2013 in Power of God

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,