Sermon series: It's a Miracle!
This sermon compliments a study through Empowering Kingdom Growth: The Heartbeat of God by Ken Hemphill.
Scriptures: Luke 7:1-10
Many today are living defeated lives. Rather than live a defeated life, you can live in victory if you will discover a wonderful principle called kingdom authority.
A Centurion, who was the leader over 100 men in the Roman army, sent word to Jesus asking that He heal his servant, who was deathly sick. The Centurion told Jesus that He did not need to come to the house. Just "say the word, and my servant will be cured" (v. 7b, HCSB). Luke says Jesus "was amazed" at this man and his faith (7:9).
If Jesus Christ marveled at this man and was impressed by his faith, we ought to take note of it. We are dealing with something significant – kingdom authority. What does the Bible teach about authority?
God created man and gave him authority on the earth. When God created Adam and Eve, He told them to have dominion (Gen. 1:26). Dominion - that means they were to reign. But when they sinned, they lost their dominion and became servants to Satan. All who are in Adam, likewise became servants of sin and Satan.
Jesus, as the last Adam, came and won for us victory (1 Cor. 15:22, 45-48). That's why we sing "Victory in Jesus!" You today can have victory (see Rom. 5:17).
The Centurion‘s words gave evidence that he understood authority and its implications for life. Jesus was amazed at his understanding. Today, I want us to understand what the Bible teaches about kingdom authority. What does it mean to live in kingdom authority?
1. The Source of kingdom authority
All authority comes down from a higher power. Authority comes from above. That's why we say that we are "under" someone's authority. The Centurion understood being under authority (vs. 8). In coming to Jesus, the Centurion was appealing to a higher authority.
When a police knocks and says, "Open, in the name of the law" we open. Why? He has authority.
Behind the police is the city.
Behind the city, the state militia.
Behind the state militia, the National Guard of the United States.
Incredible authority stands behind that one man.
Likewise, in Christ we have incredible authority. Why? Because we are united with Jesus in His death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and enthronement (see Rom. 6:3-9). Our authority comes from Him. We spread the gospel through His authority (Matt. 28:18-20). We live our lives as believers are under heavenly authority (1 Pet. 3:22).
2. The secret of kingdom authority
All authority is linked to obedience (vs. 8). You cannot have authority until you get under the authority that is over you. That's the reason that Satan worked to get Adam to disobey. When Adam disobeyed, he forfeited his authority.
We resist being under someone's authority. But, God does not give kingdom authority to rebels. If you do not learn to be under, you will not be over.
In His life on the earth, Jesus was under the authority of His earthly parents, the Holy Spirit, the Father, the Word of God, and the government (see Luke 2:51; 4:1; John 17:4; Mark 14:49; Matt. 17:27).
3. The scope of kingdom authority
When the Lord gives you authority, He gives you spiritual authority (Luke 10:18-19). God gave Adam authority over the physical realm (Gen. 1:27-28). We still have that. In Christ, though, one day we will have full spiritual authority (Hebrews 2:6-8). Our full inheritance is waiting until Jesus returns. We do not yet see all things put under Him. But in this day and in this age, he has given us authority over the enemy (2 Peter 1:3). That is the scope of your kingdom authority.
4. The strength of kingdom authority
The Centurion understood the strength of authority. He surrendered to someone else's authority (Luke 7:7-8). Strength for the Christian life comes from surrender. Our spiritual strength comes because we are surrendered to Jesus Christ.
Authority differs from power. Authority comes from the office. Power resides in the person. Football players, big and fierce, have power. The only man on the football field without a uniform and pads, armed only with a whistle, he – the little guy – has the authority. He can stop a play or send guys to the locker room. Jesus says that we are the "little guy." "I give you authority over all the power of the enemy." Our strength comes from His authority. It's time we told the enemy to take a hike.
Because you have kingdom authority, you don't have to live a defeated life.