If you believe in Jesus Christ and He is your Lord and Savior, then it is crucial that you understand the authority that has been given to you by Jesus. This authority is transferred to us by the power of the Holy Spirit, which was given to us when we repented of our sinful nature and received Jesus as Lord!
In Matthew chapter ten, Jesus gathers His twelve disciples together and He gives them His authority over evil, death, and disease. He also gives them instructions on how to preach and minister to people.
“He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.”
“As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”
Jesus speaking in Matthew 10:7-8
Brother and Sisters in the Lord, we still have that same power inside of us today! I have only had to do it once, but in the power of the Holy Spirit I cast out a demon that had been living in our house for four years! I was only 18 and had only been a Christian for a couple months! It was incredible! I also stopped breathing in 2012, my wife prayed over my lifeless body, and I came back in the power of the Holy Spirit! No, I’m not nuts, I am testifying! It was not my time to go yet. Jesus is The Resurrection and The Life, and He says when I go!
We have power over disease too. Sometimes, like with the Apostle Paul, the Lord keeps the thorn in for His Own purposes. However, God still used Paul to heal people through the laying on of hands in the power of the Holy Spirit! The brothers in my Bible study in college and I once laid hands on our brother who had a damaged knee. He was due to have surgery the next day. There were over twenty guys in my study at one point. We all prayed for his healing. The next day when he went in for surgery, the surgeon said the new x-ray showed it was healed and he didn’t need surgery anymore! We were all pumped when he came back to campus to tell everybody! He ended up becoming a Pastor in Boulder. I know God can heal me from Celiac Disease and restore me completely, but I also know I have to trust God with this thorn and rely fully on His grace. It is sufficient, believe me!
Jesus left His disciples with one more very important command before He ascended into Heaven. This is so crucial for Christians to understand! You must understand the authority that has been given to you and accept it with an open heart. It is called the Great Commission and it is the foundation of why we preach worldwide!
At the end of the Book of Matthew, Jesus gathers the remaining eleven disciples to a mountain in Galilee and He speaks three of the most famous lines in the entire Bible.
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
That is the power and authority of God that has been given to you my brothers and sisters! I will never forget the first time I baptized someone! I was in college and a friend of ours had accepted Christ and she wanted to be baptized. She asked me to baptize her because I was well known on campus from preaching almost every Friday night at Campus Crusade for Christ. Those four years at the University of Northern Colorado were incredible! What a time of growth in the Lord! We witnessed so many of our fellow classmates come to Jesus!
I was honored that she would ask me to baptize her, and of course I accepted the offer with joy! We set it up to do it that night at a pool. Several of our friends came and it was so joyful and cool! We bought her red roses and placed some of the pedals in the water. It was beautiful!
Right as I was getting in the water, one of our friends who had grown up in a very legalistic fundamental church spoke up and said, “What are you doing?! You can’t baptize her! You are not a pastor!”
Now folks, I was trained in the Bible and evangelism by one of the best evangelists I have ever known. He was the Director of Campus Crusade at UNC when I attended from 1996 to 2000, and he taught me the authority I had in Christ very well and I was in the game preaching the Gospel on campus every day. Keep in mind, I had already cast out the demon in my parent’s house by the power of the Holy Spirit inside me!
I was angry at my friend for saying such an ignorant, sinful, and blasphemous statement against God’s Word and His command to us! However, I stayed calm, looked right at her, and I rebuked her in the Name of Jesus for her lies and told her Jesus gave me the authority to do this, and I am going to baptize her. She didn’t say another word after that, and our group of friends looked away from her and back at me.
My newly saved friend who I was gently holding in the water looked up at me and smiled. I asked her to confirm her faith in Jesus, which she did, upon which confession I said, “I now baptize you in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,” as I gently dunked her under the water and brought her back up!
All of the people gathered around the pool cheered and some were crying. It was so beautiful I will never forget it! That girl is still following Jesus to this day! I have since baptized many people and I will continue to do so by the Lord’s command, and so should you.
I don’t know what kind of church you grew up in. I did not grow up in church. I came to Christ through supernatural experiences and He showed me just how powerful He is! I came to know Jesus through straight up Holy Spirit power! If you believe in Jesus, don’t you ever let anybody tell you that you can’t baptize or preach or heal or drive out demons because you are not a pastor or some other ordained title of human ego! I rebuke those lies of legalism in the Name of Jesus! Jesus never said you have to be an ordained pastor to have this authority. Those are sinful human regulations put on God! You have the authority to do it in Jesus, so obey your King and do it! “Freely you have received, freely give,” as Jesus said.
We are Ambassadors for Jesus Christ on this earth. All authority in heaven and on earth was given to Jesus, and He told us to go and make disciples of all nations and baptize them in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He will be with us to the very end of the age just as He said He would be, and His authority is all the authority you need!
Know your authority in the Lord brothers and sisters, be strong in it, and don’t ever let anybody tell you otherwise!
Grace and peace to you!