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4 Things Every Believer Should Be Doing with Their Authority in Christ

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

When you think about Jesus, especially after the resurrection, we recognize that he has been given authority. This verse is one that I have quoted many times and I have heard lots of people quote both in and outside of the pulpit. While it is great to recognize the authority Jesus has, what does that really mean for you and me? Does it matter that Christ has all authority and more importantly what are we supposed to be doing with it?

When you look a little closer, Jesus connects some activities to his authority. I want to share with you four things every believer, which means you, should be doing with the authority found in Christ.

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What Is Authority?

When I searched for a definition of authority, there are two that I found from Oxford Languages that are appropriate for our conversation.

1. The power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.

2. A person or organization having power or control in a particular, typically political or administrative, sphere.

As you can see from this definition, authority is the right to exercise power within a certain area. In Jesus’ case he has the right to exercise power and control over all of heaven and earth. (This is where you can shout hallelujah if you like). As wonderful as that truth is, his authority comes with a responsibility for you and me. That is where I want to focus your attention.

4 Things Every Believer Should Be Doing with Their Authority in Christ

Now let’s get to the part of our responsibility. Look at the first word in the next verse in Matthew. The word is “therefore.” Here is the entire passage of this very famous verse.

“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” (Matthew 28:19-20).

You may have heard this before, but whenever you see the word therefore in the Bible, you must always ask what is it there for? In this case Jesus has just said he has all authority, therefore do something. Here is what he wants you to do with his authority.

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1. Go

Every person is called to go. You have been authorized to go into the world and share the gospel with other people. You don’t need anyone to lay hands on you and you don’t need anyone to commission you because Jesus himself has commissioned you and every other believer to go and share the gospel.

Some will do this exclusively as their main career, but for most of us we will do this as part of our everyday lives. You have full authority from Jesus Christ to preach the gospel wherever you go. For those who work in the secular marketplace, we must use wisdom with how we do this, because your company did not hire you so you can go around the office and preach the gospel. You do have a job to do, and you should do it to the best of your ability.

However, as you are working, God may create opportunities to share the gospel in your workplace. When he does, take them because he has given you authority to do it. The same is true if you are in school, in your community, in the grocery store, basically wherever you go. You are authorized to go and share the gospel, so do it as God is leading you.

2. Make Disciples

You have also been authorized to make disciples. A disciple is a follower of Jesus Christ, and you can make disciples. Again, some may do this on a larger scale, but tell me what is stopping you from discipling your neighbor or best friend? The answer is nothing.

Jesus has all authority and because of this he has given you the right to make disciples of others. Discipleship can take many forms and they don’t all have to occur in formal settings. You can disciple over lunch, at a baseball game, in the cafeteria, on the ride to school or work. There are may ways you can help someone become a follower of Christ. You have been authorized to do it, so go make disciples.

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3. To Baptize

I will approach this one with caution because I don’t want people to misunderstand. Baptisms typically happen in a church setting and it is a public acknowledgment of the salvation work Christ has done in the heart of someone. Because of this work, they are making a public choice to be identified with Christ.

While we do this most often in a church setting and it is usually done by a pastor or leader in the church, technically it does not have to be done that way. If you have been born again and God’s Spirit is alive in you, if you lead someone to Christ then you do have the authority to baptize them. I am not telling you this so you can go and start baptizing people. I believe a person being baptized should be clear as to why they are doing it. I also believe baptism is a celebration and if it can be shared with the body of Christ in a local church, then it should be.

However, if you have led someone to Christ or you are discipling someone and they ask you to baptize them, you do have the authority to do that. I am not saying this is the first thing you should do, but if you had to you could.

4. To Teach

Jesus has given you the authority to teach others to obey everything he has commanded them. By teaching, this does not mean you have a gift of teaching and you should be standing before others opening God’s word. However, this does not prevent you from sharing with someone what God has said in his word. You don’t need to be a Bible scholar to share an instruction Jesus has given us. Anyone can do this, and more importantly every believer has the authority to do this.

You can share a truth, a command, even a correction, if done in love, with someone else. This is done with grace and compassion and remember this is not about standing in front of an audience, because God did not call everyone to do that. God wants to use you to help someone else move forward in their journey with Jesus. As others have helped you and showed you the way, you can do the same. I am not saying you are going to stand before the world and teach millions; God may want you to simply sit across the table and teach one.

Whether to the masses or to the one, you have been given the authority to teach others to obey everything Jesus has commanded.

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Where Do You Go from Here?

I encourage you today to walk in the authority Jesus has and share the gospel when those doors open. Be willing to make disciples of those around you and be ready to baptize or encourage someone to get baptized when appropriate. Finally, don’t be afraid to teach others the truth of what you have learned.

This is the commission we have based on the authority in Jesus Christ. This is not reserved for the few, this is offered and expected of the many. You my friend are part of that many, so go in his authority and do what he has commanded. Best of all, he has promised to be with you while you are doing this until the very end of the age.

More from this author
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7 Powerful Things the Cross Reveals about God’s Character

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Clarence L. Haynes Jr. is a speaker, Bible teacher, and co-founder of The Bible Study Club.  He is the author of The Pursuit of Purpose which will help you understand how God leads you into his will. He has also just released his new book The Pursuit of Victory: How To Conquer Your Greatest Challenges and Win In Your Christian Life. Do you want to go deeper in your walk with the Lord but can’t seem to overcome the stuff that keeps getting in the way? This book will teach you how to put the pieces together so you can live a victorious Christian life and finally become the man or woman of God that you truly desire to be. To learn more about his ministry please visit clarencehaynes.com.

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