Aug 11, 2011

Authorty To Heal

When someone mentions the word "Authority" in a discussion about God or the church, what type of things come to mind?

For many of us, we think about people in the church who hold places of authority, such as pastors, bishops or priests. Some think about the authority God has over His creation. In this message, we'll discuss the authority the average Christian has in the realm of healing.

If you're like most of us, at some time in your life, someone you respected taught you how to pray. That first prayer may have sounded something like, "God, please bless mommy and daddy and my family and our dog, Jesus name, Amen!

When you were older, your style of prayer probably changed. Some of us developed a bit more desperation. "God I really, really need this job! You know how much it means to me, so please hear me and make this job happen now!! Jesus name, Amen!

Some of us use a variation on something Jesus said about prayer, believing there is virtue in accepting the outcome, regardless of how it works out: "Lord, if it's your will, please heal gramma of cancer, but if it's not your will, give me the grace to accept her sickness and death."

It's true that Jesus taught His disciples to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done..." finishing with, "Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done." But I would politely suggest that this is model of prayer has absolutely no relevance to healing.

The question before us then is, what is the biblical model of prayer in regard to healing?

When Jesus was summoned by the Roman Centurion to heal of his servant, the soldier recognized the authority Jesus had over sickness. Because he understood authority, his faith was able to apprehend heal his servant. No prayer was involved; Jesus spoke a word and the servant was healed. It was a simple transaction involving the faith of the Centurion and the authority of Jesus. There are a number of other healings involving Jesus that occurred in this manner. (See Matt. 8)

If you review all the individual healing accounts recorded in the New Testament, you'll find that not once did anyone ask God (the Father) to heal someone who was sick or possessed. Some people begged Jesus to heal them. But Jesus never begged His Father to heal anyone. He simply spoke a word of healing, touched them or in some other way transferred healing power to them.

The Plan
A few key passages from the New Testament reveal the plan Jesus had for his disciples in regard to healing and deliverance. It's actually a simple outline for ministry:

In Matthew chapter 10, Jesus chose 12 disciples and commissioned them to be sent out. (The word apostle means, literally 'one who is sent'.) He gave them instructions to heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead and preach the gospel of the kingdom.

In Luke 10:19 he gave them authority over all the power of the enemy: "Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you."

In Acts chapter 1: Jesus told them, "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Jesus told his disciples His expectation of their ministry: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father."

In these passages, Jesus gave His disciples clear assignments for healing. He gave His expectation of the kinds of things they would do and He gave them the power and authority to do them. Let's take a closer look at the power and authority He gave them.

What kind of authority do Christians have over the enemy? The Greek word found in Luke 10:19 that is translated 'authority' is the word, ἐξουσία (exousia).

Strong's concordance gives the following definitions of this word:

1) Power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases
a) leave or permission
2) Physical and mental power
a) the ability or strength with which one is endued, which he either
possesses or exercises
3) The power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege)
4) The power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed)
a) Universally:
1) authority over mankind
b) Specifically:
1) the power of judicial decisions
2) of authority to manage domestic affairs
c) Metonymically:
1) a thing subject to authority or rule
a) jurisdiction
2) one who possesses authority
a) a ruler, a human magistrate
b) the leading and more powerful among created beings superior
to man, spiritual potentates
d) A sign of the husband's authority over his wife
1) the veil with which propriety required a women to cover herself
e) The sign of regal authority, a crown

What kind of power did Jesus give His disciples? The Greek word translated 'power' in Acts 1:8 is the word δύναμις (dynamis).

Strong's concordance defines this 'power' as:

1) Strength power, ability;
a) Inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth
b) Power for performing miracles
c) Moral power and excellence of soul
d) The power and influence which belong to riches and wealth
e) Power and resources arising from numbers
f) Power consisting in or resting upon armies, forces, hosts

Both these definitions speak of power and authority that reside with the one who has them. While they are tied to the ultimate authority of Christ, they may be exercised by us as free agents of the kingdom.

The authority we have is the legal right to do what Jeusus commanded us to do. The power we have is the anointing from God to heal through the operation of the Holy Spirit in us.

If we know His commandment is to heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead and preach the kingdom, and we know that the power and authority has been given to us to do these things, why would we need to ask God to do them for us?

Most of us have been taught incorrectly about healing by someone we respect. But it's never too late to correct our course, once we know we're going in the wrong direction. There are many well - meaning church leaders who don't understand what Jesus intended His church to do in this area. I would remind you that Jesus said the responsibility for building the church rests with him. (Matt. 16-18) The responsibility of church leaders is to train and equip the saints for the work of ministry that they're called to (Eph. 4:11)

If you haven't yet begun to exercise this power and authority, there's no time like the present. You'll never know for sure if what I've said is true, until you test it out. Read up on this matter and ask God to confirm His plan for you. If you have fears, questions or concerns, send me a message and I'll do what I can to help.

1 comment:

  1. Great word PM!!!
    Persecutions for JESUS’ Name sake in many forms are a given... But know that HIS EXTRAORDINARY SOVEREIGNTY RULES all things! HE says “Goooooooo” and miracles, sings and wonders will follow! BOW = Believe, Obey, Worship to our KING of kings, CHRIST JESUS!