QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Here are the three questions that were asked in light of Sunday mornings sermon on having the authority to rebuke satan. My answers are below in the form of a blog. Hopefully this clears up any confusion that might have been caused on Sunday.
- Is this a close handed issue or open handed?
- What authority does a believer have? Jesus says “all authority is given until Me” and then the Word states that we are joint heirs with Christ, what is you understanding of this?
- Does that mean the prayer, “satan I rebuke you in the name of Jesus” doesn’t work?
These are some good questions that I personally wrestled with myself as I was preparing for the message. Like I said at beginning of the sermon, when I started studying this, I didn’t realize how in-depth this topic was.
Here are my thoughts on the following questions:
I honestly don’t think this is a matter of either one (open hand or closed hand), I think it’s just a matter of understanding where the authority comes from and not feeling the need to tackle satan head on. The benefit of the Holy Spirit is that He is way more powerful than satan and He is willing to fight for us. I think that’s such a beautiful truth, we as believers, get to rest in. I know of so many people who walk fearful of satan because of his destructive ability, and I think the truth of a Warrior God fighting for us cancels all of those fears. I love the truth of being able to run to God in times of crisis & trust Him to defeat satan for me. (He already has, and will do it again). This leaves us to focus putting on the Armor of God – and getting our perspective right – so that we are able to stand against any cheap shots that satan might try.
Now regarding the prayer, I certainly don’t think that God is going to withdraw His loving care or support from us if we get the wording wrong, as He clearly promises, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’. So I think the prayer, ‘satan I rebuke you in the name of Jesus’ still works (maybe I should have made that clearer yesterday), I just don’t think we need to wander down the route of personally confronting satan, especially when scripture never tells us we need to, in fact it tells us that we have a God who will do that for us.
On the point regarding authority. I definitely believe we can walk with all confidence in the authority of God… All I was attempting to do on Sunday (& maybe I didn’t do a good job of it) was communicate that we can never forget the author of that power and authority. It will always belong to God, It’s no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me. The only reason that we can walk with any Kingdom Authority and confidence is because the Holy Spirit is now in us.
I’m not sure if being co-heirs with Christ means that we receive the same authority He has, instead it’s my personal understanding it means we get to enjoy the authority that he has. I come to that conclusion, based on the fact that I don’t believe being co-heirs with Christ means that we share in all the attributes that he has. There has to be certain areas that are uniquely left for Jesus himself. Take Philippians 2:1-11 as an example:
 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,  complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.  Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,  who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,  but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,  so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
I don’t think that being co-heirs with Christ means that we are now highly exalted, and at our name every knee will bow and every tongue will confess. Certain attributes clearly remain unique to Christ, and based on my understanding of Scripture the issue of Authority would be one of them.
The term co-heirs doesn’t mean sharing in all of Jesus’ attributes, it means sharing in all of Jesus’ inheritance (the Kingdom of Heaven, state of perfection etc.).
I have no issue acknowledging the power and authority that we get to enjoy as believers because the Holy dwells inside of us; just so long as we are never claiming it for ourselves; just so long as we are alway pointing back to Jesus as the author of that authority. He is the one that is deserving of all recognition and honor, He is the one that should be given the spot light.
I am always super grateful for the congregation’s questions, I love the we have a body that is open and honest and not afraid to ask important question, church should always be a place where that atmosphere is present. Preaching is one of those jobs that will always challenge me to grow as an effective communicator, especially when you’re not trying to confuse people on ‘non-essential’ or ‘non-dealer-breaker’ questions. This series in particular has presented that challenge in it’s rawest form. It has been a tough but exciting 15 weeks together. I’m looking forward to jumping into the Book of Acts with you all in September.
I hope this blog cleared some things up.