The Believer’s Authority

(Luke 10:19) – 19 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.

The joy that filled the heart of the seventy disciples that just returned from an Evangelical outreach in this Bible verse cannot be quantified by human emotion that is fleshly originated. They were full of joy. Why? Because during their Evangelical raid, they were amazed or somewhat surprised that they were able to cast out demons at the mere mention of the name of Jesus Christ, their master.

From Luke’s account concerning the charge Jesus gave his disciples, it is easy to conclude that it was after they had cast out demons and returned to give an account of what transpired on the mission field that was when Jesus Christ bestowed on them the authority to trample on serpents, scorpions and over all power of the enemy. But, No! That wasn’t the case!

If that was the case, then it means that they had no assurance of their spiritual and physical security, because the later part of Luke 10:19 says ……” and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” “Nothing” in the real sense means no spiritual or physical device of the enemy will be able to harm/hurt them.

So, does this mean that when they went on this Evangelical tour, they were highly susceptible to attacks that might even take their life? Never!

However, to get a clear understanding of Luke’s account about the authority which Jesus informed his disciples he gave them, let us take a look at St. Matthew’s account to see how Jesus gave the pre-evangelical tour charge.

Matthew 10:5-8

“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.”

St. Matthew gave an account of how Jesus informed the disciples here about the authority they had to heal, cleanse, raise the dead, and cast out demons. This is a confirmation that as a Christian, who has given his/her life to Jesus Christ, we already have the authority to do great exploits.

It is your responsibility as a child of God to grow into the knowledge of the possibilities available in Christ Jesus. The seed of these manifestations is deposited at the point of salvation. It is not after we have gone out to evangelize having been exposed to potential harm that Jesus gives us the authority over the enemy.

What Does The Authority Entail?

In Luke 10:19, Jesus repeated their commission: Behold I give you power to tread on serpents.

The authority entails;

1. An Offensive Power

This is the power to walk on scorpions and serpents, devils, and destructive spirits.

This accounts for where the promise of Genesis 3:15 comes in “… shall bruise thy head…” This promise can also be seen in Psalm 91:13, “Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.”

This offensive power enables Christians who know their right in Christ to tread upon all the power of the enemies and, in return, establish the kingdom of God upon the ruins of the kingdom of darkness. This happens because the devil is now subject to you.

2. A Defensive Power

“Nothing shall hurt.” What happened to Apostle Paul in Acts 28: 3-6 was one of the many events that confirmed the promises of God that even though we are not aware of the presence of serpents or attacks of the enemies that are against us or ready to strike, we would be immune to them.

What Do Believers Have Authority Over Exactly?

The Christian life is a declaration of an everlasting war against sin and Satan. The promise of protection from and against Serpents and Scorpions is not only against physical attacks but mostly against the spiritual attacks of the devil. The serpent and scorpions depict not only the physical or natural form of these venomous creatures but are also used by Jesus to represent the manifestations of the devil and demons.

According to Ephesians 6:12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Our battle is not just against these venomous beasts, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world and wickedness in high places. These are what the believers have authority over.