Gird your loins with Truth
Put on the Breastplate of Righteousness
Shod your feet with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace
Take up the Shield of Faith
Put on the Helmet of Salvation
Take the Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God
That’s it, the Full armor of God; nothing about the spoken word; nothing about claiming a promise; nothing about standing on the word; nothing about declaring; nothing about decreeing.
Did you notice Paul didn’t mention a thing about using authority over the devil? What was it he said? “In addition to all, take up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish ALL the flaming missiles of the evil one.” Not a word about rebuking; not a word about binding; was Paul ignorant about Jesus giving Christians all authority in heaven and on earth, after it was given to Him? Or, are Christians today ignorant about faith being able to extinguish ALL the flaming missiles of the evil one?
I ask, “Why would anyone need authority over the devil when faith alone can defeat him? Why would Jesus find it necessary to give anyone all authority in heaven and on earth when it isn’t needed? You may be thinking, ‘He gave 82 people authority during His ministry, why wouldn’t He give it to us?’ The answer is this: Jesus had not yet shed His blood for the forgiveness of sins and He had not yet been raised from the dead and become a life-giving Spirit. Thus the 82 were not born anew, nor were they filled with the Holy Spirit. We today have been born anew and filled with the Holy Spirit. Christ has overcome the evil one and we may now take refuge in our Father through faith in Jesus. We have no need of authority; we need only faith in Him to whom all authority in heaven and on earth was given.
When Peter and John encountered the lame man at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, Peter said to him, “In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—-walk,” Acts 3:6b. And when all the people saw the lame man walking they were filled with amazement and ran to them. Peter, seeing this, explained that God had glorified His servant Jesus, verse13. In verse 16 He furthered explained to the people that on the basis of faith in His name, it was the name of Jesus which had strengthened the lame man; and the faith which comes through Him had given the man perfect health in the presence of them all.
There’s a big difference in having faith in Jesus’ name and having His authority. I, for one, don’t consider myself worthy to have the authority of Christ (even if He were to give it to me). Therefore I have no choice other than to trust the One through whom I have received forgiveness of sins and have been raised up into newness of life and grafted into the Israel above; that One who has given me everything pertaining to life and godliness through the knowledge of Himself, and in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; that One in whom I live and move and have my being; that One Beloved of the Father who sits beside Almighty God and advocates and makes intercession for me.
I believe in Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, having been made in the likeness of men, and became obedient to the point of death; for which God highly exalted Him, bestowing on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. My faith is in HIS name, the name of Him who now has all authority in heaven and on earth, Jesus Christ the Righteous.
I will continue to follow the example my Savior set for me and refuse to regard equality with God a thing to be grasped. I will not entertain the thought of being equal to Jesus in authority. I will simply continue to walk by faith in the name of the One who loved me and gave Himself up for me. I need not stand on, nor claim a promise. Nor do I need to speak things into being, or declare and decree things. For my Savior is faithful. He cannot deny Himself. If I need something, I need only ask Him; for He supplies all my needs according to His riches in glory. Praise His holy name.
Rev. Jon Banks
Please weigh everything I say on the scales of the Word of God.
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